Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Well this review was a long time coming. If you’ve followed my blog for an extended amount of time, you’re probably aware that I spent a decent chunk of 2015 reviewing every “Fast & Furious” movie leading up to the seventh installment. Then later that year I did that one. So this franchise has become a bit of a staple for this blog. So let’s talk about the eighth installment.

Family… “The Fate of the Furious”.

After our beloved gang pulls another job for the government, their leader Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) betrays them and starts working for a shady hacker/terrorist known as Cipher (Charlize Theron). So we follow the crew as they do everything in their power to stop Cipher and get Dom back. Not gonna lie, I found myself surprisingly engaged by the narrative here. Maybe I’m biased because I’ve grown attached to this world and these characters, but I felt like there was a lot of effort put into making the story here as dramatically engaging as possible without sacrificing the fast and furious thrills of the franchise. This does bring down the pace ever so slightly, but never to the point of ruining the movie. It’s still generally a fast-paced action fest, and I do appreciate some of the slower moments as they add a surprising amount of nuance and genuinely interesting conflict to the story. So yeah, not perfect, but still very good.

The characters in this are just as colorful, charming, and entertaining as ever, but now also have added character conflict due to the aforementioned part of Dom going bad. Speaking of which, let’s start with Dom, once again played by mumblegrumble master Vin Diesel. Dom is usually the same ol’ guy in every movie, so it’s nice to see him get a little extra character development for a change. And I must say, this is the best I’ve seen Diesel in this franchise, the dude shows that he can do more than just his signature mumblegrumble. Charlize Theron as newcomer villain Cipher is really good in that role, playing her with a generally quiet menace right out of a 90s movie (which I love). Next we have Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stathamas Hobbs and Shaw, both returning characters, mortal enemies forced to work together to stop Cipher. Their banter here is amazing, their chemistry is amazing, they are amazing. Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Kurt Russell all return in their roles, and they are all very good in their roles. And in a few other supporting roles we have Scott Eastwood, Patrick St. Esprit, Kristofer Hivju, and Celestino Cornielle. So overall it’s quite a well rounded cast.

The score for the movie was composed by franchise mainstay (bar the sixth one) Brian Tyler. And it’s another good score. Big bold brass and the occasional soft string and piano. It’s not exactly the most original or unpredictable score, but it serves the movie just fine. There’s also a handful of licensed songs used throughout, all hip hop, all fitting really well in their scenes. So yeah, the movie has good music.

“The Fate of the Furious” was directed by F. Gary Gray, and I think he did a good job with that. He shows with his direction that he knows how to make actions feel like they have weight. So when things happen, they feel like they happen and really hurt, even when it’s clearly done mainly in a computer. Which brings us to the action scenes, which are the dumbest, silliest, most insane set pieces this franchise has seen so far… and I love all of them. I love heavy dramas, I love being intellectually challenged… but sometimes I just need something ridiculously stupid to put a big smile on my face. And the action in this movie did just that. The action in this is an absolute blast to watch.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 56/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6.7/10.

“The Fate of the Furious” is an absolutely bonkers action movie with a lot of heart, and while that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I absolutely loved it. It has a really good story, really good characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Fate of the Furious” is a 9,56/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Fate of the Furious” is now completed.

Sometimes you just need something stupid.

Movie Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

I guess now was a good a time as any to watch this movie and review it as I didn’t last year when it came out. And I mean, I could technically use this as a sort of lead-up to “Justice League” later this month. Fuck it, moving onto the review.

Ladies and gents, what are we, some kind of… “Suicide Squad”.

When a supernatural entity threatens to wipe a lot of stuff out, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides to put together a team of criminals to try to stop the evil shit. So now we have our action movie plot. So is it any good? Difficult to give a hard answer. On the one hand, unlike “BvS”, it doesn’t have a thousand plot threads that get all tangled up, making it feel a bit more streamlined. And there are some decent ideas throughout the plot, but the overall execution feels a bit weak. I was interested enough to keep watching, but I never felt truly invested in the plot in any way. The stakes were high(ish), but it never felt like that. The plot here was… eh.

