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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

Mortal Engines (2018)

Mortal Engines (2018)

You thought a movie about living, moving cities would be cheesy? Hell no.

It might be an obvious Star Wars meets dystopian sci-fi future hybrid, with a little Great Wall of China mixed in with some Terminator and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (or what's that movie about the city up the clouds?) as they enter the mist, but it's also one grand adventure, a love story without any intimacy, and an imaginative world unlike other. It's fantasy at it's finest, with orchestral music blasting behind the final battle, and with Hugo Weaving playing the grand villain you just can't go wrong.

Props Hera Hilmar and Robert Sheehan on their lead roles, too. And that guy whose name sounds like a rapper. And Jihae, whomever she is.

It wasn't really what I expected it, but I had a blast with it. I'm impressed with the special effects, too, and the worlds they manage to build these days that traditional limitations might not have allowed. Even if they're not always perfect. Even if it could've been even more amazing had they managed it all with props. Good watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Bird Box (2018)

Bird Box (2018)

A thriller with Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich and MGK?! Was not expecting that! Trevante Rhodes might be worth mentioning too. And others.

MGK's acting talent may leave certain bits to be desired - he basically plays his regular crazy self, but like he's acting - but I do like how his self seems to be taken into consideration for the film, and I like the ambiguity of his particular fate in the film too. The main characters are definitely Sandra and Trevante though, who come together in the house of an unfriendly host (John), hiding from invisible creatures who hunt them, and make people who see them kill themselves.

So they live blind, raise two kids, make the best of their time, and the movie tells two stories in parallel. One of the past and one of the present, when in a frail little boat Sandra and her two kids dive into a wild river to flee their pursuers, and make their way to the haven that waits them.

It's well-filmed. It's bleak and dystopian. It's basically like any movie of the sort should be, even if the bleakness of it all just... feels pretty bleak, and when it's all over we're still left unaware of the fate the rest of the world suffered.

But maybe that's a bit of the point. Let the past be forgotten, so we can live on in our little box of birds, in a beautiful bliss and blind to our surroundings. Maybe no matter what the future holds there's a world for us after all.

Also about the four: I do appreciate Sandra, but she really isn't the best actor. There was another movie like this a while ago too, with mother Earth being the villain more so than an invisible set of aliens (?). I liked the background better with that one. It had a message. But this was good too.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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