Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Keanu fucking Reeves. Started out promisingly in comedies, dramas, and various action flicks. Then around 2008 he kind of dropped off the mainstream map after a few… less than critically well received movies. Then in 2014 he starred in “John Wick”, which gave his career the adrenaline boost it needed. And now he seems to be back on top. And I say, good for him. So let’s talk about his latest flick. Oh, and spoilers for the end of “John Wick: Chapter 2”, because that ties into this… sorry.

Ladies and gentlemen… “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”.

After killing a member of the High Table, the ever tenacious John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is rendered excommunicado, with a 14 million dollar bounty on his head, and must fight for survival as he encounters trouble at every corner. So now we have our constantly moving action story. From a storytelling perspective, these movies aren’t what you’d call “high art”. But I don’t need that. It’s just our hero being relentlessly pursued in an interesting, very comic book-esque world. And that makes for a fun bit of garnish in-between all the shooty-bang-bangs and fisticuffs. The story is present enough that it adds something to the experience, but not so up its own ass that it distracts from everything else. It’s fun.

The characters in this are colorful and pretty interesting. Just like I mentioned with the plot, they feel very much like they’re ripped right out of a comic book. Keanu Reeves of course returns as title character John Wick. A man who lost everything, then is given a new chance, and then shit hits the fan again. He’s endured a lot, and I find him to be a strong and engaging action protagonist that I care about a fair bit. He even gets some decent development here too. And Reeves is really good in the role. And the supporting cast, which includes people like Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, and many more, is pretty fucking good.

As with the previous two movies, the score for “Parabellum” was composed by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard. And like the previous two movies, this score is awesome. It once again takes the approach of mixing very electronic stuff with some sick rock beats and occasional guitar screeching to make a sound that is distinctly “John Wick”. And it’s just as tense, exciting, badass, and pleasing to my ears as the last two times.

Chad Stahelski returned to direct this third entry in the franchise he helped create. And dude’s direction just gets better with each iteration. A clear focus, wonderful long takes, and a great sense of energy. The cinematography by Dan Laustsen is absolutely breathtaking, with some beautiful use of colors. And let’s talk about the thing we all watch these movies for: The action. Fuck me, it is amazing. It’s real, it’s visceral, it’s fun, it’s violent, it’s clear… it just comes together beautifully. You can see everything that happens, which also let’s you see just how much work has gone into the fucking choreography. There are also some rather creative kills throughout the movie too, and they add even more to it. It’s very well crafted, this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is one of the most impressive action movies of this decade, and I absolutely loved it. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is now completed.

You’d think the people constantly coming after John would take a hint that you don’t fuck with the Baba Yaga.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Before we get into the review itself, I have to go into a small rant. After the surprising awesomeness that was “John Wick”, I of course got excited as all hell for the sequel, it was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. And for the longest time it looked like I would get to see it in the cinema. Then something happened. They took it away from the cinema’s webpage, and they wouldn’t air it. Why? Because the first one “Didn’t make enough money”. What a load of fucking horseshit. Why take away an opportunity to make money, you dumb fucks. Then they chose to show it in theaters… but not in my nearest, which again is fucking horseshit. I was fucking furious when I found out about this shit, and I still kind of am. “Didn’t make enough money”… what kind of fucking numbers were you looking for, you dumb fucks? Not every movie makes as much as fucking “Avengers”. Fuckers. Sorry about that, guys, had to get that shit off my chest before I did anything else. Sometimes assholes need verbal spankings. Now, onto the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “John Wick: Chapter 2”.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has to once again come out of retirement, but this time it’s to pay off a debt. And soon he finds himself going on a very dangerous path. And while the plot to “John Wick: Chapter 2” lacks the emotional core of the first movie, it makes up for it by further exploring this assassin underground that was hinted towards in the first movie. And while this plot isn’t exactly award worthy, it still works perfectly for this movie and I never found myself disliking it. I enjoy seeing this underworld, I want to know more about it, and I wanna see John Wick try to survive in this world. So yeah, this is a good plot.

