Movie Review: ATOMIC BLONDE – some terrific fight scenes liven up an otherwise sub-Bourne action spy thriller.

The action movie genre has produced some notable game-changers in the last 35 years.  For me, these are movies that hit the still waters like an obnoxious kid doing a cannonball in your pool.  They might not have that massive instant impact, but the effect ripples out across the surface.  First Blood, Commando, Die Hard, Predator, Terminator 2The Matrix, and The Bourne Identity are the movies I’m referring to.  The splashes they made had a cumulative effect on the genre.  Without these movies, who knows where the action movie genre would be right now?  The Bourne Identity took The Matrix’s balletic violence to street level, and simultaneously muscled into the action spy thriller, whose main player up to that point was the Bond franchise.  Matt Damon, arguably at his peak in these movies, was a bone-crunching, take no prisoners mano-a-mano combatant, and it forced movies into a new era of fight choreography, where the scenes still have that videogame lack of consequence, but look and sound more natural.  The influence is most strongly seen in the post-Bourne Bond franchise, where Daniel Craig’s Bond is a return to the “enforcer” type played by Sean Connery, and in Marvel’s Captain America franchise.  The latest movie featuring this kind of hand to hand combat is this year’s Atomic Blonde.

Continue reading “Movie Review: ATOMIC BLONDE – some terrific fight scenes liven up an otherwise sub-Bourne action spy thriller.”

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Movie Review: KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS – beautiful animated feature with great voicework and an ending that satisfies.

My negative comments about the animated Batman: The Killing Joke and Justice League Dark were definitely affected by my lack of love for animation, but mostly because the animation was ugly, and the stories weak.  My comments on the animated stories within A Monster Calls were positively glowing, so I guess it isn’t animation overall I don’t get into, though that’s my biggest complaint.  Another complaint is that I don’t feel that animated stuff is much more than fanservice once it goes beyond the child demographic.

Continue reading “Movie Review: KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS – beautiful animated feature with great voicework and an ending that satisfies.”

Movie Review: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – good reboot, but I don’t believe the hype.

Mad Max

Mad Max: Fury Road was on my list, but not too high up it, I must admit. Harkening back to the original trilogy, I can honestly say I wasn’t a huge fan. Liked the first a lot, thought the second one was pretty god – a real departure from the original, in terms of sequels, but wasn’t really feeling Beyond Thunderdome. When I heard Miller was returning to the franchise with Tom Hardy assuming the Gibson role, and Charlize Theron, I figured I would see it – but like I said, it wasn’t high on my hit list. Continue reading “Movie Review: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – good reboot, but I don’t believe the hype.”