• The Hitman's Bodyguard

    The Hitman's Bodyguard

    ★★★

    The Hitmans Bodyguard (2017) - The humor of the film comes from the juxtaposition of attitudes shown by Ryan Reynolds' straight laced bodyguard and Samuel L Jackson's cavalier hitman. The film manages to be tense while also lighthearted. The skills of Samuel L Jackson are superhuman so you never really get the feeling he is in over his head but the rest of the characters are played straight to make up for it. They really let him shine in a very Samuel L Jackson way and that's a good thing.

  • The A-Team

    The A-Team

    ★★

    The A-Team (2010) - I've been having bad luck with these 8-12 year old mindless action movies lately and this one is not really different. I never really watched the A-Team so I don't know how true it is to that series but they just never stick the "why should I give a crap" landing. I'm glad I watched it though because Liam Neeson is in it.

  • The Expendables

    The Expendables

    ★★

    The Expendables (2010) has a lot of actors in it that I usually like but something about the way they interact is incredibly off-putting. The story is very boring so there's a lot of one upping one another instead. The Asian guy is named Yin Yang which is definitely a choice that they made.

  • Machete

    Machete

    ★★

    Machete (2010) - He does kick a lot of ass, but it is very much like the plot was written by a 13 year old boy in whatever year this came out. That style-over-taste sort of vibe worked better in Dark Angel. When a film is non-stop like this, with no time to breathe, the action and over the top violence becomes a little bit tiresome

  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

    ★★

    Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) - Here's where the series really starts to take a nosedive. This film is much less cogent and the path that the plot takes is quite generic. I know they've been hinting at taking down this huge overarching authoritarianism but it feels like it could be any movie with a huge overarching totalitarianism.

  • Das Boot

    Das Boot

    ★★★★½

    Das Boot (1981) - I think this movie is next level good. The atmosphere is thick and there are so many tense moments that even at almost four hours long it doesn't drag or become cumbersome to watch. Every detail seems meticulous and purposeful but at the same time nothing comes across as contrived or unnatural. The set is very small and appropriately claustrophobic. The performances have tons of gravitas, particularly with the disillusioned UBoat captain. He is almost always…

  • Pig

    Pig

    ★★★

    Pig (2021) - spoiler free review: 3/5 stars. If you do watch it make sure you go in as blind as you can. It's a little bit odd so I think having no idea what is going to happen will improve the viewing experience moreso than other films. My main criticism is that they let the viewer piece together a lot more than most movies so sometimes not being entirely sure what was going on was a little bit distracting but once you get used to being left to assume "that's just the way things are", it is a pretty engaging and unique film.

  • Reign of Fire

    Reign of Fire

    ★★★

    Reign of Fire (2002) has some crappy cgi dragons but I think it is a pretty decent post apocalyptic film. It doesn't always make sense (such as the dragons eat ash?) but the performances are pretty good (Matthew McConaughey in particular plays the leader of some army dudes and he goes off the wall a bunch of times), there is a decent amount of traditional tropes where two headstrong heroes clash and eventually learn to relate to each other. There…

  • The Number 23

    The Number 23

    ★½

    The Number 23 (2007) - it's always interesting to see these movies featuring actors in roles that are quite atypical compared to their body of work, and Jim Carrey in particular has had previous success with the quirky aromance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's a little bit hard to take him seriously though, especially for the gravitas required for a psychological thriller like The Number 23. He does voice over reading for much of the movie and for…

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★★

    The Green Knight (2021) has a lot of cool cinematography, some interesting characters and cool special effects but ultimately left me craving a story with a little more substance. All of the shots are great. They mix the nature of the British Isles up with a more symmetrical look at anything resembling humanity, giving the film a nice contrast between the green and the grey which really gives you this feeling of a man stepping out of his comfort zone…

  • Independence Day

    Independence Day

    ★★★

    Independence Day (1996) is very close to being one of the great summer blockbusters. It has everything you need including the pervasive inescapable box office hype. The issue is that it seems like every one of those aspects falls very slightly short. The characters are not really that strong but the film excels with the star power. The story is a rather straightforward alien invasion plot, but the film maintains tension with stakes and the unravelling ufo mystery. The visual…

  • Basic Instinct

    Basic Instinct

    ★★½

    Basic Instinct (1992) is salacious to the degree that it delves into unintentional comedy. I think they were trying to be more cutting edge and hip by exaggerating some of the already more exaggerated tropes of the noir thriller genre but it just does not work for me. Michael Douglas is so unlikable that it's hard to care if he lives or dies which is too bad, because the film's central premise hinges on it. Jeanne Tripplehorn plays the most unprofessional inept psychiatrist I have ever seen portrayed on film. It probably goes without saying but don't watch Basic Instinct with your parents.