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The Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part (2019)

The Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part (2019)

The LEGO movies never seize to impress me! I enjoyed the (LEGO) Batman movie recently, even though it felt like something was missing there - but then this comes along! The second masterpiece. It's supercool, fantastic and amazing. There's no other way to say it.

If you're in the right mood when you see this you'll appreciate every bit about it - it just gets better and better as it goes along, and just when you thought it was over... it gets better yet.

I wasn't totally satisfied with the fourth-wall bit in the last one, since it seemed to derive the characters of their reality somehow - not just within the movie but to the viewer. It was cool, but at the same time disappoint­ing... but here they somehow bridged that gap. They put up a fifth wall behind the fourth one, and made the characters masters of their own world.

I love the music too - the movie has a select few musical bits that are so catchy that, like with the recent Moana, I actually went and dug up the music videos on YT after watching the movie itself.

Can't say they got so stuck in my head that they're in there permanently, but I wouldn't mind hearing them again, or watching this again. It's a wholesome adventure, complete with not just the typical witticism, relational bonding and crisis, part-time stopmotion and digital LEGO mastery, but bits and pieces of plot progression that seem to transcend what I thought the LEGO realm could provide for me.

They take it past expectations and cliche - good as those might have been - and past the witticism and creativity too. It's a family friendly world in all areas, but at the same time it's chock full of references, values, and existential difficulties that even an adult can relate to.

But then again maybe I'm just still a kid at heart?

If I really was a kid, still, I'm sure I wouldn't say something like that. I'm growing old, but my love for LEGO remains unflinching, and stronger than ever after this. It goes to show that you don't need to stick to stereotype to keep things the same. If that makes sense at all.

Also the feeling. The atmosphere. The personalities. Will Ferrell. The intentional cuteness, portrayed in a way that somehow still doesn't make you gag. And those credits - they just might be the best credits ever.

They really got things right with this one. No complaints. Just a blast with catchy tunes and optional adult depth included.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Escape Plan 3 - The Extractors (2019)

Escape Plan 3 - The Extractors (2019)

It's another escape a movie! Another sequel. Stallone's at it again.

The savagery: they got it. It starts kind of cliche. Kind of typical. The cuts seem a bit too many. The plot seems overly simplified. Only the essentials. But then they get back to the prison, and the fight, and you can't help but feel it. It's what it's all about after all.

And aren't we all living in a cage, in one way or another? The expressions, the final thirty minutes, and the credits, moved this all from a 3 to an easy 4. It's not complex. It's just. So. Gritty.

Leaves you feeling.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Jake Speed (1986)

Jake Speed (1986)

In a world where, unbeknownst to the public, all famous pulp fiction heroes are real, one of them, Jake Speed, agrees to help desperate Margaret Winston save her sister from sadistic white slaver Sid, who's operating in Africa.

They don't make movies like this these days! Adventurous. Exotic. Creatively fictional too, but not without a sense of sobriety amidst the craze. And the soundtrack! Big props on that. Wish modern movies could copy the vibe. It sounds like: adventure!

I barely recognize a person on the cast, but if they're in any more movies like this I'll be seeing 'em. Great watch. Fun, just fast-paced enough and full of characters with charm and character. Great watch.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Red Corner (1997)

Red Corner (1997)

Wonder if they'll ever dare paint a picture of China like this in a movie again.

Maybe it's what they wanted back then, one to deter resistance, but now?

I doubt it. It's all about propaganda, and this intro was, somewhat anonymous as it may seem, one of the strictest presentations of China that I've ever seen.

But after that it gets real serious. It's a court room case in China. You know how that goes.

What you maybe don't know is that there's some romance involved too, a nicely coordinated rooftop chase, and a pretty solid depiction of Chinese social hierarchy. I really am surprised they let this fly. At the same time it shows their strength, and their adaptability, and commitment, and when it's all said and done maybe it's not so bad after all.

Props Richard Gere on a role well-played, even if he's sometimes just a little too American. Rash, bold and unfastened. That could've been different. Props Bai Ling too. For showing that the regime is not synonymous with the people. And a good act.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Mollywood (2019)

Mollywood (2019)

It's gritty. It's grimy. It's about a God-sent killer who chops up the youngins who just want to sin and do drugs, and don't seem to care what happens to them.

The visuals are great, the voicing's great, the mood, the atmosphere, the dark alleys, neon lights and party vibe.

The story, the dialog, and the ending showdown however... those bits leave a bit to be desired. A bit more polish and this would've stood strong, but as it is: it stands out a little. Clever name too.

Wonder if it might've been an attempted retake on that old movie about the dangers of marijuana. Another one with a message but this time so much grittier a guise...

 rated 3/5: not bad

Balls Of Fury (2007)

Balls Of Fury (2007)

The quest to prove himself to the world, avenge his father, defeat the mastervillain, get the girl and rid himself of the terrible mishaps in memory proves to be no piece of cake for Dan Fogler (Randy Daytona), the ball master. Previous ping pong prodigy. Now slightly overweight has-been.

But with a little help from the blind master Wong and his daughter Maggie (Maggie Q), and insertable FBI tracking equipment, it seems things may go their way after all...

I mean his way. But it's the FBI's idea/side mission.

Christoper Walken just doesn't fit in. He's no ping pong player. He's got charisma but I wonder what this movie would've been like with a different actor for the villain.

The other guys though? They have me chuckling non stop, at times laughing out loud, impressed most of all by Randy. He's almost like Jonah Hill of the old days... and it wasn't even that long ago! Whatever happened to this guy?

Comedy's not too crude. It's goood. It's... I'm running out of things to say about this but if you're looking for a comedy a bit like Karate Kid meets Blades Of Glory: go check this out. Unexpected gem. Maggie Q gets some shine time too. And hey there's Terry Crews.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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