Movie Review: Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

Something something, action movies. Honestly, I’m too sick to think of a clever intro somehow relating back to this movie. So let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Shoot ‘Em Up”.

After having delivered a baby, a homeless man named Smith (Clive Owen) has to protect the newly born baby from a crazy hitman named Hertz (Paul Giamatti). I know it sounds like I’m making some weird shit up, but that’s the actual plot of the movie… and I’m okay with that, because it’s handled in such a way that makes it work. Some movies would try to make it a serious movie where the baby would have a dramatic point, which I feel wouldn’t entirely work. Instead this is handled as a fast-paced/fucking insane action plot that never takes itself too seriously. It’s quite a self-aware plot that gleefully embraces the ridiculousness of the situation, and that’s what I love about it.

The characters aren’t necessarily that deep and compelling, but they’re still quite interesting and incredibly fun to watch. Clive Owen plays Smith as a combination of Clint Eastwood in “A Fistful of Dollars” and Bugs Bunny. That’s right, he’s a pretty much nameless badass that chomps carrots, and Owen is great in the role. Paul Giamatti plays the head hitman who’s going after Smith and the baby. He’s kind of a crazy asshole and Giamatti is terrific in the role. We also get Monica Bellucci as a lactating hooker (yes, you read that right) that reluctantly helps Smith take care of the baby. And Bellucci is really good in the role. We also get Stephen McHattie as a gun manufacturer named Hammerson, and he’s really good in the role. It’s overall a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Paul Haslinger and it is awesome. It’s heavily based in rock with traces of electronica, and it perfectly fits the non-stop action pace perfectly. They also used a bunch of licensed rock/metal tracks throughout and they too fit the movie perfectly. Then it’s also a treat for me because, as you probably know by now, I mainly listen to rock and metal. But seriously, AC/DC, Motörhead, Wolfmother… so much good music here! Really, the music in this movie is overall great and it fits the movie perfectly.

This movie was directed by Michael Davis and I think he did a great job here. There’s a lot of frenetic energy in his directing, which keeps the movie from getting boring. There’s very little time between action scenes, which is fun to see. Speaking of the action scenes, fuck me, it’s rare to find action this fun in a modern action movie. For one, YOU CAN SEE IT! No shaky-cam bullshit, everything can be seen. What’s also interesting is that most of the action (about 95%) is gun-centric. And I don’t mean just *pop out of cover, shoot* *pop out of cover, shoot*. They do a lot of creative things with the gunplay here which makes it all feel fresh and fun. Also, this is a really violent movie. So if you hate blood and gore, then you’ve been warned. There’s also a good amount of comedy throughout the movie and I thought it was quite funny.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 49/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Shoot ‘Em Up” isn’t a particularly deep movie, but that doesn’t matter because it’s an incredibly entertaining action flick! It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, great directing, and really good comedy. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Shoot ‘Em Up” is a 9,87/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Shoot ‘Em Up” is now completed.

This is one of the most video game-y movies I’ve ever seen.

Movie Review: The Bourne Idenity (2002)

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Hello there, my friends to the first in my series of reviews on the “Bourne” movies leading up to “Jason Bourne” this July. I will review one of the movies every month, so for this month (March) it is “Bourne Identity”, for April it’s “Bourne Supremacy”, May is “Bourne Ultimatum” and June is “Bourne Legacy”. All of this will then wrap up in July with the upcoming “Jason Bourne”. Hell, if I’m in a good mood I might just throw in a surprise “Bourne” thing at some point too… But let’s move on to the review that you all came here to read.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Bourne Identity”.

A mysterious man (Matt Damon) is picked up by a fishing boat in the ocean outside of Marseille, France. Despite having been in the ocean for some time and also haivng bullets in him, he’s still alive and eventually wakes up… with no memory of what the hell happened or who he is. Soon after that he is chased all over Europe by different assassins and authorities while he also tries to find out what happened. But he isn’t doing this alone. With him is a young woman named Marie (Franka Potente) who he somehow dragged into this. The plot isn’t always very clear, sometimes invisible, but when you know what it is and when it really shows itself it is really good. It’s an interesting and different kind of spy story. It’s exciting, interesting and even pretty suspenseful… I kinda love it.

