Movie Review: Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

Women are great. That is all. ONWARDS TO THE REVIEW!

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “Gunpowder Milkshake”.

15 years after her mother (Lena Headey) disappeared on her, Sam (Karen Gillan) has ended up becoming an assassin, just like her mom. But after a job goes wrong, she finds herself doubting her loyalties when stuck choosing between following the organization that raised her, or helping a little girl (Chloe Coleman) that’s been caught right in the conflict. There are a lot of elements here that we’ve seen in various other action/thrillers before, but I feel like “Gunpowder Milkshake” puts enough of a unique spin on them to not just feel like a derivative. But I’m also not gonna sit here and tell you that this is one of the freshest feeling narratives in recent action efforts. It’s a perfectly enjoyable Friday night popcorn feature story that serves as a solid enough thread to justify the action scenes. I know it sounds like I’m ragging a bit on it, but I swear I’m not. It’s a decent story with enough charm and flair to make it stand out somewhat in the world of action-revenge-going rogue type movies.

The characters in this are colorful, fun, and overall pretty entertaining. Karen Gillan plays Sam, our main protagonist. She’s a tough assassin with a bit of emotional baggage from events in her past. She’s a pretty interesting character and I really enjoyed following her. And Gillan was really good in the role. And the supporting cast, featuring people like Lena Headey, Chloe Coleman, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, Ralph Ineson, Paul Giamatti, and more, are all really fucking good.

The sore for the movie was composed by Frank Ilfman, and I think he did a good job with it. Ilfman blends a few different styles within his score here, most notably a little bit of synthwave, some typical action orhestration, and a fair bit of Morricone-style western tunes. And it makes for a very fun soundscape that really helps elevate each scene within the movie. There’s also a few licensed songs used throughout, and they work quite well in their respective scenes.

“Gunpowder Milkeshake” was directed and co-written by one Navot Papushado, and I’d say he did a good job with it. His directing has a fair bit of energy to it, and when blended with a lot of stylish lighting and editing, makes for quite the electrifying watch. And this especially comes through in the action scenes, all of which are slick, violent, and a ton of fun. It’s just a stylishly crafted flick.

This movie just came out, so these ratings will likely change after this review comes out (and my lazy ass ain’t editing shit over time). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 64% positive rating. On Metaritic it has a score of 47/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6.5/10.

Even though “Gunpowder Milkshake” doesn’t do anything to reinvent the wheel, it’s still a fiercely entertaining action flick that I can happily recommend. It has a pretty good story, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Gunpowder Milkshake” is an 8.41/10. So I’d definitely say it’s worth watching.

My review of “Gunpowder Milkshake”.

A gunpowder milkshake sounds like a terrible dessert. Sounds like it’d be really gritty and also put you at risk of igniting your entire mouth. Think I’ll stick to regular milkshakes, thank you.

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: Ratchet & Clank (2016)

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Video game movies… they don’t really have the best of track records. So I am always curious but also cautious when a new one is announced. Especially when it’s based on a franchise that I am a fan of… like this one.

Ladies and gents… “Ratchet & Clank”.

Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) is a Lombax with huge aspirations. Then one day when he meets a little robot he calls Clank (David Kaye) he might be able to fulfill them as they have to team up to join the galactic rangers and stop the evil chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti). The formula is so standard that it should be impossible to fuck up… but they kind of did it. The plot in itself isn’t bad, it’s relatively harmless. Problem is that the pacing of it is pretty bad. I kept looking at my watch throughout the entirety. So it was basically boring… something that “Ratchet & Clank” shouldn’t be.

