For some reason, people like to hate on Michael Bay. However I’ve enjoyed his movies, the ones I have seen – and consider movies like The Rock and Transformers classics. This latest is about a guy trying to get money for his wife’s operation who turns to his brother, and gets pulled into doing a bank robbery.
One of my favourites, Jake Gyllenhaal stars here as the career criminal brother who talks his brother into aiding him steal millions. Of course things don’t go to plan. This is every bit a Michael Bay movie, stylish and packed with action, explosions and a sun-drenched Los Angeles. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who I didn’t recognise is very good as the other brother just trying to do the right thing, and Eiza González as a straight-talking paramedic also proves decent. Gyllenhaal of course steals it though and is manically charismatic throughout.
This felt like Speed, being mostly a never ending chase sequence and is both exciting and rather intense. The action decent and well executed. The movie movie is let down slightly by a ton of overly stylish camera work, using I’m guessing drones to capture even the most mundane of shots. It gets a bit much. It also felt too long, due mainly to the intensity. Overall though this was good fun and had enough character and energy to make this worthy of your time.
I can’t say the prospect of a third Bad Boys movie filled me with excitement. I’d lost interest in Will Smith as an actor a while back, and who had seen much of Martin Lawrence? Also it felt like a concept that was relegated to the past. However on seeing the positive buzz surrounding this I thought I’d give it a go. Smith and Lawrence return as the streetwise Miami detectives who following the escape of a dangerous Mexican cartel woman from prison, learn of a hit list targeting various cops and officials, including Smith’s Mike Lowrey.
Initially some of the dialogue and humour, that focuses on growing older and family commitments, felt a bit forced … but once the narrative hit its stride this observational humour began to gel better. The focus like previous movies, on Smith and Lawrence’s buddy chemistry was again the star and even 17 years later they still work great together. Smith proves heroic, reckless and layered rekindling my liking of the actor all over again. Also Lawrence proves at times hilarious with some perfectly timed one-liners – and that motorbike side car sequence is just gold.
Although series director Michael Bay isn’t behind the camera this time (but appears in a brief cameo) the visuals are stylish and the action particularly slick and visceral making this equal parts funny and exciting whilst not shying away from the violence. It feels very much like the older movies but brings it up to date with some genuine emotion and pathos amidst the pyrotechnics. Check it out.
I remember being quite heavily into these characters when I was a kid. I especially liked the comics and the animated TV series. However I don’t recall being that fussed by the movie and don’t even think I saw them all (were there three in total?). Yet a friend recently recommended this reboot and so I thought I’d give it a go.
Transformers’ Megan Fox plays plucky reporter April O’Neil who is hungry for a story that will further her career. One night she stumbles upon the latest criminal activities of The Foot Clan just as they are stopped in their tracks by a mysterious vigilante. Thinking this may be her chance April decides to track down the vigilante for herself in hopes of impressing her boss Whoopie Goldberg.
Coming from Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes this feels and looks very much like Transformers, and that’s good or bad depending on your liking of that franchise (think garish high contrast cinematography and lots of things going boom). Personally I loved the first one and this origin tale is perfectly entertaining and packed with well executed action and heaps of style. The Turtles themselves are brilliantly realised, full of personality and although entirely CGI, it’s good CGI so that’s ok. Fox also proves a little bit more than just eye candy even if her comedy sidekick / potential love interest pervs over her more than is strictly necessary. Alas, the movie’s villains are very basic and not really all that interesting or particularly explored – they’re just evil and power hungry and their big plan is nothing even remotely new. It’s also very predictable, in way too much of a rush to get to it’s conclusion and at times rather silly.
I enjoyed myself however and it’s difficult to get too bogged down with it’s cliches or redundant plotting when it all looks good and has enough one liners, site gags and quality action (with great use of slow-mo) to leave your brain happily on auto-pilot.
Here’s the latest trailer for the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street. At first I hated the idea of Hollywood big-wigs remaking one of the finest horror movies ever made. Nothing is sacred, but then again, let’s look at the Elm Street movies now, and they all look a bit silly and dodgy. So maybe it’s time to bring back that dirty sweater and burned faced to cinema screens, and the casting of Watchmen’s Jackie Early Haley is brilliant … hopefully.
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