The characters all have a purpose within the story and they are all pretty interesting. Matt Damon is terrific as Jason Bourne, giving a surprisingly nuanced performance that is both vulnerable and totally fuckin’ badass. Franka Potente is great as Marie, playing a scared yet confident woman who has been thrust into this journey with Jason. Chris Cooper plays the character of Alexander Conklin, a man who seems to have some connection to Jason and is basically the one who sends all the assassins after Jason. And I think that he plays that role very well. We also get some great supporting performances from Brian Cox, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles, Walton Goggins and Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje.

The score for the movie was composed by John Powell and it was good. Not great, but good. I’m not gonna say that it felt out of place for the movie, because it didn’t. I am just saying that the overall style of it feels a little bit dated, but it never really took away from the movie for me because it was overall good and it did work for the movie. It’s very action-y and it’s well composed.

“Bourne Identity” was directed by Doug Liman who you probably know as the director of 2014’s surprisingly good “Edge of Tomorrow”. This was his first action movie and for a first timer I would say that he did a terrific job with the directing. The shots all look great and the action is very well handled. From the fist fights, to the shootouts and to the car chase (yes, there is one of those in this movie). My favorite action scene is probably the bit with The Professor (which I will not spoil here). The people who have seen this film knows which part of the film I am talking about. But for the two of you who haven’t seen the movie, I’m just gonna say that it’s suspenseful, well filmed and pretty badass.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“The Bourne Identity” is an interesting spy-thriller with a really good plot, great acting, a good score, great directing and great action. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “The Bourne Identity” is a 9,89/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Bourne Identity” is now completed.

For those of you who have been wondering throughout the review: Yes, I have seen all of these movies before, it’s just that I felt like a series of reviews would be appropriate with the release of the new one later this year.

 

Movie Review: Inside Man (2006)

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The amount of ways bank robberies can be executed are astonishing. You can do it all methodical and plan for months every inch of the plan or you could just go in guns blazing. Any way is possible and that is why it is so fascinating with heist movies for me since you never know which way they will go with. So now, let’s look at a movie about a bank robbery.

Men and women… “Inside Man”.

In this movie we see how a group of bank robbers led by a man named Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) enter a bank to rob it (duh), but it soon also turns into a hostage situation. So now it is up to police detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington try to get the hostages out and save the day together with broker Madeleine White (Jodie Foster). And from that we get a surprisingly layered story filled with suspense and some pretty great twists. Yeah… I was surprised by the amount of depth to be found in the plot of this heist movie. It always keeps you guessing how it’s gonna go, and when you think you got it, the movie pulls the rug from under you and goes “Surprise, motherfucker!”.

The characters in this movie are all thoroughly entertaining to observe as they deal with the different situations throughout the movie. Denzel Washington is at his Denzel-iest in this movie… that’s a new adjective, Denzel-y (Denzel-ier, Denzel-iest). He is just so likeable in his role as this police detective turned hostage negotiator. He is also very believable in his role. Clive Owen plays the leader of the bank robbers and he is excellent in this movie. He plays the character in a manner which makes us believe that he is actually this intelligent and methodical criminal. Jodie Foster is also great in her role as a somewhat slimy yet charming high-power broker. Also, I think that she only gets more attractive with age… I don’t know, call me a perv if you wish. Willem Dafoe is also in this movie as a police captain and he was great. Christopher Plummer was also great as the elderly owner of the bank. And Chiwetel Ejiofor as Denzel’s partner was also great.

