Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Quick and Dirties: Time For Some Action


Yes, boys and girls. It is time for another edition of The Quick and Dirties. I drink in a bunch of movies all at once, loosely centered around some theme (action, today) and spit out short reviews. Gulp...


The Expendables 3
(2014)
The geriatric mercenaries, aka The Expendables, are back for a third go round at causing massive amounts of property damage and killing huge quantities of henchmen on their way to taking out the main baddie. If that's a spoiler to you, meaning it is some vital piece of information that prior knowledge of might interfere with your enjoyment of the movie, I'm quite surprised you have the ability to have read this far. If you're laughing because you know you're smarter than that, let me give you some more "vital" info. Wesley Snipes is added to the team. Following this, Sly sits down the entire team of geezers in favor of some young blood. When that doesn't work, the old guys are called back in. Sorta. They really tell Sly to kiss their ass, they're going on the next mission. Even Harrison Ford gets in on the action. Oh, the action is our heroes trying to arrest, but not kill Mel Gibson. Everything goes boom. You snooty critics hate it, but I love it. Don't get me wrong. It's not good by any stretch of the imagination. It's so bad, it's awesome!


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(2014)
Michael Bay doesn't direct, but produces this re-boot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. It's easy to tell because his fingerprints are all over it. Think Transformers, but with turtles in place of robots. the imbecilic, faux-hip humor is the same. The manic, but not really impactful action is the same. And the weak performance of Megan Fox is the same. It's painfully obvious she's only playing the role of the Ninja Turtles' beloved Amy because she looks like Megan Fox. Other Bay-isms on display include, but are not limited to, campy villains, fortune cookie philosophy from some wise sage type character, and some curious camera angles and maneuverings. It all adds up to a loud, not very enjoyable movie. By the way, I was actually okay with the much-derided design of the Turtles, themselves. I'm even willing to live with that of Master Splinter. It was actually someone's lack of a costume early on that pissed me off. Yes, I completely understand that I'm geeking out when I say this, but I was not happy to be seeing Shredder's face. The only thing that made me smile here was beat-boxing in the elevator scene. Screw you, I love that scene! As for the rest of the movie, it's so bad, it's...no, not awesome. It's just really bad, really really bad.

Hercules
(2014)
Forget all that stuff you learned in middle school, or from that Disney movie, about Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) being a half-god. He was just a regular dude. Well, as regular as The Rock can be. Point is, that whole deal about Zeus being his dad is a bunch of bologna. The spectacular feats of the Twelve Labors? Never happened. Those are just stories made up and/or perpetuated by his homies. His homies? HercuRock is the leader of a grou[ of mercenaries, hired swords, if you will. They're like The Expendables of Ancient Greece. We follow along as Lord Cotys (John Hurt) brings the crew on to train his own men and help fight off a pending invasion. Swash-buckling, betrayal, and attempts at humor all ensue. This is a perfectly fine, light-hearted, turn your brain off type of flick. HercuRock flexes his muscles, smiles, grimaces, raises one eyebrow, and kicks tail. Each person has a role to play and they fulfill it dutifully. Bad guys cackle maniacally and deliver speeches right on cue. It's a dumb-fun movie that some, such as myself, will have a good time watching while others will knock it for being stupid.


I, Frankenstein
(2014)
Now that we're done reshaping Hercules, let's forget the legend of Frankenstein, too. In this version, the monster (Aaron Eckhart) is rejected by creator Victor Frankenstein and is so pissed off about it he kills Victor's wife. Victor wants revenge and chases the monster all the way to the Arctic. Since us normal human beings are meant for walking great distances alone in the Arctic with no supplies whatsoever, Victor dies. The monster then stays incognito as much as possible until over two centuries later when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a war between the demons - bad guys, and the gargoyles - good guys. If any of this sounds familiar to you, it's because this is basically a remake of Underworld brought to you by the producers of - dun, dun, DUNNNN - Underworld. And it's not anywhere near as good. Even the normally excellent Aaron Eckhart is a bore, here. The action is meh and that's the best part. Overall, it's completely forgettable.


John Wick
(2014)
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is the best hitman in the history of hitmen, or something like that. However, he's been retired for about five years. His wife has just died, so he's been moping around over that. While in the midst of grieving, some lowlifes break into his house, steal his cherished car, and kill his dog. Yes, the dog his wife gave him. It just so happens that the leader of the rag-tag crew that did this is the son of a Russian mobster John used to do business with. John now has to return to that seedy underworld in an effort to exact his revenge. All of this is a rather disposable excuse to get our hero and the various villains trying to kill each other. While it renders the plot very thin, believe me, this is more than okay. This is a movie built upon its action sequences and it delivers in spades. Taking its cues from The Raid franchise, John Wick is entertainingly brutal and, at times, gory. Reeves is wisely not called upon to do much in the way of acting. The story provides all the weight needed, leaving him free of having to emote or provide any depth. He excels at this because he easily handles the physicality of the role. the script also includes enough dark humor to lighten things just a bit and enough of a subplot to keep us on our toes. This is possibly the best straight up action flick of 2014 that doesn't involve superheroes and easily the best Keanu Reeves movie in quite a few years.

12 comments:

  1. I really want to see John Wick as I'm one of those that actually likes Keanu Reeves as an actor and thinks he gets a very bad rap.

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    1. Definitely see it. It's all sorts of fun.

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  2. John Wick was awesome and definitely agree with it being the best Keanu Reeves movie for quite some time.

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  3. Fucking centaurs! I never realized how terrifying those ninja turtles look. Wtf.

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    1. I kinda like that they look terrifying, lol.

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  4. I'll back you up on the elevator scene. That made me chuckle. Other than that, I agree, Ninja Turtles is really, really bad. And I also had a lot of fun watching Hercules. It was a perfect popcorn movie.

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    1. My feelings, exactly, on both movies. Thanks for reading Kyle.

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  5. So bad it's awesome. I like that way to describe something. That's like "it's so ugly it's cute", which is the way my dad describes warthogs. LOL...I haven't seen any of these :-P

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    1. Some of these are fun, some aren't. The only one I'd highly recommend is John Wick. So ugly it's cute, lol. Love it.

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