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Fake Woke

Facts though.
Stay woke.
Burnt up.
Lack smoke.
Cashflow?
Stay broke.
Rap don't.
Slay ghosts.
Real ones.
See this.
Feelings.
Meanings.
Leaders.
Need this.
Genius.
Feed us.
Sick of.
Scheming.
Be be.
Hemoth.
Truthful.
Dreaming.
Never.
Stopping.
Keep on.
Rocking.
Reach your.
Eden.

 

- Bob Axell, inspired by this baggy satchel of thought-provoking act fuel.

(and that's when you hit play again and loop the shit out of ^)

The Old Guard (2020)

The Old Guard (2020)

Imagine if there were a group of immortals roaming the world, who did good deeds without asking for their bidding, who scoured the eons without reason, forged in fire and loss, killing bad guys, sneaking through the shadows into a future all the more clean, yet all the more brutal, all the more greedy; the new villains and big pharma synonymous.

The connection is clear as day, and the names seem as biblical as the backstory - even if the main character seems a disbeliever.

I wonder what the director intended. I wonder what he believed, too.

The actors are great. The beginning feels personal and close, yet professional, with an almost Bond-like atmosphere to it (Casino Royale in particular) as Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) whisks through the alley.

The Bond impression disappears soon though, with the entrance of Andy (that'd be the gender-neutral name and look for Charlize Theron), as it moves more into the sci-fi and action blend that it is, with good music to accompany the scenes, and a carefully weaved series of events that although sometimes predictable really do hook you in.

I didn't like the first impression you get of Andy, as a not so nice lady at all, but that changes. There's always some attitude, but it's in good faith. Maybe.

What I liked most about this movie though was how it puts time into perspective! Gives you a little sense of urgency. A little reason to live.

The final scenes gave me goosebumps, though maybe it stretched a bit too long after that when it fades away, and it seems like they might have a sequel planned. It was almost too good to be true, almost... but I wouldn't mind seeing more either. Less than a five though that intentional continuation hint/loose end may have led to.

I think I'll make a move right after I finish typing this either way. I'll take a walk, at least. Set things in motion. Who knows what awaits tomorrow.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

The Mercenary (2019)

The Mercenary (2019)

Feels like the spaghetti western era's back, but with a new touch! In modern time. And with a little more action. A new clutch. They're packing the Mac's for... a new rush. Is this mayhaps war? In Pakistan happens things or... whatever land this man is in, let the hand of mad begin.

It starts with slaughter.

One after the other.

Max is masterful at the art of killing, but one day it becomes too much - a comrade tries to kill him - he's left for dead, and in the throes of death he's saved by a priest, starts working at a church, and though you never really know what's going on in his mind it seems like he's found a new path.

Or that at least he's trying to.

Yet his past catches up to him, his former team come back and cause trouble, and his way turns to violence once again. Peace turns to protest. Humans turn to flesh and blood, and Max is left with no option than to do God's bidding another way.

...

I'm not usually one for religious films but this is something else. It's gritty and peaceful at the same time, with an eerie kind of atmosphere that both reminds me of the old West and of games like Resident Evil 4. I love the mood! I love the fights! The choreography's not all perfect but playful, in a sometimes grotesque kind of way, and it looks real. They manage.

As the credits toll it fades away with a dedication to the director's friends in the French Legion, and the spooky main melody carries on the mood there for a while yet. Feels all the more real for it.

What a gem. Simple but powerful. Only thing that looks a little fake is that burnt-out church.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Baaghi 3 (2020)

Baaghi 3 (2020)

Here's a tale of two brothers.

A younger, and an older one. A weaker, and a tougher one. One who always comes to the rescue when the other's in trouble. One who looks small but is really ferocious.

They start with a flashback to a time before they've grown up for real and the duo are old enough for romance and real intrigue, and holy moly can that little kid fight even back then!

The dad's a policeman, and on his deathbed he asks that the younger brother always be there for his older one... and that he is. Every time the older brother gets in trouble he calls for Ronnie, and Ronnie comes.

It's a both feelgood and at times pretty serious film, with action sequences on another level compared to say... the last Bollywood movie I watched (Welcome Back, 2016). The dance scenes aren't as many, but the action choreography's all the more impressive, and we even get a glimpse of a war-torn Syria (wonder if it might be real footage too) as the final showdown draws near.

Of course there's some love too. Some flashbacks. The usual. But it's not just Dabbang with relations and sibling bonds, it's impressively polished, in that explosive and slow-mo Bollywood way... at least all the way until the helicopter fight and certain inconsistencies with the final scenes.

Might've gotten a five with a bit more polish there.

It's flashy for way more than a four, and packs both a punch and a message when it's all over. A solid Bollywood banger, and it definitely won't be the last one I see.

Now I do wonder what Baaghi 1 and 2 might've been about! This seemed like a pretty standalone story...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Assassin 33 A.D. (2020)

Assassin 33 A.D. (2020)

While doing research , a group of young geniuses accidentally stumble upon a secret terrorist plot to create a time machine to go back in time and change history.

Don't let either title or description fool you though! It's not sci-fi, but more so a Christian movie about the ultimate Jihad. Going back in time to kill Jesus.

Well actually maybe that does class as sci-fi? Depending on what you believe in. Jesus did live though. No sci-fi there. But time travel. Yeah. And certain other elements and happenings that I shall nae spoil...

The content's not all that sci-fi-like though. It feels more historical, both in past and present, though with a solid cast and a fair share of twists/action.

Normally I'd avoid a movie like this, self-righteous and preachy as these movies tend to feel for one who doesn't believe but... when they mix in a time machine things usually get a lot more exciting, and this was no exception!

It's good. It ends good. It does feel a little preachy but... it goes with the theme after all. And the time. And they manage to portray Jesus in particular as a pretty cool dude.

I feel a little tricked by cover and promo but... not disappointed.

Atheists get out of your comfort zone. This one's worth a watch after all.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Firestorm (1998)

Firestorm (1998)

Smoke jumper Jessy Graves' day is about to take a twist for the worst. He thinks his fellow fire fighters are trapped in a fire so he jumps in. Big mistake! The fire fighters are actually criminals planning a daring jail break. Is Graves ready for that kind of action?

Feels like Howie Longs's lacking something as the hero, but then again who doesn't appreciate an unconventional one? He's definitely big and buff. And charming. Just somehow... maybe not so desperate? Or angry? Either one or the other, whichever type of hero he's attempting to portray.

The story's that of a prison break, and of fire-fighters specialized in the art of parachuting down into the flames to save what can be saved (wonder if there really is such a branch of the occupation).

While the lead villain (well-played by William Forsythe) mercilessly kills off one after the other of his criminal companions and makes each death look like an accident - less money to split, our unconventional hero races to save his one legit hostage, and the flames draw near, ultimately converging in what you'd technically call a firestorm.

It's intense! It's filmed creatively, with a variety of angles and effects and - I assume - authentic fire.

It feels real enough, you feel the heat, even if there is a bit of an inconsistency with how much air that hole in the boat actually lets in...

Good movie though. Gritty. Packed with action. Not perfect. But on the other hand with refreshingly little CGI too. and the hero does save the day.

Don't stress the details.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

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