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Wreck-It Ralph 2 - Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018)

Wreck-It Ralph 2 - Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018)

I went to an exclusive preview of Ralph Breaks the Internet last month: the third ever Disney sequel, and the 57th Disney movie total, with a car chase they actually brought in a real stuntman to film, and captured the footage of via a hundred cameras to make the in-movie chase as realistic as possible. I don't know if the realism really came across but it did look good.

The producer and director were both there to talk about the movie, and answered a few questions from the chief of Walt Disney's Sweden division (I think it was) before it all started. No commercials. No gibberish wait time. A red mat leading into the cinema and comfy seats on a terrace, and a free seat with the perfect vantage point.

I would have been there with a buddy too but my buddy mistook the time so... that was a bummer.

I tried not to think about that as the movie rolled, though. It started a bit hesitantly, with Ralph and the princess lounging around the arcade, talking about the future, with first a glitchy Tron race I thought might be the lead into that-place-which-the-title-foretells-about, then a trip into the router where you really knew that: this was it.

They venture off into the great WWW in search of a new steering wheel to the machine Ralph accidentally wrecks, and the arcade owner can't afford to buy, and so starts a venture through a whole new universe of massive product-placement, but also charming and creatively presented Internet themes, memes, and so on.

How do you really make the Internet a visual thing? Watch this movie and you'll find out!

With the initial fiber optic tunnel I was a bit doubtful they'd manage, but they surprised me! They really did it well, all the while throwing in not just recognizable brands but recognizable memes, and themes, and both culture and subculture of the Net.

They even left in a little Geocities homage hiding deep down on the damp bottom floor of the Internet world! I probably missed some other equally cool details, but I'm proud I caught that particular one, and even more so knowing that most people probably didn't even recognize it, the brief moment it all passed by.

I won't delve so much into plot, but in its essence it's a story of friendship, and though the storyline might be a tad bit predictable there's always an element nearby ready to spiff things up. Just the way they maneuver the world. The little things. The princesses. The Slaughter Racing scene... it made for plenty of laughs but also a few tear-eyed moments towards the end. I can't say I remember all that much from the first movie, but I'll definitely remember this one, and I don't think it's only because it was an exclusive premiere, which it was. Pretty cool.

More so I think I just relate a lot more to the Internet than I do to arcades, which even if the game characters themselves are mostly recognizable ones, isn't a universe I grew up with. The Internet, though, that's my shizzle. And I appreciated both those references and the various Disney ones they popped in through-out. It's a world of references, basically. A bit like Ready Player One but... well it's nothing like that after all.

It's not just games this time, it's Cyberspace. It's a whole new world, and they did it well.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

The Marine 6 - Close Quarters (2018)

The Marine 6 - Close Quarters (2018)

Jake Carter and another former Marine, Luke Trapper, join forces to rescue a kidnapped girl from a gang of international criminals.

And so The Marine ends. Semper fidelis. Always.

As with the fifth one I really wasn't expecting that twist, and Mezman brought in an element of comedy that made it all the more surprising. They had a good set of villains though, with the vixen Rebecca Quin in particular, but I wish we'd had a glimpse of the big bad wolf at least. Just a glimpse.

It's not a forest this time, nor a theme park: it's the abandoned Oregon Lake Brewery, and the Shanghai Tunnels below it. A massive set, though I wish they'd alternate angles so you'd see in from the outside too, since in most of the surrounding shots it all looks abandoned. Like they're filming someplace differently. Which, for certain scenes, I suppose they were.

Overall though it's another solid segment in the series, where the occasional CGI blood and lack of consistency regard bullet holes, marks, etc, is the only real downside. Good action, good characters, and one desperate chase against time once again. A worthy finale, just might've been a little bit stronger without the sidekick bit.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Marine 5 - Battleground (2017)

The Marine 5 - Battleground (2017)

This one really reminded me of one of the recent Purge movies. The ambulance thing. The horror vibe.