The characters here range from “yeah, that one is pretty interesting” to “meh”. I didn’t exactly think any of them felt out of place, but almost none of them truly interested me. Keanu “Whoa” Reeves returns as John Wick, the semi-retired hitman with a mysterious past. While not the deepest of heroes, you can still relate to him on some level due to the tragic parts that we know of his past. And he’s a gentlemanly badass that will fucking destroy you if you get in his way. And Keanu Reeves is great in the role. Riccardo Scamarcio plays Santino D’Antonio, the antagonist of the movie. He’s a bit a cowardly asshole. And while not the best villain in the world, he works fine for this movie I guess. And Scamarcio gives a good performance. Ian McShane returns as Winston, the owner of the hotel from the first (and this) movie. Here he gets a somewhat meatier role, and in it he is quite entertaining (because that’s how McShane works). And McShane is great in the role. Common plays Cassian a bodyguard/hitman that John seems to have a bit of a past with. He’s cool, charming, and badass. And Common is great in the role. And the role is filled with even more great supporting roles from people like Ruby Rose, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, John Leguizamo, and more. It’s a well acted movie.

The score was composed by Tyler Bates & Joel J. Richard and it’s just awesome. Guitars, heavy beats, some droning stuff… it’s really all just perfect. At times it almost even reminds me of a western, with some guitar licks that could fit right in those types of movies. And all the music in this complements the movie perfectly, often elevating certain scenes. There even are a couple of tracks done by other artists for the movie that work well in their scenes.

This movie was directed by Chad Stahelski, one of the two who did the first movie. And his directing here is just fucking magnificent. There’s a lot of energy to his directing, which gives the movie and fast and frantic feel, which I think is how John Wick felt in those action scenes. Speaking of which, holy fuck the action here is amazing. No shaky-cam, no CGI, no quick cuts… just excellent work from the stunt team and everyone involved with the action. From vehicles, to fisticuffs, the shooty-bang-bangs, to knives… the action here is absolutely amazing. What this movie somewhat lacks in story and characters, it makes up for in action. Can we also talk about Dan Laustsen’s cinematography? Because it’s stunning. The use of light, darkness, and colors here is magnificent and makes for some amazing eye candy.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 75/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” is a pretty damn awesome action-thriller. It has a good plot, pretty good characters, great performances, great music, and fantastic directing/action/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Whoa*. My final score for “John Wick: Chapter 2” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “John Wick: Chapter 2” is completed.

The amount of “OUCH” in this movie is crazy.

Series Review: Bosch – Season 2 (2016)

A long time ago (October 2015) I reviewed the first season of this show, and I liked it a lot. So naturally I was excited to see a second season… which didn’t air here until this year. And I know that you will mention that I could simply stream it last year on Amazon, but this is a show I watched on TV with my parents, and I didn’t wanna break that for season 2. So I patiently waited and it finally came out here weeks ago. And a day or so ago the season finale aired. So, let’s just get into it and see if this follow-up is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Bosch” season 2.

Detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) is called back into active duty after a six month absence to investigate the murder of a pornographer. And as Harry, with his partner Jerry (Jamie Hector), investigates this case they find that this guy might’ve had ties to the mob. And as the two continue investigating, they find that this case is a lot more complicated than it might’ve seemed at first glance. So now we have our gritty cop drama. And while this season admittedly lacks some of the tense unpredictability of the first, it’s still a well constructed plot filled with twists, turns, engaging drama, and intrigue. In a world filled with cop dramas, “Bosch” and it’s plot stands out.

The characters here are layered, entertaining, and interesting. Titus Welliver returns as Detective Harry Bosch, the eponymous cop with a less than shiny past. He’s not necessarily a “bad” cop, but he is a bit rough around the edges. We get to see a more vulnerable and emotional side to Harry this season as he learns more about what happened to his mother, and also because of some other stuff that I won’t spoil here. But he’s a really interesting character, and Welliver is great in the role. Jamie Hector is back as Jerry Edgar, Bosch’s partner. He’s funny, he’s cool, he’s interesting, and he’s a good counterpoint to Bosch. And Hector is great in the role. Amy Aquino returns as Grace Billets, Bosch’s friend and superior. She’s still the tough yet charming and lovable woman we got to know in season 1. And Aquino is great in the role. Lance Reddick returns as Irvin Irving (actual name), the highly ranked police that Bosch often works for/with. And without saying too much, he goes through a pretty interesting and even emotional arc this season that made me care a bit more for him. And Reddick is great in the role. Then we have Sarah Clarke and Madison Lintz returning as Bosch’s ex-wife and daughter respectively. And they add some interesting dramatic weight to the season that I won’t go into. But both actresses do a really good job here. Now for newer people worth talking about. We get Jeri Ryan as the widow of the dead pornographer. And she’s an interesting character that gets to go through some stuff this season. And Ryan is great in the role. Then we have Brent Sexton as a security guard that Bosch gets to know through the season, and he gets some interesting things to do here. And Sexton is great in the role. Then in a couple more supporting roles throughout we get actors like Robbie Jones, James Ransone, Matthew Lillard, John Marshall Jones, and more… all doing a great fucking job.

