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Push (2009)

Push (2009)

In this world, some people are born with special powers. There's a government agency called The Division which takes care of these people, and trains them as soldiers. There are all types of special powers here. We have watchers who can see the future, pushers who can make their ideas the truth, movers who can move objects, shadowers who can make things disappear, bleeders whose screams make people bleed, etcetc. It's almost a bit too much for a simple movie, but they explain it well in what feels like an overly elaborate introduction. Turns out it's a very useful introduction.

The story starts with one particular kids earliest childhood memory: seeing his father die at the hands of The Division. He escapes, and we flash forward to the present, when years later a little girl comes knocking on his door asking for a case.

This is how it all starts. The vicious head of The Division, Henry Carver (played by the always villiany Djimon Hounsou) is on their tales, but Nick (Chris Evans) has many friends, and together they go against The Division to... to do what really? Save Cassie's mom? Put an end to the worldwide terror people with powers are involuntarily made part of? Just escape, and go back to their normal lives? There are some potential plot holes, and it is a bit strange how they don´t always get killed (or even injured) despite common encounters with their enemy, sometimes managing to escape even when there should have been none, but there´s just enough excuse for each one moment to not let it bother too much. The plot overall is clever, and the action sequences pretty cool to watch.

The movie takes place mostly in Hong Kong and breaths and air of budget... and yet some scenes go way over the expected budget effects. Though it's not a tremendously memorable or amazing flick, the story is good, and the idea original, and the action is good. It's a creative; compelling action flick with no too notable flaws. Good watch.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Orphanage (2007)

The Orphanage (2007)

It's been a long time since a movie actually brought me to the verge of tears!

I watched this movie on Friday, the 13th, and though it wasn't directly a scary movie, it was a disturbing movie in all aspects. Not disturbing as in gross, but disturbing as in... emotionally scarring. Chilling. Si sad!

It took until the end of the movie before I fully realized what had happened, but there are clues if you're attentive enough, masterfully woven in with the screenplay. With the final flashback everything makes perfect sense, but until that moment it's like the viewer is encouraged to play their game: look for clues, and move from one to the next to get that final piece of the puzzle. If you plan to watch this movie (unless you´re a very sensitive individual, I´d much recommend it), avoid the spoiler below at all costs. Better watch the movie first and then read the spoiler to see if you share in the same sentiments. With movies like this, reviews easily turn into more of a venting place for impressions than a critical analysis of the film itself. So...

Some things are clear early on, way before the main characters believe them, like the trail of seashells that lead to the house, or the bones in the sacks of cement (or is that all human ash?!). But the most essential part was a shock to me. When she found Simon in the cellar, I really thought he was alive. That it was over. That they'd find a way to give the other kids peace of mind and all would be good, but even then there was the hint: he was cold. "Why are you so cold, Simon?" she says, at the point where any just movie would've provided a happy ending. But there's no justice here, there's no mercy, there's masterful tragedy and a sorrow that transcends time. It's like a documentary on ghost stories - a glimpse behind the scenes. She doesn't fight the ghosts. She becomes a ghost. When it's all over, that's when the scary movie really starts. That's when the house becomes haunted. And yet, when you thought it couldn't get any more emotional than that, the husband walks into the room, the doors open, and...

The filmography is beautiful, and the story's told so well I'm unsure of what more I can reveal without spoiling the moments. I'll sum it up like this: it's about a wife and her husband, their kid, and an orphanage with a dark past. Masterfully told and enacted, though it took a while to realize. Fantastic watch.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

2015¤320

I've been saying the same thing all day always
I've been running around the same old hallways
With the same old tapestries with flowers on
To camouflage grease stains, flowers by my mom

It's what I thrive upon, the same routine
I'm canned in, like I am a human bean
Eating candy, just cause I can't do what I
Posthumous will they do for me I wonder...

4Got10 (2015)

4Got10 (2015)

Starring Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, the less known (or so I thought) but not-bad-at-all Johnny Messner and plenty of other tough guys, this movie seemed promising. And do I spot Jon Foo (that guy from Tekken) sitting by a computer?! With all this potential for awesome fighting sequences, I was expecting more fighting sequences. Alas, the most authentic action you get is the sex scene to sell. It started great, with a gritty and unexpected introduction, but after that it just gets... bad.