The characters in this movie aren’t bad. The titular heroes are still really good and pretty entertaining. And I am so glad that the filmmakers decided to get James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye to come back and voice them instead of some random celebrities. Seriously, hearing them as these characters once again makes me happy. I also loved hearing Jim Ward back as Captain Qwark, and I was actually happy to also hear Armin Shimerman back as Dr. Nefarious even though he wasn’t in the OG game. As for any other actors in the movie… they did fine. Paul Giamatti was really good as Chairman Drek, though I did miss the magnificent voice of Kevin Michael Richardson. It was also interesting hearing people like Rosario Dawson, John Goodman, and Sylvester Stallone in the supporting cast. Though their characters were kind of bland and not very interesting.

The score for the movie was composed by Evan Wise and Jingle Punks(?) and it was really bland and not exactly memorable. The “Ratchet & Clank” games have always had great and memorable pieces of music, so the fact that this score was so generic is really disappointing.

Since this is an animated feature, let’s talk about the animation… yeah, it’s pretty good. It looks like a “Ratchet & Clank” game, minus the fun gameplay. Sure, there are certain thigns that don’t look too great, but for the most part the animation looks good. And the action scenes are pretty well done. Seeing some very “Ratchet & Clank”-esque weapons be used in the movie was really fun, though I feel like there wasn’t enough of that stuff. Speaking of “Ratchet & Clank”-esque things, the games have always had a good dose of comedy thrown in there… most of it prety hilarious. However, I didn’t think this movie was hilarious. There were parts where I chuckled at certain things, but there was never any real laughter. Some of the things I chuckled at included a few movie references that I thought were kind of fun. But most of the jokes in the movie fell flatter than a pancake that’s been run over by a steamroller.

This movie has not been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 16% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 29/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,7/10.

“Ratchet & Clank” was one of those video game movies that actually had some potential, but it somehow kind of failed. First the positives: The story itself was okay, the main characters were fun, the voice acting was really good, the animation was good, and there were some decently fun jokes/references. As for negatives: The pacing was bad, a good amount of the characters were bland, the music wasn’t very good, and a lot of the jokes were pretty bad. Time for my final score. *sniffles*. My final score for “Ratchet & Clank” is a 4,98/10. So I’d suggest you skip it. *sniffles*.
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My review of “Ratchet & Clank” is now completed.

Shit… well, the video game tie-in is at least supposed to be really good.

Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton (2015)

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Straight outta Compton, crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube
From the gang called
I’m not black enough to say this word With Attitudes.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Straight Outta Compton”.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

So this is a movie about gangsta rap group N.W.A that emerged in the late 80’s. The group consisted of Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jaosn Mitchell), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge). And this movie is basically how they started out easily in Compton, California and then after having met producer Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) how they rose to superstardom. And then it follows what happened when some complications rose among the group. And I have to say that I found the development of the story extremely interesting. The basics of it is a “rags-to-riches” story, but it adds a lot of good drama and even a bit of tension to it all to make it surprisingly unique in it’s execution. I was heavily invested the entire time and I never felt like it dragged at any point which feels weird since the movie is two and a half hours long.

The people you see in this movie are all a bunch of interesting individuals. What I didn’t mention earlier is that while the movie is about NWA, it more or less follows Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre more than the other two. And I guess that might come from the fact that Cube and Dre are producers on this film together with Eazy-E’s widow. Anywho… the acting in this movie was good. You know what’s kind of weird in that sense? Ice Cube is played by Ice Cube’s son. Doing a movie like that would feel like a dumb idea A.K.A. tooting your own horn, but here it really worked. O’Shea Jackson Jr. was great as his dad… that just feels so weird to say. Every other actor was great as well in their roles. I don’t wanna say that every individual because then we’d be here all fuckin’ week… yeah.

I think it goes without saying that if you absolutely hate hip hop/rap, you will not be too happy with the soundtrack for this movie. But would once expect a different kind of soundtrack for a movie like this? Not really. However I have to say that I was a little surprised to find out that there was an original score in this movie as well. And I also have to say that it was really good. It was tense, dramatic and just great. Good job with the score, Joseph Trapanese!

