Posts Tagged ‘Samuel L Jackson’

Media Update 6/27/19

June 27, 2019


Unicorn Store
Avengers: Captain Marvel, Nick Fury       Bonus: Dopinder

This movie was shelved for two years until the success of Captain Marvel gained Brie Larson some new clout. To be fair, there is no reason that this should have been shelved. Brie Larson is a treasure. She directed this movie which has a fairly simple plot but such an interesting fantasy concept that reflects so many emotions that many of us felt in our younger days. The movie follows Larson’s character who has flunked out of art school and is now trying to get her life together when she receives an offer from the titular store. She is brilliant as an eccentric artist who has been absolutely shattered by the establishment and she is fascinating to watch. Bradley Whitford and Joan Cusack play her parents and just when I thought they were one-note characters, they both surprised me. Mamoudou Athie is grounded as Larson’s new, sane friend. Hamish Linklater plays an equally eccentric executive who takes an interest in Larson’s character. Finally, there is Samuel L. Jackson as The Salesman. It was so interesting to see him in this role because it was whimsical and happy and a different tone than he usually works in. We have seen shades of it in Kingsman and Captain Marvel but he was really cute in this movie. I definitely recommend this movie.


Zodiac
Avengers: Iron Man, Hulk       Bonus: Mysterio

This movie is, of course, about the hunt for the Zodiac killer during the seventies through joint cooperation between the police and the media. The movie is absolutely fascinating as it is a slow burn through the long years that the killer terrorized the Los Angeles area and all of the time that people tried to figure out his identity. The movie is directed by David Fincher who is great at clever dialogue and weaving interesting but flawed characters together. He is also really good at movies and television covering serial killers. Robert Downey Jr. plays Robert Avery, one of the main journalists who was covering the case. He’s lovably glib but intelligent and flawed. Mark Ruffalo plays David Toschi, one of the main police investigators assigned to the case. He is funny and quirky but dedicated. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, the political cartoonist who eventually became a true crime novelist and helped try and solve the case. He is portrayed as if he was somewhere on the autistic spectrum and it works whether the real Graysmith was that way or not. This is not a happy movie although there is plenty of comic relief and upbeat chatter to keep it from getting too dark and edgy. The Zodiac killer was not definitively caught and the one person they were ready to charge died of a heart attack before they could charge him. We may never know for sure who the killer was and this movie reflects that. I definitely recommend it, it’s a great mystery.


Wind River
Avengers: Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch      Bonus: Punisher

This was a surprisingly poetic movie. It is about a hunter working for the US Fish and Wildlife Department who teams up with tribal police and an FBI agent to solve a murder. This takes place in Wyoming during the Spring but that means snow is still on the ground. The movie does a great job at depicting the deadly isolation that comes with constant snow storms, a mountainous region, and sparse population. The movie also concerns the murder of a young Shoshone girl who dies freezing in the cold. Jeremy Renner plays the great white hunter who married into the tribe and has taken their teachings and philosophy to heart. He hunts predators like mountain lions and wolves when they have attacked livestock. Elizabeth Olson plays the FBI agent, born in Florida and stationed in Vegas and extremely competent but also literally out of her element. Graham Greene is a great familiar face as the chief of the Reservation Police. He has played a Native American in so many other movies which makes sense as he was born one. There is also a great small role from Jon Bernthal, getting to be both tough and soft in the same scene. I definitely recommend this movie as it is a great mystery and such an important issue to address.

Music of the Week:

Night Club – Your Addiction

Don Broco – HALF MAN HALF GOD

Big Boi – Doin It (Feat. Sleepy Brown)

Poppy – Lowlife

BABYMETAL – Distortion

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Avengers Alumni” (with bonus Marvel alumni)
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I started Star Trek: Voyager Season 3

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Media Update 12/14/17

December 14, 2017


Atomic Blonde

I love a good comic book movie and I have been all about Charlize Theron’s career as a badass so it was a no-brainer that I would eventually see this. Then I found out that this movie is actually a project that Theron championed for years. The first (and only) trailer I saw for the movie was exciting and funny. When I actually started watching the movie, I realized that I was in for something quite different from what I expected. This is not a bad thing. The rest of the films on this week’s edition have a lot of action and explosions and whatnot. This movie is an actual slow burn film noir/spy film with a lot of twists and turns. Theron is great as the cold as ice main character who does get a chance to tell a few straight-faced jokes along the way. James McAvoy plays a much different agent, playing his part loud and wearing his heart on his sleeve. The whole thing is set against the backdrop of the Cold War in the days surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall. While there is plenty of intrigue, the movie does not skimp on great fight choreography. This is what I saw in the trailer but it led me to believe that this was all the movie was. The movie had a lot more depth than advertised and a lot more attitude. I definitely recommend it.


