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.

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Movie Review: FILTH

filth

About ten minutes into Filth (written and directed by Jon S. Baird, from the novel by Irvine Welsh), I was on the verge of deciding that I hated it.  I knew exactly why I was feeling like this: I absolutely loathed the central character, played by James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse), and I felt that the entire production was trying way too hard to capture the vibe of that other Irvine Welsh adaptation.  Even though I’d read the book about 14 or 15 years ago (Jesus,really?) and knew the major reveal, I went in not fully comprehending how much I could hate a fictional character.  And not only that, Bruce Robertson was being played by the faun from Narnia!

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