This movie was directed by F. Gary Gray and I am impressed, this is a very well directed movie with lots of great shots and little touches to it. And I think that really helps with the pacing of the movie that I mentioned earlier. Ya know, the part where I mentioned that this movie moves at a pretty quick pace for it’s long(ish) runtime. I also wanna mention that if you hate cursing, nudity, violence, drug use and other not too decent things then maybe you wanna keep away from this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar (Fuckin’ really?) in the category of Best Original Screenplay. 

“Straight Outta Compton” is an interesting movie about the lifetime of a legendary hip hop group. It has a great story, great acting, a great soundtrack and great directing. Time for my final score. Yo. My final score for “Straight Outta Compton” is a 9,87/10. IT most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Straight Outta Compton” is now completed.

Damn, that shit was dope!

 

 

Movie Review: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

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War. Dirty, brutal, terrible… the is nothing good about it. Of course we have the PMC’s (Private Military Corporations) out there that disagree with me on that, but that is only because war is their only income. Okay, weapon manufacturers will make a few bucks from it as well… but that is not the point. My point is that war is not something that should EVER be glorified. With that said, here is evidence of that.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Saving Private Ryan”.

“Saving Private Ryan” is about a squad of soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) who after getting through the brutality of Omaha beach get sent further into France to find paratrooper Private James Ryan (Matt Damon). Which sounds weird considering Ryan isn’t even part of their squad, but the order came from higher-ups for propaganda purposes. And while that isn’t overly clear in the movie, it is still there… to raise morale (Greedy fucking American military). But even though the basic plot is simple, it is still a thoughtful, brutal and well-written plot that works in every aspect. It is all portrayed in a way where you believe it and just want to see how it unfolds. In otehr words… it is pretty great.

This movie is just full of acting talent everywhere. You can’t go ten minutes without saying “Hey, it’s *insert actor here*!”. But let’s just go on the most important ones. Tom Hanks (as per usual) is great in this movie. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he is a great dramatic actor (Sidenote: Don’t believe me? Go watch “Philadelphia” and then come back). Next up (and the final one I am going to mention) is the character of Corporal Upham (Jeremy Davies). Now I hear your collective gasps and I will explain. Yes, Private Ryan is in the title, but he doesn’t show up until the third act of the movie. Instead I will focus on another (probably) young character who got a good amount of focus. Basically Upham is this young guy who have never really killed anyone before and Tom Hanks takes him under his wing(ish). Now I already liked Jeremy Davies as an actor after seeing him in shows like “Justified” and “Constantine”, but I didn’t know he was THIS GREAT as an actor. His character is pretty much a coward through the entire movie and he plays it fantastically. Hell, he plays the character well at all times. And I can mention that all actors in the movie were great. All of them.

The score was done by none other than John Williams. And as you probably know, he is one of the best composers of all time. He has made iconic scores, he has made emotional scores, he is just amazing. And he shows it here as well. Having emotional music when there needs to be emotional music and really intense battle music when there needs to be intense battle music. In other words… hell yeah, John Williams!

It is interesting how this movie was shot. I am not saying it does something incredibly unique like “Birdman”, but it is still a curious case. Spielberg is a director who is known for having very steady direction and camera work in his movies (Sidenote: Don’t believe me? Go watch “Jurassic Park” and “E.T.” and then come back). But in this movie he went for a more handheld style. No, it’s not the same as shaky-cam. I am not explaining the differences here, that is for another time. Anyhow, like I said, “Saving Private Ryan” is a rare example of Steven Spielberg going for a more handheld style. And I like it. It gives the movie a more gritty and realistic style, you feel like a fly on an exploding wall. And to add to that we have some of, if not the most brutal and shocking action scenes of all time. Limbs flying off, heads exploding… this isn’t traditional Spielberg. And while the brutality will be too much for some people to stomach, I feel like it just added to the movie and is part of why it is so great.