The score for the movie was done by Terence Blanchard who apparently is a frequent collaborator with director Spike Lee. And while I can’t recall any other original score he’s ever done, I can for sure say that he did a terrific job with the score for this movie. He uses a lot of trumpets and such to create different styles for different scenarios. And if you listen to the music in general you can hear that he takes some inspiration from other great composers. In the action bits he emulates his inner Hans Zimmer and in the more emotional songs he gets out his inner Ennio Morricone. Now, I wouldn’t say that this score is better than anything I have heard from those two, but I will say that if you like those two composers I think you’ll enjoy the score for “Inside Man”.

Like I said before, this is a Spike Lee joint. And he shows that he is a terrific director in this movie. The shots look great and he manages to he manages to perfectly capture the closed and locked-in feeling of being stuck in a bank with a bunch of bank robbers who might kill you at any second. And by that I mean when you get to see from inside the bank from the perspective of the hostages. But he also manages to catch the feeling of distress that everyone on the outside (except Denzel, somehow) feels over if they will managed to save these hostages or not. Now I haven’t really seen anything from Spike Lee except for “25th Hour” which is one of my favorite movies of all time, but now that I have seen both that and “Inside Man” I will probably check more of his joints out because he’s a great director. Also, here is something that I noticed which was pretty entertaining: in this movie we see both Clive Owen and Chiwetel Ejiofor as characters important in some way to the plot, in a movie that came out in 2006. Both actors also had important roles in “Children of Men” which also came out in 2006. Small world.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Inside Man” is an entertaining heist-thriller that is actually really clever and smart and is held up by a suspenseful and twist-filled plot, excellent performances, great music, excellent direction and a great tone. Time for my final score. GET DOWN ON THE FUCKING GROUND! GIVE ME THE ENVELOPE! GIVE IT TO ME! My final score for “Inside Man” is a 9,81/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Inside Man” is reviewed.

Vladimir, I am Inside Man, what I do?
Boris you dumb borshch, I told you to be Inside Man at bank, not go INSIDE MAN!
Oh… Chert , chuvak.

 

Movie Review: Children of Men (2006)

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With the world being what it is I suspect it won’t take long until it all goes down the crapper. I guess you could say that it already has with every terrible thing that’s happened within the past 15 – 20 years, but i mean totally gone to shit. Not just losing faith in humanity, but the world also being terrible in general. And that is why i think some of these post-apocalyptic(ish) movies are a good warning because a lot of them might actually become a reality.

Men and women… “Chidlren of Men”.

The world has gone to shit. Humans have become infertile and can therefore not make any more babies. And if they can’t make any more babies, there will be no new humans, and if there are no new humans then the human race is fucked! But miraculously there turns out to exist one pregnant woman (Clare-Hope Ashitey). So it is up to a former activist (Clive Owen) to get her to safety because he was lured in by his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore) to help out. And out of all post-apocalyptic stories i have seen/read, this might be the most realistic one. Like I said in the beginning, these post-apocalyptic worlds might actually become a reality. I mean, as much as the human race tampers with chemicals and all that crazy shit I wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow managed to make us all infertile t some point in time. And if we count away those scary thoughts for a second, this story is fantastic. The realistic, dark and grim world this movie portrays was infinitely interesting and led to a lot of thinking from my side. The story also works because it feels like it’s made up of three parts. First you have the chase thriller that gets your heart pumping, second we have a cautionary tale of how our world might become (hence the realism I mentioned), then we have the third part which is a human drama and how societies struggle to survive. All of these combined makes for an excellent story.

The characters in this movie all feel like real people stuck in this terrible situation. Clive Owen gives an excellent performance as our main character Theo who wants to help out. Julianne Moore is also really good and so is Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Caine. Clare-Hope Ashitey is an actress I had never even heard of before, but she was pretty damn great too. Everybody was great, in fact. They were also very well written.

The score for the movie was done by John Tavener and it was really good. It was used in a way where it didn’t feel overused, but also not underused. I don’t really know what to say, I guess… it was a pretty powerful score that was really good.