It is definitely also be the first action movie I see where mid-sequence the good guy does a blood transfusion in an elevator. One problem though: How did he know what blood group the other guy had?

There are other loose ends too, like Alonzo not wanting to take the guy alive in the beginning - or at least not acting like he did. Did he start to suspect something along the way? But these details, the surplus bullet that don't hit, the fake CGI smoke and the somewhat drawn-out search were the only things I didn't really like about this movie. Overall it's solid action, with a tough mofo as main character, good twists, a somewhat cliche theme park setting, but thought-out angles and locations otherwise. Most of it's in a parking garage though. Maybe that says something.

It might not be like the first but it still has that essence of it, of the guy who really goes overboard to do what he has to. That hero vibe. Real shit. Die Hard on a budget but without the whining.

I'm starting to like this Miz guy. Also: he plays against his real-life wife in this one! Might be fun to know when you see it. Try to figure out who it is.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Marine 4 - Moving Target (2015)

The Marine 4 - Moving Target (2015)

When they changed up the character again with the third Marine movie I thought they might have a new one with every one, but seems like it's the same one at least in the fourth and fifth! And sixth. Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin. He's the man.

Maybe it's the scenery (lots of nature), or maybe it's the girl, but I really liked this one. It might not have had the most variety-rich locations or script to it, but it felt like a real adventure. A genuine little trip and dose of good ol' action, with some beautiful sceneries and some intense fire fights along the way, and some good music where it matters.

The only thing I don't like about these movies is how they always shoot more than they hit. Too many sound effects and too few bullet holes. Not realistic. Especially at close range. But ignore that: enjoy the action. It's a blast.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

American Made (2017)

American Made (2017)

Time for the true story of the gringo who delivered: Barry Seal, a modern day cowboy who lived the Seventies like it was the final era! And went out with a bang.

It reminds me of Blow in how it all starts so great but ends so badly... but not all badly after all. It's the story of a man who gets it all, and who goes where others just wouldn't have the balls to, but also seems to be tossed from one adventure to the next without really knowing where he's going, and after a while not having much control over it either. Message to the youthful: think before you leap.

The seventies style filming comes and goes like his accent, but I love how the movie's filmed, in semi-documentary style, with a little fun, a little gun-running, with serious moments where you can sense the danger, but like Barry just have to shake off and keep going.

Wonder what would've happened it he jumped ship and stayed in Nicaragua... but then again those guys weren't every really on his side either. Lucy was the one and only, so at least there's some light to the story. And I'm happy it eosn't paint America as the stereotypically greatest ever. At least not when you're not in the CIA. All in all it's just one crazy venture with a misfortune end. Until we meet again, Barry Steal, you kept it: pretty real.

Kinda rhymes. Like this movie was: kinda awesome.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Guillotines (2012)

The Guillotines (2012)

They could've called this one The Last Guillotine.

It's like The Last Samurai but in China, the Chinese way, with a little oldskool sci-fi weaponry instead of just the sword.

In a way it's strange that such a modern weapon would be replaced with such an old one, by our modern-day knowledge. That the limitations of what at first seemed like the ideal accessory of assassins would so easily be turned against them when the foes had shielded necks. Oh well. I wish they would've prevailed, but they do make the logic work here.

I could've done without some of the special effects, but regarding the rest of it: not disappointed! It had its slow bits, but also emotional bits. Fighting bits. It's a movie you'll remember, even if it's not one I'll watch again for the choreography; action of it all. It's spectacular but not memorable. But for the views. The life. The sacrifice. For the characters, maybe. It had that might and ancient vibe that these movies so often have, and a sad sad finale, but somehow not as sad as I feel like it could have been. Maybe they missed something with the build-up. Maybe there's something cultural that I don't relate to. But then again maybe it really is worth a four, and I just wasn't in the right mood for it. Good movie after all.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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