Gringo

Gringo

Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) is an average businessman who works for Cannabax Technologies Inc, a company that has developed the "Weed Pill", medical marijuana that has been simplified into a pill. Harold's bosses, Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) and Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton), send him to Mexico to handle the manufacturing of the product, but while out partying he ends up getting kidnapped by the cartel, which holds a grudge against Harold's bosses and their company. Richard hires a professional named Mitch (Sharlto Copley) to safely get Harold out of harm's way, only for the two to end up having to survive one outrageous situation after another.

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Atomic Blonde

<em>Atomic Blonde</em>

Terrence and T'are sit down to discuss the 2017 spy action thriller, #AtomicBlonde, starring Charlize Theron. This is director David Leitch's first solo project without teammate Chad Stahelski (John Wick). 

 In 1989, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the shifting of superpower alliances, Lorraine Broughton, a top-level spy for MI6, is dispatched to Berlin to take down a ruthless espionage ring that has just killed an undercover agent for reasons unknown.

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Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

mad-max-fury-road Holy crap! Have you ever wondered what Michael Bay could do if he really had talent? What if he took his love and maddening explosions and cars and then applied it to a film with a coherent plot. Now let's also assume he stopped being such a pig and hired Eve Ensler, a writer from the Vagina Monologues, to consult on set so as to make the film a secret feminist message where the title character isn't even the real hero. You would have Mad Max: Fury Road and you would sit back and love every second of it.

The Mad Max franchise has gone decades without a film. Usually when a franchise tries to jump start itself  like this the end result is fair at best. However this film, in the hands of one of the original directors George Miller, is an actual improvement upon the original series. Haven't seen them? No worries, you don't need them to follow the plot. Honestly the plot is very very thin yet what is there is very well told and contains a message that certain groups are less than happy with. Those groups are Men's Rights Activists and they can suck it anyway so their hate just makes me love this movie even more.

So what we have here is post apocalyptic Australia. Just sand and salt plains as far as the eye can see. The two major resources are fuel and water. Wars are fought for these resources. Large gangs and societies center around controlling them and protect their own stock piles from each other. In the midst of all this we have an ex cop by the name of Max, played by Tom Hardy. He says very little as his actions speak volumes. The film follows him as he gets caught up in the chaos. However, as I said, he is not the hero of this film. Instead we have Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a one armed (now a steam punk machination on a stump) big rig driver. It is her job to drive a war rig from her home ruled by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) to another town to load it with fuel. However she has other plans that don't sit well with Joe and Max gets caught in the middle.

Now Max may be a protagonist but this is by far Furiosa's story and Theron does a magnificent job as this strong willed, independent woman. This is very important as she has to be believable, unlike so many female action movie characters. This is where the MRA crowd take offense. This is her film. Her story. This is Furiosa taking her fate into her own hands. This... is an allegory, people. This testosterone fueled non stop action film is an allegory and it is a perfect one. let me explain, spoiler free of course.

Now the reason most people are going to this film is the action. It's glorious, people. Now I'm not a hater of CG. In fact I love CG. But in a film like this the over abundance of practical effects really goes a long way to making this a thrill ride to remember. This world is also populated by thrill junkies, ready and willing to do the most insane things in the most pointy and angry vehicles you have ever seen. All the while they are wasting that precious fuel like there's no tomorrow as gasoline powered flames shoot out of everything from cars to guitars... but I digress. They scream and yell and only know violence. The first women we see in the film are baby factories hooked up to milking machines in Joe's citadel. Everything in this film, other than the women, represent the male power structure. Men, very violent men that treat women like property, are in control and Furiosa has had enough.

MESSAGE!

See this film, guys. The message isn't one that hits you over the head. In fact it only hit me the next day as I woke up... with a smile on my face. This film will keep you entertained all the way through. The only slight complaint I have is that the few breaks we get between massive fifteen minute long action scenes seem to move at a snail's pace simply because of the frenetic pacing of everything else. It's not a negative though, simply a side effect of all that awesome. And yeah, I can enjoy the testosterone flying everywhere while enjoying the message at the same time. You are meant to. So do so. Now. RIGHT NOW!

What a film! WHAT A LOVELY FILM!

[easyreview title= "Review of Mad Max: Fury Road" cat1title="Rob's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="5.0" overall= false]

Review: Snow White and the Huntsman (SWATH)

Snow White and the Huntsman is a new take on a well known tale. Instead of a Disney-fied Snow White with her dependence on men to make her dreams come true, we are supposed to see a strong willed and defiant Snow White in a darker world. The role of Snow White is played by Kristen Stewart (Twilight). I assume taking on this role was a conscious decision on Stewart's part. Anything that she can do at this point to move away from the stigma of the character Bella in the Twilight series is a good move. Stewart does a better job in this role than expected; however, when expectations are low, there is nowhere to go but up.

The Huntsman is played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor and the Avengers) and his character makes the movie. Unlike the somewhat flat role of Thor played by Hemsworth in both Marvel films, this role has a much more colorful tone. We first meet the Huntsman as he is being thrown from a bar. His quippy dialogue immediately invokes endearment from the viewer. Although Hemsworth's performance brings a lot to the film, it is not enough to save it from the overly contrived and unexplained plot.

The Evil Queen is played by Charlize Theron. This casting was appropriate for the role and Theron does a good (somewhat over the top) job of portraying it. What was most strange about this film was the Angelina Jolie and her brother type of relationship between the Queen and her brother. Many of their interactions are just a bit creepy. Furthermore, it is hinted at in the film that the brother is a serial rapist. WTF?...Darker indeed!

Since the title of the film is Snow White and the Huntsman, it only seems natural the the dwarves would play a much smaller role in the film. Even though they are not present for over half the film, they are played by some pretty well known actors including Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, and Ray Winstone. Too bad for actors who are of the same stature as Peter Dinklage. The dwarves in this film were less cuddly than past portrayals and seemed more like individuals that might actually work in a mine. There is no singing of high-ho, but there is singing.

The crux of the plot is of course still the same. The Queen is trying to kill Snow White in order to be the fairest in the land. However, in this version the Queen's powers suck the land dry as well. Everything withers and dies under her rule. Snow White on the other hand is the bringer of life. In fact, She calms a troll and he walks away just by looking at her. Conan O'Brien had a funny take on this scene which is embedded below:

This magical power is never explained beyond her innocence. Who knew that innocence could give you magical powers or in this case, fairest blood.

The fight scenes in the film leave much to be desired in my opinion. I had a hard time telling what was going on in most of them. I think either a better fight choreographer or camera man was in order. All in all the movie was OK. It wasn't bad and it wasn't great. They tried to get the epic feel of Lord of the Rings, but it came off as a little forced. Is it worth seeing in the theater? Yes, if you have nothing better to do and just want to see a movie.

[easyreview title= "Review of Snow White and The Huntsman" cat1title="Matthew's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="2.5" overall= false]

image via Cinemaplus1.com