This movie is one of the most critically well-received movies ever(ish). On Rotten Tomatoes the movie has a 93% positive rating and is certified “Fresh”. On Metacritic it has the incredible score of 90/100. Roger Ebert also loved it, giving it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,6/10 and is ranked #33 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Director, Best cinematography, Best sound, Best sound effects editing and Best Film editing. It was also nominated for an additional 6 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), Best Original Screenplay, Best set decoration, Best makeup and Best original dramatic score. 

“Saving Private Ryan” is a brutal, gritty, thoughtful, dark movie filled with terrific performances, a terrific score, great direction/camera work, excellent action scenes and a beautiful ending. Time for my final score. God damn it, Jeff. Where is that son of a bitch? There you are, what took you so l- what the fuck happened to your leg? Nazis shot it off? Well do you have the envelope? Thank you! My final score for “Saving Private Ryan” is a 9,88/10. It does of course get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Saving Private Ryan” is now reviewed.

So much trouble for one guy? Damn…

Movie Review: The Illusionist (2006)

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Mysteries, they are so…mysterious! I always love a good mystery, often in combination with supernatural elements. If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of TV-shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel” and “Supernatural”. All those contain mystery in one way or another and also have supernatural elements (Especially “Supernatural”). But what happens if you take a supernatural-based mystery but trade a lot of the horror/thriller elements for romance? You get this one movie that was kind of an odd choice for me.

Ladies and gentlemen…silence please…today TheMarckoguy presents; “The Illusionist”!

In the turn of the century (19th – 20th) we follow a young illusionist (roll credits) called Eisenheim (Edward Norton). At a young age (Flashbacks featuring a younger version played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) he was shown some great magic tricks and got very interested by it. So he started practicing and got really, really good. He met a young girl named Sophie (Eleanor Tomlinson) whom he falls in love with and she falls for him. But their love is not accepted considering she comes from a higher social standing (Her guards/family calling him a “peasant”). The young Eisenheim runs away and travels the world to show off his magic tricks. Several years later he comes back to Vienna (forgot to mention it was set in Vienna…sorry) to have a show. In this show the crown prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) is attending…and so is a now grown up Sophie (Now played by Jessica Biel). She and Eisenheim meets eachother again afterwards and begin a little bit of a secret romance. But that is not all of the plot, a lot of it also involves Eisenheim’s shows and inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) trying to figure out how his tricks work. And that is the story in a nutshell I suppose. To be honest I really liked it. I am not one to choose a romantic movie first-hand since they are for the most part not my cup of tea. But this storyline intrigued me (Maybe because of Edward Norton being in it, I don’t know). But it might be because of the magic-based twist this movie got. Or maybe it is because of the next segment…

The characters…sure, they are not always the most likeable, but they are portrayed so well by their respective actors that I don’t mind. I was especially impressed with Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell…DAMN THEY CAN ACT! I really liked their performances, and that is one of the highlights of this movie. And of course we have to give a few points to Edward Norton for being…Edward Norton, really. He is always good (He just acts in bad movies sometimes). But everyone on the acting side did a great job. Maybe Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a bit…not too good but remember, this is one of his earlier movies.

The music was FANTASTIC! The score by Philip Glass was just perfect. It not only works with the time period, but also works for the different situations in this movie. It is just beautiful and I think you should listen to it. NOW!

This movie looks beautiful! It is shot in such a way that I just love looking at it. Not only based on the lighting, but in general, the camera work is excellent! So I am not surprised that it was Oscar Nominated for best Cinematography.

This movie had really good reception. On Rotten Tomaotes it not only has a 74% positive rating, but also a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has 68/100. Roger Ebert gave this a 3,5/4 star rating (couldn’t find a good quote). 7,6/10 is the score on imdb.com.

I have said my opinions on this movie and I am now gonna amaze you with my magic trick of conjuring up a score! Yes, there it is. It is a 9,59/10 which tells me you should go buy it now. And it also tells me it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”. 49920178

“The Illusionist” is now reviewed.

If life is an illusion, then what the hell are hallucinations?