The characters in this range from interesting to duller than dishwater. Will Smith plays Deadshot, the most accurate marksman in the DC universe. Out of all the characters in this, he’s given the most development, and I found myself actually kind of caring about him. And Will Smith is really good in the role. Margot Robbie plays Harley Quinn, psychiatrist turned crazy person. She’s given some decent development, and she’s pretty enjoyable. And Robbie is really good in the role. Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, the take-no-shit-from-no-one woman who puts together this squad. And like her comic/cartoon counterparts, she’s tougher than tough and kind of badass even if some things involving her in the movie are kinda dumb. But David was great in the role. Then we have Joel Kinnaman as Colonel Rick Flag, the non-criminal member of the squad. And while they try to give him some emotional weight in this, he is quite bland and I didn’t care about him. And Kinnaman is just… fine here. Jared Leto as the god damn Joker… I see the potential in him, there are bright spots in his performance, showing that he could be a good Joker. But his rather brief appearance and less than stellar writing doesn’t exactly help him out. But overall I guess he’s fine… could’a cut him out of the movie. Jay Hernandez (who should return to “The Expanse”, please and thank you) plays Diablo, a troubled man with fire powers. He is given a decent emotional core and I thought his character was pretty interesting. And Hernandez was good in the role. Then we have Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. One of my least favorite actors as a character I have a hard time taking seriously. And somehow, against all odds, I actually enjoyed his appearance in this movie. He was a less serious character than some of the others, and I thought he was entertaining. So yeah, Courtney is surprisingly good in this (who’da thought?). Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays Killer Croc, and he gets sidelined for most of the movie… he does almost nothing here. And he’s… meh in the role, mainly due to writing/sidelining. Cara Delevingne plays Enchantress, the villain of the movie (there, I said it). She is clearly supposed to be a somewhat complex and interesting villain, but she just comes off as a dancing idiot. And Delevingne is… okay in the role. Then we have Karen Fukuhara as Katana, she’s got my back, I would advice not getting killed by her, her sword traps the souls of it’s victims. That is an actual exposition dump from this movie. And while she sounds kind of badass, she’s sidelined here. Does jack fucking shit in the grand scheme of things. So I can’t exactly comment on Fukuhara’s performance here other than saying that I think she was fine… I guess. Also, this movie waste’s a couple good actors. David Harbour, Common, Scott Eastwood, Kenneth Choi… wasted. But overall the movie is pretty well acted.

The score for the movie was composed by Steven Price and it was fine. Typical orchestral stuff with some mild electronic sounds thrown in every now and then. Not bad, not great… good. Worked decently well in some scenes, didn’t do much for others. They also used a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout the movie, from The Animals to Skrillex. Some tracks were used pretty well throughout, actually kind of fitting the scene. Other times it feels like they chose some random tracks to throw in… strangely enough it is the tracks pertaining to my music tastes that mainly felt out of place. So overall this movie has some good music.

This movie was written and directed by David Ayer, but edited by Warner Bros. I say this because I can tell that David Ayer directed a tight(ish) and interesting action movie, and then some WB people came in and edited a lot of it. Parts feel like they’ve been cut to pieces, missing key parts. And then during certain scenes there are these weird edits thrown in that the execs probably thought were “cool”, but just came off as obnoxious and annoying. As for the action in this action movie, it’s not bad… mostly. The battle(s) in the streets aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re still pretty entertaining. The action in dark, close quarters offices were… okay, I guess. The final encounter… not very good, could barely see what was going on. So the action here ranges from good to… shit. As for humor (since they wanted to attempt that here), it is okay. Some jokes land, some don’t. The CGI in this movie is also like that. Some of it looks awesome, and some wasn’t good.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 25% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10. The movie won 1 Oscar (wut?) in the category of Best makeup and hair. 

“Suicide Squad” is… fine. It has a meh plot, okay characters, good performances, good music, good(ish) directing, weird editing, and okay humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Suicide Squad” is a 6,22/10. While heavily flawed, I’d say that it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Suicide Squad” is now completed.

Since I’m in the middle, will both sides of the argument hate me now?

“Pacific Rim: Uprising” trailer!

Hello there, ladies and gents. Time for some trailer talk. So let’s do it.

So we recently got our first real trailer for “Pacific Rim: Uprising”, the sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s super badass mech movie from 2013. And in this we follow John Boyega who plays the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first first movie. And there are giant monsters called Kaiju that the good guys have to fight with the help of giant mechs called Jaegers. And we see the return of both Charlie Day and Burn Gorman in this trailer. So what do I think of this trailer? The trailer is pretty straight-forward, but the movie looks like a lot of badass fun. And a bit of Boyega goes a long way. So yeah, I’m pretty excited. “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is set to be released in the first half of 2018. I say first half because the United States will get it in March and we here in Sweden will get it in late May (which is horseshit).

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Pacific Rim: Uprising”? And what did you think of the first movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

We now have a trailer for “Live by Night”

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internet. I am back once again to talk about a trailer. I know, it happens quite a bit nowadays, but that’s just because so many interesting trailers are coming out. So let’s talk about this one.

