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: A History of Violence (2005)

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Dramas…what is there to say about them? They might be awesome, like “Elephant (2003)”. Or they might be ass, like…I don’t know, “Twilight (2008)”, or something. There are a lot of well known dramas out there. But what about one that was well known when it came out…but not really anymore? Today we are taking a look at such a movie.

Ladies and gentlemen…”A History of Violence”.

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is one of those guys that people like. He is a calm, mild-mannered man who owns his very own café. He lives a happy life on the countryside with his wife Edie (Maria Bello), his son Jack (Ashton Holmes) and his daughter Sarah (Heidi Hayes). But one evening when his café is about to close up and two armed robbers/killers (Stephen McHattie & Greg Bryk) invade. So when one of them is distracted, Tom takes act and manages to kill both of them. As the news spread that he had saved the day there, he is seen as a local hero. This of course drives more people to his café and also attracts a mysterious man named Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris). Fogarty thinks Tom is this guy “Joey Cusack”, a gangster who used to work with him. Of course this stirs up some issues which not only affects Tom…but also his family. Now, this story might sound somewhat complex…but you get it pretty fast. It is a story that fits perfectly within the 95 minute length. It is kind of like “Drive (2011)”. It is short, but they manage to get a lot of stuff in there. It is also incredibly well paced.

Characters are just…realistic. Yeah, realistic. I am not saying they are all likeable, just saying they are for the most part reacting to things in a very realistic way. I mean, wouldn’t you get mad and try to save the day if someone held your employees and customers at gunpoint? No? Well fuck you, then.

The music is amazing. Howard Shore knows how to make a near perfect soundtrack. And I am only using near perfect on this considering I liked it a lot…but not THAT much. If there is one soundtrack Howard Shore has made perfect…it is “Lord of The Rings Trilogy (2001 – 2003)”. But in general…this is great. A good amount of brass instruments and strings are used in it. The irony with Howard Shore making this soundtrack is that both he and Viggo Mortensen did things in the “Lord of The Rings Trilogy”. Shore did the score and Mortsensen was the badass semi-protagonist Aragorn.

I was surprised when I learned the truth about this movie. It is based on a graphic novel…yeah. I thought that it might have been based on a regular book…oh well, the more you learn. It is also shot in such a way that to me it looks like it was a “Made For TV” movie. I don’t know why…just feels like that.

“A History of Violence” had universally good reception. Rotten Tomatoes has an 87% postive rating for it and a “Fresh” certification. Metacritic has 81/100 as score for it. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars and said this:

“A History of Violence seems deceptively straightforward, coming from a director with Cronenberg’s quirky complexity. But think again. This is not a movie about plot, but about character.”

imdb.com has 7,5/10 as score for this. It was also nominated for two Oscars. Best Supporting Actor (William Hurt) and Best writing, adapted screeplay (Josh Olson).

I have said some stuff about this little movie here. But now I can see you have your faces pressed against the screen wondering “BUT MARKUS…WHAT IS YOUR SCORE FOR THIS MOVIE!? WE WANNA KNOW!”. Well I was about to get to that, my very curious friends. This movie gets a 9,67/10 and of course…”THE SEAL OF APPROVAL!”. I really liked this movie and think you should buy it. I know availability will maybe not be the easiest thing always…but if you can get your hands on it…DO IT!
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Review of “A History of Violence” is done.

If you piss me off…a history of violence WILL unfold (no it won’t).