Category Archives: Action/Thriller

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Black Panther (2018) Movie Review

In Black Panther, T’Challa (Chadewick Boseman) takes his rightful place on the throne as the king of Wakanda, following the death of his father during the events of Captain America: Civil War. However, some people, particularly a man by the name of Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), seeks to challenge this crowning.

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The film is the latest in the increasingly robust Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the first of three in 2018. And, of the 18 MCU films, it Continue reading Black Panther (2018) Movie Review

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12 Strong (2018) Movie Review

There is a lot on the surface of 12 Strong that has been done in war films before, again and again. Grunt soldier characters act like they do in every other movie. Fire-fight sequences involve everyone we don’t care about falling down dead, and everyone that has been established as a character surviving despite being amid insurmountable danger. Themes of camaraderie and learning to think differently about your fellow man abound. Etcetera. Etcetera.

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With this, there is plenty of scenes that play out, down to the lines themselves, exactly as you would expect.

Our boys have to Continue reading 12 Strong (2018) Movie Review

Proud Mary (2018) Movie Review

Stop me if this sounds familiar. A hired gun is looking to get out of the game. She kills the wrong person. She finds herself in a relationship that adds empathy to a job that requires apathy. Based on circumstances outside of her control, her own crew turns against her. Now on her own, she has to leave a trail of bodies behind if she wants to get out and make a better life for herself.

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Yeah, Proud Mary is that movie. Taraji P. Henson plays Mary, a hitwoman who has been following a kid, a young boy named Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) whose father she assassinated a year earlier. She works for a Continue reading Proud Mary (2018) Movie Review

The Commuter (2018) Movie Review

The Commuter, the next installment in the Liam Neeson Taken-on-vehicle-x series, begins with a barrage montage of his character’s daily routine. Michael MacCauley (Neeson) bangs off his alarm, is given a book to read by his son, is dropped off at the train by his wife, etc. etc., again and again over the course of days and weeks.

It is not an entirely shabby way of opening the movie—it introduces us to our central character and his way of life, as well as the routine that will define his central conflict later on—but it is edited in a jarring way over the opening credits in a manner that is off-putting.

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The film co-stars Vera Farmiga—mostly via voiceover—as the instigator of a psychological game on MacCauley’s daily commuter train. She tells MacCauley that someone on the train does not belong, and if he can find that person Continue reading The Commuter (2018) Movie Review

The Villainess (2017) Movie Review

The opening scene to The Villainess¬†employs the same video game POV styling of Hardcore Henry, although here director Byung-gil Jung doesn’t mince any words.

While directed flashy, this opening scene benefits from its frenetic whip pans which hide some shoddy CG blood effects. Five minutes into the film, when the camera pulls back to reveal our protagonist for the evening—the almost mechanically ferocious Sook-hee (Ok-bin Kim)—the camera captures stunt choreography more successfully. Still, the whole scene remains overly frantic and shaky.

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Why spend so much time discussing the film’s opening scene? It is Continue reading The Villainess (2017) Movie Review

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Movie Review

It wouldn’t be surprising if you only know of the film Roman J. Israel, Esq. because the poster features the back of Denzel Washington’s head. It’s understandable. It’s not as if the name is particularly catchy. But Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the second directorial feature from Dan Gilroy, the man behind Nightcrawler and the scripts of such films as The Fall and Bourne Legacy.

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For someone who appreciated Nightcrawler, it is not unreasonable to anticipate good things from Gilroy’s follow up. Don’t be fooled. Roman J. Israel, Esq.—and I only keep reiterating the name because we are reminded of it time and time again in the film—is not Continue reading Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Movie Review

Justice League (2017) Movie Review

The headline way to start this review is to say something along the lines of “Justice League is a garbled mess of a film with no notion of subtlety.” It wouldn’t be a false statement.

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But there are redeeming qualities to the latest DC film, coming to us by way of Zack Snyder with some re-shoots done by Joss Whedon. There is a Continue reading Justice League (2017) Movie Review