As the title of this post tells you, we now have a trailer for “Live by Night”, a movie based on the novel of the same name written by Dennis Lehane. Now, before we get into what this movie is about, let me tell you my specific reasons as to why I decided to talk about this one today. First off, it is a pretty cool trailer. And secondly, it’s based on a book that I have read and absolutely love. Also, that book was written by my favorite author, so I’m of course instantly interested. So I guess you could say that this is a pretty personal thing for me. Now, with all that said… what is this about. “Live by Night” is about Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), a man who gets into some shit with mobsters and then himself starts truly becoming one. And that’s as vague as I’m gonna keep it, because the story that plays out is pretty phenomenal… in the book at least. Now, do I think this movie looks good? Yes! Ben Affleck is a great actor and director, so I am glad that he’s the one handling this movie. This looks intense, badass, dramatic, and overall good. I would also say that the cast looks pretty great. Though it is kind of weird to have Scott Eastwood as Danny Coughlin, the older brother of Joe Coughlin who’s played by Ben Affleck, who’s about 14 years older than Eastwood. Oh well, whatever. I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I am really excited about this movie. Ben Affleck did a great job directing “Gone Baby Gone”, which was also based on a Dennis Lehane novel. And he’s become better and better as both a director and an actor, so I don’t think I have much to worry about. “Live by Night” is set for a limited US release in December, and then a wide release in January.

So what are you thoughts? Are you looking forward to Ben Affleck’s “Live by Night”? And are you a fan of the original novel? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

The new “Suicide Squad” trailer is here

Hi there, ladies and gents. As you read in the title of this post, we have got a new trailer for DC’s upcoming movie “Suicide Squad” and it is absolutely bonkers. Let’s talk about it.

Like I said, this trailer is petty fucking crazy. The first thing that everyone has/will pick up on is the fact that the trailer is set to Queen’s legendary song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. And not only is it a great song, but it is also perfectly used in the trailer with a lot of the action being set to the beat of the song. The trailer also perfectly shows off the characters while also blending in a good amount of action and a surprising amount of humor. I always assumed that the movie would have a little bit of humor to it, but I never thought we could get a movie with so much funny shit. The action looks great and I do believe that everyone will be great in their roles… yes even Jared Leto as the Joker, I think he’s gonna nail it. Everything in this trailer looks promising and I am really looking forward to it. “Suicide Squad” comes out in August of this year.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: Gran Torino (2008)

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I love Clint Eastwood. He is a great actor, great director and probably the biggest badass that ever lived. He has made good movies, he has made bad movies and he has made meh movies, but one thing is always consistent with him… he is Clint Fucking Eastwood. So now, let’s review one of his more modern movies.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Gran Torino”.

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is an old and grumpy war veteran who doesn’t want anything to do with anyone. But after a young Hmong guy named Thao (Bee Vang) tries to steal Walt’s 1972 Gran torino (Roll credits) he is taken in by Walt, reluctantly by both of them, to try to redeem himself. And so begins a story of bonding and friendship and a grumpy/racist old man. And I am surprised how well the story was handled. The setup is somewhat familiar, “Old man reluctantly takes in young man but grows to like him”. But it was handled in an interesting way that I liked. I was also suprised how touching the plot actually was, it really did get to me. Not only was the plot entertaining as all hell but it was also really well-told and like I said, touching.

You could say Walt is a terrible person, I won’t blame ya. But he was still an interesting character to follow since he isn’t your typical “old man” protagonist. He was also really entertaining and had a lot of great lines to give. Clint Eastwood gave a great performance as him. Bee Vang (who I’ve never heard of before) was also really good in this movie as this young man. Every actor was in fact great. Also, I did some research and it turns out one of the minor characters in this movie (name of the character is Trey) was played by Clint’s son, Scott… that’s kinda fun.

The soundtrack for this movie has no real original score. The only hint of it is an original song that Clint Eastwood co-wrote… that’s it for original musical material. Most song were licensed tracks used throughout the movie, but that didn’t ruin it at all, au contraire, they worked very well like that. All music worked where it was used.

Seeing as this movie was directed by Eastwood himself, it is of course very well-directed. I don’t think that comes as a surprise though as Eastwood has shown for the past 40-ish years that he is a great director. This movie is very well shot and it never looked bad at all. What I was surprised at however was how legitimately funny it was. And by legitimately I mean that it never felt unintentional in any way, it was all intended and it was also very funny. I guess that is because of the overall great writing of this movie.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has an 8,2/10 and is ranked #142 on the “Top 250” list.

“Gran Torino” is a movie with a familiar yet well-told story, great performances, some good music, great direction and some great writing. It was also surprisingly touching and funny. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Gran Torino” is a 9,85/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Gran Torino” is now done.

Review is completed, now get off my lawn!