The Hitman’s Bodyguard

I love Samuel L. Jackson, the louder and more belligerent the better he is. Ryan Reynolds is in the middle of a period where he is picking great projects to work on that show off his comic skills. Samuel L. Jackson plays the titular hitman and Reynolds plays the titular bodyguard. Reynolds often plays the straight man to Jackson’s laugh out loud humor. Of course, Reynolds does get his own jabs of comedy in as the put-upon bodyguard who has to handle the worst client he probably could have ever gotten. The movie is a comedy/action road trip story that mostly allows Jackson and Reynold’s characters to talk as they travel in between awesome, elaborate action set pieces. I was impressed with how well the dialogue is written for what appeared to be just another dumb blockbuster. Not surprising is how well all of the gun fights and martial arts scenes are choreographed. There are bullets, fisticuffs, car crashes, and plenty of explosions to go around but it only adds to the story as the action sequences often do not stop the two characters from arguing. Elodie Yung does a great job as the Interpol agent who sets a lot of the movie in motion. Throw in some cameos from Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek and you have a great small cast for a big movie. I definitely recommend this one as well.


Salt (Director’s Cut)

This movie is similar to Atomic Blonde in that both are about foreign intelligence service spies trying to navigate loyalties. However, this movie is more filled with literally explosive action scenes. Where Atomic Blonde is more subtle, this movie is a bit more blatant in almost every category. That does not mean that the spy intrigue is not present. There are plenty of spy moments where we are left with a mystery to try and figure out before the end. While the two movies are similar, this movie seemed like a more personal story but a less polished movie. Angelina Jolie is the star of this one and much of the movie follows her as she tries to figure things out and the viewer tries to figure her out. We also follow both Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor who play off each other great. What I find most interesting about this movie is that it was originally written with a male lead in mind and it was changed to fit Angelina Jolie instead. I recommend this one as well.

Music of the Week:

Wavves – Million Enemies

Brujeria – La Ley De Plomo

The Devil’s Daughters – Pass That Bottle

Childish Gambino – Sweatpants

Kesha – Woman

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Foreign Intelligence Intrigue”
– I started The Crown Season 2
– I am watching Longmire Season 2
– I watched more Fate/Apocrypha
– I watched more Blindspot Season 1
– As with most weeks, I watched GTLive, Critical Role, Game Grumps, LordMinion777 and KittyKat Gaming.
– I really need to get my act together for Christmas. Always waiting until late.

Unbreakable

April 25, 2017

I have always liked superheroes ever since I discovered the joys of comic books. Back in the day (middle school mostly), I would save up my allowance and I would walk over two miles to the comic book store. I was proud of that. I still am. It made getting them back home all the sweeter, reading my comics after a quick shower to wash off all that good exercise. I used to spend my walk there and back thinking about the adventures I was about to read. I used to think about what it would be like to have superpowers. What if instead of walking, I was flying over the northern parts of Baltimore City. I thought about how much time I would save if I had super speed. Unfortunately, there were only tall buildings for part of the trip so I could not swing around like Spider-man or Batman.

I remember going to watch The Sixth Sense. This was the first movie from a relatively unknown director named M. Night Shyamalan and I was interested in seeing a cool ghost story. I was in high school by then and I was totally into horror movies by then not only as part of Halloween but as a 365/24/7 kind of deal. This was before we knew about Mr. Shyamalan’s penchant for twists at the end of the movies he writes and directs. Thankfully, the well-known twist from The Sixth Sense had not been spoiled for me so I enjoyed something that in retrospect was a little pointless and anti-climactic. Still, the journey was an interesting one and the movie was seen for a long time as the one good Shyamalan movie but there was another that I have not seen to this day. That is why we are looking at the superpowered tale of Unbreakable.

The movie starts off slow and quiet and the movie actually continues to be pretty slow and quiet throughout. Bruce Willis is the lead once again in this one but he plays a more blue-collar character. I am used to seeing him as brash and mouthy but he was quiet and unassuming. This kind of matches the other major character played with Samuel Jackson who is usually loud and intense but he is also subdued. It gives the movie an offbeat sort of feeling. We get a lot of slice of life of Bruce Willis’ character and everybody is pretty quiet. That was really unsettling the more I think about it.

This movie was a comic book movie in the truest sense of those words. In fact, it might be the purest comic book movie we have had yet. The plot is a superhero origin story but it is largely driven by actual comic books. If superpowers actually appeared in our world, we would probably pay a lot more attention to comic books. A lot of the concepts and language are derived from or are in purposeful conflict with comic books. For a guy who grew up with comic books and still reads them, that is a pretty cool concept. However, the movie lacks a lot of the excitement and charm that most superhero books that I like have. While Bruce Willis’ character is likable and relatable, I just did not really want to hang out with him. He was too sad.

Overall, I really liked the concept of the movie but I did not really appreciate the execution. They started with a good idea but Shyamalan just cannot write normal dialogue. Everybody sounds like aliens trying to act like humans. The life and energy of usually talented or charismatic actors are sucked out and we are left with a passable performance. I guess I do not regret watching this movie but I could not in good faith recommend it to people. I just feel really blah about it. I think I am officially closing the book on M. Night Shyamalan. He just does not do it for me.


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