Maybe they ran out of budget somewhere along the way, because after the impressive introduction it all falls apart. The final fight was a real disappointment, with fake-looking muzzle flashes, cheesy choreography and acting. The script showed promise, but soon fell to cliché and unnecessarily lengthy dialog to make everyone seem as 'tough' as possible. You don't need to speak so much, I can see you're tough! And you don't need to explain all elements of the plot either, they're not that difficult to understand.

I was expecting more from the title as well. 4Got10 = Forgotten. Clever. But what about the 4? What about the 10? This is the perfect place for a hidden layer of meaning that reveals itself only when everything is over, with a foresight that gives you an added sense of respect for the creators. But no, it is what it is.

It's a shame, because this movie had potential! With a little more polish, with a little better plot progression and maybe with a little more variation in scenery and location - focus on details, it would've been above the average action on a budget. As a redeeming point, the ending did surprise. It's worth a watch maybe, but don't expect greatness.

 rated 2/5: decent

Rush Hour (1998)

Rush Hour (1998)

I've watched this movie so many times now I thought I might've become bored with it, but no way was I bored! In fact, this time it seemed even better than last time I saw it. I should have learned by now that some movies never grow dull - like a self-sharpening Blade (plotting to give those movies a re-run soon btw). If you wonder why I'd watch this movie again, despite not expecting to be entertained, I just realized I'd reviewed both sequels. So, why not this one too? The one that started it all. The one I saw waaay before the others.

The thing I noticed most this time is that, in difference from the latter two movies, Jackie really goes all out with the stunts. His stroll along the metal beam, the introductory tangle with the container (that was close!!), and my personal favorite: the so perfectly choreographed sneak attack by Sang when Lee (Jackie) is chasing him after the big blast. And Carter (Chris) turns up at just the right time. Overall, the greatest aspect of this movie is probably the timing.

Timing is essential, and everything here is so well-timed! From the very beginning of the movie to the end of it, with Jackie singing in Tucker's ear and Tucker asking for another seat. Even though they play roles, Jackie and Tucker are a comical duo as much within as without the movie. At least the entertaining after-credit leftover sequences make it seem this way, more so than the second and (I don't remember them now, but I assume) third. :)

If you want explosions and gunfights, you got it. You want comedy? You got that too. You want a clever script, entertaining dialog and clashes between characters: those small things that set real movies apart from the others? You get that too! Chris Tucker & Jackie Chan are a perfect duo here, and their characters really balance each other out. They're not bad in the sequels either, but this really is: the one. The classic. The greatest of them all. In acting, and planning, and surprise, and cultural balance, and every fiber of it all.

Maybe they tried just a little more to make the first one perfect. Whatever it was, it worked! The plot? I'll let IMDB very concisely sum it up..

Two cops team up to get back a kidnapped daughter.

Great watch. Again and again.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Week 46 - How It Played Out

It's all work! Nah... I'm just playing. But no, not just playing. I'm working too. Sometimes I'm at my place. Sometimes I play. Sometimes I work. Sometimes I work at my plays.

I had a refreshingly laid-back gaming night yesterday (two viciously long rounds of Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan with a group of friends and friendly strangers), and an entertaining session of movie marathoning and eating unhealthy food with buddy Bear before that, starring guest buddy Tim, and today I have a headache. Hope it'll give up soon, because I've been bombarding it with magnesium and sitting positions that are supposed to relax my neck. Too much fun = too much headache. Or... well, whatever it is, it's definitely not the other way around.

Days like this I post concise posts without all too clever titles. It's been a good week though, albeit busy and tiring. Rain and winter darkness came wallowing, and come tomorrow I have two forgotten umbrellas waiting to be picked up. I'm not used to bringing umbrellas with me, which is why I assume I forget them. Usually in November you only need a coat against the snow, now I'm still walking around in shorts and getting cold feet because of all the winter water.

On the blog I've posted everything linked to within this long run on sentence. No reviews if you're wondering, though expect a few of those soon. Here's last week; have a groovy remaining weekend day!

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