Posts Tagged 'action'

Wick-Quoting #42: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

“There should be a “Captain” in there somewhere.”

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Yoho yoho a pirate’s life for me!  No matter what, you got to love the Pirates franchise, even if the latest installment is a bit on the disappointing side of the plank.  But really, you can’t expect much – what could have been done has already been done in the first three movies.  Still, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is not something you should just glance over (like the forth Shrek movie).  Although the new Pirates lacks a compelling story, it still has the sparkle of excitement from Captain Jack Sparrow.  And everyone loves Jack… except hipsters, of course.

Don't be a hipster

Pirates 4 starts a completely different story from its prequels, which most people would find as a wonderful thing, considering how a majority of viewers were getting tired of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley (I, on the other hand, loved them).  Out with the old and in with the new: replacing them are Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz.  While I enjoyed watching McShane play his bad guy role, I did not like Cruz all that much (despite her physical appeal).  She seems a bit out of place in the series, too clean and not rough enough.

They be mermaids in these waters!

The movie is quite long and in some parts, quite slow as well, especially because there is a lot of attention shown on minor characters.  I found these minor characters (the mermaid and the religious guy) to be very tedious and annoying to watch – I just wanted them to die and get them off screen.  I didn’t pay $10 to watch a budding romance between two characters who I don’t give a shit about – I want to watch Captain Jack Sparrow for crying out loud!

This island looks familiar

The ending of the movie is not very satisfying; however, the action, one-liners, and scenery make up for what the film lacks.  Pirates 4 had a budget of $250 million and has already made well beyond that (over $806 million worldwide).  Making that much money, there will probably be another sequel?  I guess this goes to show that this is the movie that almost caught the end of Captain Jack…

7.9

Quoted by MWP

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Wick-Quoting #15: Knight and Day

I should’ve learned my lesson after watching Killers a couple of weeks ago.  But no, I just had to risk it again.. for Tom Cruise.  Sadly, Tom Cruise isn’t doing that hot these days, meaning Knight and Day is a big no and NO!!

The film is your typical action/comedy summer flick.  The plot has nothing new to add to the genre.  It’s pretty much what we’ve all seen before a million times already – a secret agent and an innocent civilian join forces and shoot people.  Yes, there’s your car chase on a highway, explosions, gun fights, and the “kiss” at the end – very generic, the same old story.  You can’t even say that the ending is predictable, cause the whole story has no twists.  It’s like Fox is trying to dust off of True Lies (1994); Arnold Schwarzernegger’s golden days.

There's your big guns..

Needless to say, Knight and Day is doing  terribly in terms of profit.  With a production budge of 117 million, it has only made a bit over 44 million; and that already includes foreign grosses too!  This is going to slap Cruise later for the possible sequel: Mission: Impossible 4.  “Possible” because Paramount said they might reconsider the sequel unless Knight and Day does well.  Regardless whether if Knight and Day brings in any money, Mission: Impossible 4 will still most likely be made, with a younger actor attached to the project.  Cruise is losing his sparkle.  It’s a shame really, especially considering his new found popularity resulting from his Les Grossman character.

..and there's your chase scene

So if you’re itching to go to the movies, do not waste your time on Knight and Day.  Go see Toy Story 3 or.. uh.. yeah Toy Story 3.  I can’t believe the writers get paid so much for the crap that they spew out.  Nothing about this film is original.  Explosions, super weapons, and geeky geniuses, we get it, stop using the same old shit, please.  It’s like James Bond, but so much worse cause at least James Bond is a reliable franchise.  You’d think out of all the writers out there in Hollywood, they’d have a story that’s much more interesting and involving.  The title of the film doesn’t even make sense.  They just slapped on a common, witty phrase.  At least Killers (although a horrible title as well) describes the film in its own, vague way.  The word “knight” only has to do with a small figure of a knight in the film and the main character’s last name; minor details that have no influence of what the film is about.  And the connection with “day” is no where to be seen.  It’s not like all the scenes happen during the daytime.  From title, to story, to characters – totally uncreative.

This is MY glove!!

Even if you’re a fan of Cameron Diaz’s smile and Tom Cruise’s “charm” I wouldn’t recommend seeing the film (if you haven’t noticed by now).  “With me, without me.  With me, without me.”

I’m going to have to choose “without you.”

3.9

Wick-Quoting #12: Killers (2010)

Killers… what does that mean?  Exactly what can be learned about the film from that title?  People kill other people.  I guess that’s pretty much it.  Just like every other action movie.  So besides the vague title, what does Killers have to offer?  Frankly, nothing new.  Now, that’s not to say it’s a bad movie where you’ll find yourself taking a snooze in your seat.  It’s just probably something you won’t bother to see again (and perhaps something you shouldn’t see in the first place).

I spy, with my little eye..

