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Repo Man (1984)

Repo Man (1984)

Been a while since I watched a movie that really let me escape the real world for a bit! But this one did it.

Reminds me of Smokin' Aces - the crazy hitman movie, and They Live.

It's a sensible kind of crazy. A spontaneous slice of life ride that takes you from the normal to the abnormal, and clues you in along the way.

I wonder if the 'drink' was the first marker. And what a ride it was after that.

Never gets dull. Never goes too fast either. The final few special effects might not have aged perfectly, and the stairway Uzi scene was a little sloppy, but most of it they do manage perfectly.

I love the character. I love the story. I love how personal it gets, and yet how nobody really stands for anyone. And I blame it on society. Or media. But not like this.

If you were expecting the typical love story with Marlene. If you were expecting a buddy tale. If you were expecting the typical action here sequence. Or one with a twist to it - where the unexpected ones win. You were expecting wrong. You were expecting cliche. If it's one thing I love it's a movie that moves as far from the norm as possible all the while remaining relatable and real, but maybe it's also about the elements. The car. The desert. The dust and grime and timeless type of ride it becomes when over...

The newer Repo Men was a whole other thing. A more mainstream thing. Good too but I wish they somehow went back to the classics as well. Made something like this again. But different. It'd be refreshing to see.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

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Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021)

Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021)

You know who won World War II?

It wasn’t the generals, or the admirals.

It was the economists.

More tanks, planes, ships.

And all that spending lifted this entire nation out of poverty.

Freed the world from tyranny.

A big country needs big enemies.

The best enemy we ever had was the Soviet Union.

Our fear of them unified our people.

Gave us purpose.

The problem today, John, is half this country thinks the other half is its enemy.

Because they have no one else to fight.

...

They got that bit right. I love that bit. That this is essentially anti-US propaganda. Or at least a different kind of patriotism. That it flies no flags, that it doesn't put America before the rest of the world, but that it does still honor the fallen and the ambition to make the world a better place. Whilst still acknowledging the naivete and conflicts thereof.

But though the plot's good - makes you think sometimes, and it all feels refreshingly different from the typical action/war movie norm, it's not all perfect.

Scenes get drawn out occasionally. The talk's heavy and long. The main character (played by Michael B. Jordan) has a way of showcasing intensity and seriousness that just doesn't really cut it for me. Tries too hard, maybe? He moves his eyes around. He breaths out with intensity. He goes through rehab and then he's in prison and is ripped as ever, with not a scar to show for those earlier bullet holes. He's inconsistent. He was great in Black Panther, but this came after... hope that wasn't a one-time thing. Or that he's taken on a constant character somehow, as the vengeful villain.

Overall I could have loved this movie. It's intense when it matters too, but it gives off B-movie vibes in relations and expressions, and unfortunately comes across feeling shallow in other ways, refreshingly philosophical script or no.

Hope it didn't do too bad though in the box office. Would be interesting to see a few more classic Tom Clancy works in movie form, if they don't have a Splinter Cell or Ghost Recon out already...

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man (2020)

Cold. So cold. so confusing, too... but she wasn't the crazy one at all was she? She wasn't right? We know what happened before the end so we should believe that, but still, there's a doubt that gnaws...

I planned on starting this review with a 'this is probably what an abusive relationship feels like', but when it's over... I can't be sure after all. It went further than I thought it would. I thought it would end the way it did, but not quite like that, not without at least an acknowledgment as to what he'd done. It doesn't make it any less scary that it never happened, though. Vague spoiler alert.

The invisibility effects are pretty impressive. I feel like they could've done more with the rain, but apart from that I'm not at all disappointed.

They might not have had the most professional villain demeanor always - he let her chase him a little too easily towards the end, the hospital scene was unexpectedly messy (why did he let them live? Didn't he want her to be deemed crazy any longer?), but it seemed necessary for the turn; for the revelation; for the revenge that followed. But I think perfection dwindled a little there.

Really scary movie though. I appreciate the lack of jump scares too. You don't always see the threat, and that just makes it all feel so much darker. It's the kind of movie that makes you look around the room a bit more than usual when you're done with it, especially if you watch this alone, in the dark of night, the rain falling outside...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Playing With Fire (2019)

Playing With Fire (2019)

I watched a John Cena interview on Conan recently, and felt it was about time I looked up some more of his movies, but you know what? He hasn't been in any more!! Neither has Kate Beckinsale, though she's coming out with some new ones this year. But never mind her now. She's not in this one either.

As for Cena I managed to find an older movie in his meager repertoire where he plays a smoke diver (alternative firefighter type that dives into smoke) and saves a trio of kids from a burning cabin... and then things get crazy. Michael Keegan-Key is there too, and the ever so versatile John Leguizamo, and the giant Tyler Mane. Wish a short Dennis Haysbert cameo.

Unfortunately it's overplayed. Overacted. Overexaggerated to the point it's unfortunately not as good as it could be, and you get a bit annoyed with those kids... but it's still enjoyable. It's a family friendly kids movie with bonds and all. Leaves you warm. Leaves you happy after all.

The Cena shower scene btw, lmao! Best bit.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Outside The Wire (2021)

Outside The Wire (2021)

2036. War in Eastern Europe. US troops on route. Aided by robotic soldiers. Gumps. A dystopian future with a criminal warlord rarely seen. And it starts BRUTAL. Explosions, glitchy feeds and blood. Reminds me of that movie about the war on alien insects: Starship Troopers. but not really. Not in plot as much as in production, at least.

It's impressively solid production-wise too. Not a wasted line with the dialog. Not a malplaced bit with the script. Impressive detail in regard to scenery. Impressive warmth (or coldness - when it's that time) with the atmosphere. Just overall impressive everything! Netflix know their shit. At least that's how it starts...

Anthony Mackie (one of my favorite current actors btw)'s a great commando too, and Damson Idris a good disciple, albeit a little lost in the line of fire as cliche leads him.

His naivete may be a cliche at the beginning, but there's a different kind of cliche at the end too, and I wish more characters were involved then. I wish Koval wasn't such a disappointment. I wish the ante just kept rising throughout the battle. Instead Leo shows weakness, we get a glimpse at an unconventional end and... I almost wish they'd followed through with it. But instead if takes the usual route. Heroism. Conventional form.

I do appreciate the greater good. I appreciate the role this movie plays as an anti-drone and robot/AI propaganda piece. But wouldn't it have held all the more an impact if they really went all the way? Like they did with The Day After.

Feel kinda sorry for Leo too; the good intentions he might've had; the potential for betterment beyond the ending...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Man (2005)

The Man (2005)

Didn't realize I'd seen this one before until the slightly mean but also appreciably wholesome airport cavity search scene. XD

Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy! What a great duo. Didn't think it'd work that well at the first kiss, but the longer it goes...

The movie may have some cliche bad guys and internal affairs/bad cop investigation thing. Basically everything outside of the main character chemistry and Booty somehow comes off across a bit basic and familiar. It still feels more polished than most innocent white nerd/mean black tough guy combo movies, but lacks depth and intensity to really go all the way.

Wholesome though. Entertaining. Good script. Good filming. A chemistry that shines with a genuinely entertaining kind of awkwardness that maybe hadn't been reprised before the recent Bodyguard combo with Ryan Reynolds. Great movie.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

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