This movie is incredibly well shot! It was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and he really showed here that he is a master class director. Still, I didn’t know what to expect considering the only thing I have seen from him is “Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban” (Sidenote: My favorite “Harry Potter” movie.). Yes, I have not seen “Gravity” so I couldn’t go by those merits when expecting things for this movie. Anyway, he directed this and did an amazing job. I especially love how he at many points used continuous shots, it really made the movie more real than if they had cut at every opportunity, and for that I respect this movie a lot. Also, don’t expect this movie to be heavy on the visual effects because it really isn’t. And the effects it uses are mostly practical which is another reason why I respect this movie so much when it comes to how it was made.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Adapted Screenplay, Best cinematography and Best FIlm Editing. 

“Children of Men” is a dark, grim and realistic look at a possible near future with an excellent story, terrific performances, great music, excellent direction and great writing. Time for my final score. *Cleasrs throat*. My final score for “Children of Men” is a 9,90/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Children of Men” is now reviewed.

This might fucking happen, so start doing something to prevent it!

 

Movie Review: Sin City (2005)

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If you are a person that knows me, then you know I am a sort of all-round nerd. Movies, tv, anime, books…comics. Take two of those and you get a certain 2005 movie. And of course I mean comics (or more specifically, graphic novels) and movies. So what happens when you take one of the darkest and most brutal comic series, turn it into a movie and let Robert Rodriguez direct it? You get this interesting 2005 action movie.

Guys…the brutal and dark movie simply known as; Sin City.

Like I pretty much said, the story is based on graphic novels (very graphic, yes puns are allowed here) by Frank Miller who also happens to co-direct this movie. The story follows three different guys and their different situations, all of them involving crime…and a shit-ton of violence. To round up the gang we start with John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), a cop who is sick of the corruption within law enforcement in Basin City (Yes, that is the name of the town), he often refers to himself as old man (which he is) while dealing with a poor heart that could give out at any moment of stress. Next on the list is Marv (Mickey Rourke), a man who is dead set to find the killer of a hooker he slept with (even though he had no fucking clue she was a hooker). This guy is fucking relentless, I mean like wow! Nothing actually stops this guy, they just slow him down. Yeah. And to round up our list of flawed men we have Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen). A man who had some form of plastic surgery to change his face (his original will be revealed in the sequel coming august this year). He wants to stop this one guy who had hurt and threatened his girlfriend. He also helps out a part of town controlled by, and I am not making this up, prostitutes. There are a lot of things happening in this movie. There is for example parts where Marv fights this cannibal who is too fucking fast for him by the name of Kevin (Elijah Wood). There are a lot of fucked up things happening in this movie. But that is what makes it so interesting plot wise.

The characters in this movie are generally flawed, but only in one way unique to every character. But that is what makes them so damn entertaining to watch. The most entertaining characters were the more psycho characters. Honestly one of the best things go to the character of Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro). He is just so fun and cool. He also got a cool voice. But like I said…characters are flawed, but fun as hell.

The music in the movie is perfect for the movie it is in. It is a soundtrack about as dark and haunting as the rest of the movie. That is all.

One good thing to mention about this movie is that is for the most part in black and white. There are colors in it, yes. But they are mostly featured if they either are A: Based on a bodily fluid or B: Bright fucking red. The colors that you’ll see the most in this movie are Red, Yellow and Blue. You will see a few other, but that is not the most usual. But the black and white style combined with the every-now-and-then colors make for a nice detail in the movie.

The reception for Sin City back in ’05 was pretty much good all across the board. Hell, even Roger Ebert gave it a 4/4 stars. He thought it was that good. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 78% score. And that’s pretty damn good. It got an 8,2/10 on imdb and it placed #169 on imdb’s top 250 list.

So based on me thinking the story was good, characters entertaining, music nice, black and white goodness and in generally good action scenes, I will give this movie a 9,25/10. This movie is honestly a lot better than I thought I would think. If you get the chance, buy this lovely neo-noir brutality-fest. It is worth you time/money.

I have sinned by reviwing this (Puns again).

Bye now.