Ex-spy, Spencer (Ashton Kutcher),  meets an ordinary girl, Jen (Katherine Heigl), and live together with a normal life in the suburbs.  Everything is great, until people they know turn out to be killers, trying to take Spencer down for a $20 million reward.  Heigl, known for her typical roles in films such as The Ugly Truth and 27 Dresses tilts the film to be more of a chick flick than a pure action film.  And that’s one of the main problems with this film – it’s too much of a mix of different styles and tones.  It’s like Picasso making something look realistic.  At one moment in the film, the couple is buying a pregnancy test and bickering like a married couple that they are.  At another moment, they are easily shooting bullets right into their neighbors’ skulls.  It’s difficult to settle into one mood while watching.  And considering that keeping audiences on their toes is what action films should do, Killers does so by constantly changing its tone.  Films should be consistent in tone.  A serious film should be serious (There Will Be Blood).  A mature film should be mature (Brokeback Mountain).  And a funny film should be funny (The Hangover).  All the way til the end!!

How many people at this party are going to die?

I had the opportunity to read the original script by Bob DeRosa before it was edited to reflect more of what the final product displays.   It has a solid tone and is more centered on Spencer rather than Jen.  And I believe that centering on the action man and making the story more serious would’ve been a better approach.  The film would’ve been a lot less confusing in the feeling you get (not talking about the plot), and in my opinion, more entertaining.  Although a plus for focusing on Jen is that it allows for a couple of awkward, funny moments.  Killers is “cute” at times.  Perhaps to the point of causing goosebumps.

Arguments, Children, and "Happiness." Pick two.

Considering that Killers is a 4-quadrant picture (it appeals to all four different groups – men under 25, men over 25, women under 25, and women over 25) it should be doing ok money wise.  It has action, a bit of romance (just look at the pink in the movie poster), and older stars (Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara) who play as Jen’s parents.  It’s a bit of a surprise to see the ratings the film is receiving when you consider the film’s quality only.  It’s not that bad of a film to receive only 3/10 stars on imdb.  Now that’s a bit harsh.  According to critics, it has worse ratings than Twilight, which is a slap in the face.  I guess that’s what happens when you piss off critics.  Therefore, you should never listen to paid film critics when deciding what to watch.  They’re only in it for the money after all.

Kutcher is a cool guy

It’s a fun film, but not something you should necessarily pay to see.

4.7

Wick-Quoting #6: Kick-Ass

It’s kind of like one of Michael Bay’s films, BUT WITH AN ACTUAL STORYLINE!!

You know how some films have trailers that are just so misleading?  The trailer for Kick-Ass is definitely misleading; it fails to preview exactly how AWESOME it is.  I’m going to cut straight to the point in the beginning here just to make it clear – Kick-Ass is one of the best (action) movies I’ve seen since The Dark Knight.  It has everything that you need for satisfying entertainment: intense action, blunt humor, and a touch of sexual interaction (you can’t avoid that in Hollywood, unfortunately).  Let me first start off with the plot.

The typical high school geeks

Because this film gives off the aura of a comedy/action flick, you’d expect it to be more focused on the action part and less on the story.  This is not the case with Kick-Ass, thankfully.  Although I must admit, the beginning is a bit slow in speed, the film makes sure you know the personalities and backgrounds of the characters.  The plot is not shaken by the intense action sequences sprinkled throughout the film, but rather, strengthened.  Much of why the characters do what they do, such as Damon/Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), is clear from their stories and only makes the action that much better.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I for one am a fan of Nicolas Cage ever since National Treasure.  Bash on him all you want, but in Kick-Ass, he pretty much kicks ass (not Bangkok Dangerous style, thank god)

 

The smooth connection during this scene was ridiculously good

This film has one of the best action scenes that I’ve ever seen.  And it’s not like there’s only one or two moments of extreme, fighting pleasure; this film is loaded with them.  And each scene is very different from the other.  I didn’t want to blink at moments, because I didn’t want to miss any of the action.

Even though Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson) was the main character, Mindy/Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) dominates the screen with the best action scenes.  It’s complete nonsense that people don’t agree with the film because a little girl is involved.  Without her, the film definitely wouldn’t have been the same.  There’s something about little girls kicking ass that makes it so much more enjoyable to watch.

 

This film really allowed Moretz to shine

The film contained a lot more shocks for me than just the overwhelming action.  For example, I didn’t think they’d actually show a guy being microwaved.  But they do.  And the finishing blow to the boss is both reassuring and shocking.  Reassuring because they give you doubts before in the film about whether they’ll actually show the bazooka being used.  Shocking because they actually do use it.

The film ties up nicely with the linking of vengeance mentioned first by Kick-Ass in the beginning of the film and later by Red Mist, hinting a possible (and obvious) sequel.

 

Just like what Miyazaki said, "When a girl is shooting a handgun, it's really something."

Just like how they mention in the film, it is amazing how nobody actually tried to become a superhero.  And it’s also amazing why nobody tried to make a film about it.  Thankfully, Vaughn has done a great job with it.  The main drawback is that the film is a bit long (almost two hours).  Even so, this film was worth every cent and second, and I hope you agree too.

 

9.1

 

PS: I realize that not everyone is going to like this film.  The characters aren’t that deep and and are pretty much one-sided; but seriously, you can’t expect them to be deep-ass, complex characters knowing that this film is suppose to be an action/comedy.


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