Jesse Voccia returned to do the score for this season, and he once again did a great job. The score is tense, exciting, emotional, and just overall works very well for the show in general, at a lot of times elevating certain scenes. Then there are some licensed tracks used throughout and they work pretty well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, and is based on Connelly’s book series about Bosch. And it was written/directed by a whole bunch of people. And I think they did a great job. This world/show feels fully realized, and they make it feel interesting. The directing here is great, often adding tension and/or energy to a lot of scenes, making sure it never feels dull. The action scenes in this show too are pretty exciting. They don’t do anything unique, but they’re done well enough and they have enough tension so that you can’t help but sit and enjoy them. The first season’s sly and dark sense of humor is back, and it’s just as enjoyable.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10.

Season 2 of “Bosch” is a great follow-up to the great first season. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Bosch” season 2 is a 9,82/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Bosch” season 2 is now completed.

As far as modern cop shows go, “Bosch” is one of the best.

We now have a trailer for “John Wick: Chapter 2”

I know, I know, two trailer posts in such rapid succession, but I’m sorry. New York Comic Con is at large and seems to be putting out some pretty cool stuff for us folks who couldn’t attend. So let’s talk about this.

So we now have a trailer for “John Wick: Chapter 2”, a sequel to the surprisingly awesome 2014 action movie “John Wick”. Once again we have Keanu Reeves in a fancy suit, kicking some ass. We see practical stunts and badass shooty-bang-bang stuff and Laurence Fishburne is petting a pigeon for some reason. Long story short, this looks awesome and I can’t wait to see it. I mean, the first movie was such a surprise. It had great action, a surprisingly engaging story, cool cinematography, and the best performance that I have ever seen from Keanu Reeves. And this movie is done by pretty much the same crew, with a few added cast members. So yeah, this looks great and I highly anticipating it! “John Wick: Chapter 2” is set to be released in February of 2017.

So what are you thoughts on this? Are you looking forward to “John Wick: Chapter 2”? And what do you think of the first movie? Leave any and all answers in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Series Review: Bosch – Season 1 (2015)

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With VOD (Video on Demand) becoming as big as it is right now, it’s not that surprising that those types of platforms would start putting out their own content. The supreme ruler at this time when it comes to VOD original content is Netflix with it’s god knows how many subscribers and the amount of shit they have put out. But then we see Amazon starting to put out a lot of stuff in their name. I mean, later this month we will get their new show “The Man in The High Castle” based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. Anyway, let’s have a look at one of Amazon’s shows.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to… “Bosch”.

“Bosch” is based on a series of books by Michael Connelly and is about LAPD detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver). We follow Harry as he tries to solve the murder of a 13 year old boy while at the same time standing trial for murdering a serial killer. And while this sounds like any ol’ crime novel/show, I gotta say that I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the plot of “Bosch”. Not only is it surprisingly enjoyable, but it even manages to have some good twists in the show combined with some genuinely good suspenseful moments. There were even one or two moments that made me go “Oh shit” which I don’t do too often. So good on you “Bosch”, your plot is good.

What I like about the character of the show is that they are consistently entertaining, thanks to a really sharp script and some damn fine performances. Titus Welliver fucking nails it as Harry. Now to be fair, I have not read any of the books so I can’t really compare the characters in the show and say if that’s how I expected them to look/be like. But I can at least say that the actors are really good. The only other character I want to mention is the sort of main villain of 99% of the season, Raynard Waits (Jason Gedrick). I have to say that he was a really good villain, being a perfect challenge for our hero and his colleagues. Not only that, but he is also one of the creepiest bastards I have ever witnessed on television. Great job, Gedrick, you fucking nailed it! Everybody nailed it, even the writers!

The score for the show was composed by Jesse Voccia and I do think he did a great job with it. Have I heard better thriller soundtracks? Yes, of course I have, but I do still think this one was really good. It was suspenseful, it was well-composed and it overall fit the show splendidly. I also like the mix of licensed tracks they had in the show. We mostly get jazz because that is what the character of Harry Bosch seems to enjoy listening to. But there is also some rock, blues and other genres. And the song “Can’t Let Go” by Caught a Ghost is pretty great too.

