Posts Tagged ‘Will Smith’

Media Update 1/30/20

January 30, 2020


Gemini Man

I was unwary of watching another movie directed by Ang Lee since most of his stuff disinterests me (after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger). The first trailer for this movie made the movie look laughably bad but the second trailer looked a lot better. Will Smith’s career crashed a while back but he was able to pull it back together and his performance has evolved a lot since his early career. (For the record, I love younger Will Smith). This movie is more of an action thriller where a government assassin tries to retire but must face off against a clone of himself instead. Will Smith plays both roles, obviously. Older Smith is his usual charismatic self with a more tired and weathered nature. Younger Smith was a little distracting at first but the effect was actually really well down. Young Smith acts with an emotionless veneer over a raw and angry young energy. I thought the two really played off of each other well. Mary Elizabeth Winstead really stood out as an intelligence officer and a badass in her own right. Benedict Wong plays a loveable goofball. Clive Owen plays the emotionally manipulative villain, a real classic villain. I ended up really liking the movie for the great action and some good dialogue. I recommend it.


Bad Boys for Life

I get a little confused because this is actually Bad Boys III so they missed out on calling the next one Bad Boys 4 Life. (The studio apparently thought this one was going to be the last one). What I have liked about the franchise is obviously the chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. A classic odd couple formula, Martin Lawrence’s comic energy mixes well with Will Smith’s too cool for school relaxed personality. The love between the two characters really shows and it just gets better with each movie in the franchise. Paola Núñez stole a lot of scenes as the smart and tough tactical forces leader who convinces the Bad Boys to finally be better. She is backed up by a great crew of characters played by Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, and Vanessa Hudgens (!). As a side note, I hope this opens the door for Hudgens to do some action roles and allows her to show off her talents. The cast is rounded out by the usual cast of character actors who add both comedy and intrigue. I was also interested in this movie because it is the first of the franchise not directed by Michael Bay. I felt like the movie had more steak than sizzle and I hope that the fourth (once again helmed by Bay) settles into this groove with this more ensemble formula. (Similar to the Fast and Furious franchise). I recommend this movie.

The Karate Kid (2010)

From the jump, I felt like this movie lacked a lot of the charm of the original but at least it has a better setup. A young boy must uproot from Detroit and move with his mom to Beijing. New school, new city, new country, new language. On the first day, he runs afoul of a bully who knows kung fu. Oops. Jaden Smith is actually pretty good here, believably playing a very young kid who is in emotional and physical pain. Taraji P. Henson is great as Smith’s mother, a loving figure who just wants to make the best of their new situation. She gets a little too stereotypical sometimes but she is easy to love. Of course, I have always loved Jackie Chan even though he is a little flat and subdued at first in the role of the reluctant mentor. WenWen Han was cute but did not add a lot to the movie as the smart and talented love interest. Zhenwei Wang is a great villain, an imposing twelve-year-old psychopath. It was definitely a movie that took a long time to get into. The characters who we are supposed to back kind of act like assholes for the first act of the movie. Things pick up and Chan’s charisma wins the day, of course. I also have to call out the bullshit use of fire cupping as a healing method in the movie, something widely disproven. I actually do not really recommend this movie. It was kind of too bland, had too much toxic masculinity, and followed the original too much.

Music of the Week:
Megan Thee Stallion – B.I.T.C.H.

DJ Jazzy Jeff – Scars

BROODS – Falling Apart

A. Charles – Woes of an Elderly Millennial

Rise Against – The Violence

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Will Smith”
– I started watching Ducktales Season 2
– I started watching Fate/Zero
– I watched more Brooklyn 99 Season 3
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 9
– I watched more VODs of AGDQ 2020
– I watched more She-Ra Season 3
– I watched The Death of Superman
– I watched more Stumptown Season 1
– I watched more Prodigal Son Season 1

Media Update 12/28/17

December 28, 2017


Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Another controversial blockbuster genre movie but this time I fall on the positive side of things. I remember watching what is now called Episode IV as a little kid (on VHS, of course) and I was instantly enamored. I had a truckload of toys which I could have sold to buy a car if my family had kept them. For a while, Empire Strikes Back was my favorite of the franchise until it was replaced by The Force Awakens last year. Episode VII was a mix of nostalgia and really fun new stuff. This movie felt like it expanded on the new stuff while giving us a fun yet darker movie. This new movie leaned more on the Disney-created characters rather than the old guard which is good. We have spent so much time with those characters that it is time for them to pass the torch. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac continue to provide interesting characters. We got new characters from Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran. Both of them are awesome and I am looking forward to more from Tran. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher provide the nostalgia but also show us how their characters have grown over the years. Adam Driver and Andy Serkis are the main villains but we also got brief appearances from Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie again. I feel like this was a great step forward for the franchise to help differentiate it from the original trilogy while still being a great movie. I definitely recommend it.


Bright

It was late on December 22 and I decided to watch this movie because the trailer intrigued me. Also, calls of it being “The Worst Movie of the Year” intrigued me because this year also produced Boss Baby and The Emoji Movie. The movie is directed by David Ayers and it was written by Max Landis, both have a weird track record. For the record, I did not know that Landis was accused of sexual assault before I watched the movie. This is a movie that is basically set in a world where Dungeons and Dragons was real and then time progressed to 2017. So, it is the story of a human cop saddled with an affirmative hire Orc cop. I’m sure there’s some message about race here but it is kind of lost in the story and probably should not be delivered by Max Landis. I actually liked the movie. It felt like one part D&D, one part Training Day, and one part Warriors. Will Smith was great as he was less his usual cocky self and more curmudgeonly and more of a reluctant hero. Joel Edgerton was great as the dumb but loyal orc cop. The movie was a little long and dragged here and there but there was some excellent world-building and I am a sucker for fantasy settings. I recommend it but it may not be up everyone’s alley.


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

I am a huge fan of Luc Besson. He is a great director and goes into great detail creating his worlds whether they are more mundane or fantastic. My two favorites of his are Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional. He has a way of bringing interesting characters to life in fun and/or interesting situations. When I saw trailers for this movie, I figured it looked more like The Fifth Element and, in some ways, I was right. Dane DeHaan plays the titular Major Valerian, a secret military agent. His partner, Laureline, is played by Cara Delevigne. The two of them use high tech gadgetry and combat expertise to save the day. At first, they seemed a little bland to me but when I got into the rhythm of their straight-faced performance I saw their personalities come out. The story, apparently based on a comic book, is a little frantic and hard to follow at first. Once it settles in, the movie is way better and is driven by the characters trying to find their way through craziness. The world-building is off the charts with hundreds of aliens created and dozens of cultures shown. The other characters we meet are interesting and whole. The only real problem I had with the movie was that it was a bit too long and Besson could have probably cut out around 10 – 20 minutes. Still, I recommend this one if for no other reason than the awesome special effects and action sequences.

Music of the Week:
Getter – Rip N Dip

Selena Gomez, Marshmello – Wolves

Sia – Cheap Thrills

AWOLNATION – Sail

Cold Crush Brothers – The Weekend

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Teamwork in Genre Films”
– I started watching Little Witch Academia Season 2
– I continued watching Longmire Season 3
– I watched more of Fate/Apocrypha
– I watched more of Blue Exorcist Season 1
– I finished The Crown Season 2


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