This show in my opinion got some pretty great cinematography. It gives it a pretty gritty and almsot real feeling that makes it really fun to watch. And each episode is splendidly directed. And thew occasional action scenes in the show I think are pretty good too. And of course I have to talk about the opening credits… they are fucking amazing, I absolutely love them. Check them out… HERE!

“Bosch” has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a 72% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. And on imdb.com the show has a score of 8,3/10.

“Bosch” is a crime show with a surprisingly good plot, great characters & acting, a great soundtrack, terrific directing and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Cough cough*. My final score for season 1 of “Bosch” is a 9,85/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of season 1 of “Bosch” is completed.

Golf is not a great sport. If you can smoke and drink while doing it, it’s not a sport.

Movie Review: The Guest (2014)

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Thriller is one of those genres of movies that I absolutely love. Sure, I can like any movie from any genre really if the movie is good in itself, but if you think overall genres then thriller is one of my personal favorites. It keeps me on edge the entire time without falling over to the horror genre. I am not a big horror fan, but I have respect for those who are. But back to thrillers… they are (often) great. You guys may remember that I have (several times) mentioned how “Drive” is one of my favorite movies of all time. That is what I would call a stylish thriller. So then I started hearing some buzz about a new movie called “The Guest” which apparently was a stylish thriller. So my interest was at its highest peak. So finally I got the chance to check it out… and give you guys my thoughts on it!

Sirs and ma’ams… “The Guest”.

The Peterson family lives a quiet little life. Then one day a man named David (Dan Stevens) knocks on their door and says he served in the military with their son who died in action. So they invite him in to talk about it and they let him stay there for a while. And he seems like he is a great person by helping out at their home and going to the son Luke’s (Brendan Meyer) to get a little involved with the bullies. He also goes with the daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) to a party to get a little integrated with her friends. But soon they start noticing there is something odd about him. And from that point on we got one of the most interesting stories from a movie within recent years. Not only is the premise pretty cool, but how the story develops throughout is just awesome. I don’t really know what more to say about the story without giving away spoilers. It’s great.

The characters are all really interesting in one way or another. All characters feel very human and realistic and never feels off, all of them except one… David. He is probably one of the most interesting and unique characters in recent years. He seems like this all round decent guy who you just want to become best friends with and then you see some of the things that happen in this movie and you might want to back off. And all of it is portrayed so damn well by Dan Stevens. I have not seen him in anything else and was therefore happily surprised with how great his performance was. He had a lot of range and you could notice he really enjoyed playing this character. To be honest I couldn’t find any bad performance in this movie at all. But that shouldn’t be too surprising really hen you have supporting actors like Leland Orser, Joel David Moore and Lance Reddick. Overall the character and performances were great.

Remember when I mentioned “Drive” before? Well that wasn’t just to mention a great movie… it had a small purpose. And what I mean by that is that the soundtrack to “The Guest” is very similar to the one in “Drive”. Very synth-y and techno-y. And while I’m not a big fan of music with that type of sound I really liked the music they used in the movie. Mostly because it fit the stylish and dark tone of the movie but also because it reminds me of “Drive” in the style and feeling of it… and I find that cool. I liked the music in the movie and it fit perfectly.

This movie is incredibly well-directed. It looks great and is very stylish in how it is directed. The action in the movie is also really well done. For one you can actually see it and it isn’t obstructed by shaky-cam. It is also simple yet really intense. There are also quite a few moments in the movie that are supenseful beyond belief. I mean, without spoiling anything, I sat and watched the third act of this movie and really felt on edge. The hair on my arm was standing up and I got goosebumps, that is how suspenseful it was. The sound design was also pretty cool. There is a thing they did where the music sounded like it was added in editing but was always there because of a character listening to it. Here is an example: There is a scene where Maika Monroe has headphones on, but you hear the music as it was edited in, but when she takes the headphones off you heard the music vaguely coming from the headphones. I just thought that was a pretty cool detail.

Did people receive this movie well? Hell yeah they did! It has a 91% postitive rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And finally on imdb.com it has 6.8/10.

“The Guest” got a great story, a great lead performance by Dan Stevens with some great supporting actors, a cool soundtrack, great direction, great action and it was one of the most suspenseful movies in recent years. So now I will hand out my final score. And my final score for “The Guest” is a 9,84/10. And that of course means it gets the one and only… “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “The Guest” is now finished.

Be careful who you let in…