Archive for Action & Adventure

Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, Huahua Media,

Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin H├ębert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper, Robert Catrini

“Jack Reacher” (Tom Cruise) in 2012 present Tom Cruise as an ex military police, lone vigilante type real badasss. [Click Here for Ed’s Review] Jack is back, this time under suspicion for murder, and watching people near him getting taken out at a speedy pace in this sequel to the 2012 film. Turner (Cobie Smulders) is in the office and is his primary contact, but when he arrives to see her in person he finds that she has been arrested for espionage, and those who are out to get him are after her too. It turns out it could be a huge conspiracy involving high up military personnel as well as a primary private contractor involved in a massive corrupt scheme. But Jack isn’t ready for another surprise as he finds out that he’s also wanted as a deadbeat Dad, since a woman filed a claim against him for a daughter he never knew anything about. She’s 15 now, and a true street rat named Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who is suddenly mixed up with Reacher and Turner as all three of them are on the run and trying to stay alive in this ultimately violent and extremely intense action film.

So it’s not surprising to anyone when I say that I’ve not been a Tom Cruise fan for many years, especially after the Mission Impossible disasters which I absolutely loathed. But I have to admit that he does a really good job with his Reacher character. It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone as rough and tough as this guy. He reminds me a lot of Charles Bronson in his heyday, and there is a feel a lot like the Death Wish films from the 70’s. The prime difference here is that Bronson was a private citizen who is wronged and heads out to exact revenge. But Reacher is an inside guy with his military background who has become discouraged with the corruption and heads out on his own against the system, but still with a strong feeling of right and wrong. Much like the Bourne films too, but Reacher is maybe not as smart as Bourne, but he’s certainly tougher than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. I actually really liked the original Jack Reacher, and I liked this one just as much. It’s every bit as exciting, and the addition of Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh really help, as both of them are really good here as well. I think Cobie was pretty good in this tough guy role, but Yarosh really blew me away with her acting skills. She really did an excellent job. All in all this is a very action filled crash fest with lots of fist fights, gun fights, and car chases, with some of the best cat and mouse scenes I’ve seen in a long time. If you like action, this is a really good film. I recommend this one for fans of the action genre. It’s a great sequel to a good original film.

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Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures,

Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins

Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a world famous neurosurgeon. But when he is in an auto accident, he finds he has lost the use of his hands for surgery, so he’s willing to go through anything to regain the use of his hands. Once he is introduced to The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) he learns that there is more to the universe than what he can see, and he becomes her student to take her place as leader of the spiritual universe.

This is another in the string of new Disney made Marvel Studios pictures. This one I did not care for in the least. Not only is the formula exactly the same as all the others, but I particularly did not like the Doctor Strange character. Dr. House plays a grumpy old M.D. on TV, but we all know he has a good heart underneath the gruff exterior. But Strange is so freaking obnoxious that I pretty much cheered against him throughout the whole film. The special effects are pretty, but it’s done way better in Inception. Basically Dr. Strange is annoying and an extreme narcissist. The Ancient One is a cocky little sucker, and the bad guys are not really bad, and who knows what all the point is to all this. Basically I found it very minimally enjoyable, and I wished I had skipped this one. They are running these stories into the ground, and this was one of the worst of the lot. Enough superheroes. Let’s find some good stories to tell like we used to have. TV is looking better all the time.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Mandeville Films, Walt Disney Pictures,

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson

This live action version of the classic Disney feature Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle, the beautiful daughter of Maurice (Kevin Kline) who is captured and imprisoned in the cursed enchanted castle of The Beast (Dan Stevens). In order to break the curse, the Beast must learn to love, but also be loved in return. Naturally we all are cheering with the hope that love once again conquers all.

This is a film that could have come out completely different. Disney wanted to NOT make this film a musical, and tell a story without the songs. But the songs are far too amazing to be left behind, and it would have been a huge disaster. As it is, there is a lot of time, a lot of additional backstory, and the correction of a few error that makes this as familiar as ever, but with much more richness and beauty to add and make it a must see. The story is handled with loving care, and the things that are added to it only made it better. Emma Watson is beautiful as Belle, and a lot of her personal strength and attitude went into it as she added few changes to the role that fixed the story. It is stunningly beautiful, from the ugly castle, to the snowy forest filled with wolves, to the ballroom scene. This version of the mandatory Be Our Guest song is wonderfully done. SO many things could have gone wrong to ruin this movie, but it is perfect. This certainly came together well and will ensure Disney has enough money to shoot themselves in the foot again in the future, but this time they came through unscathed. And from the audience reaction to the trailer for the next “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, it seems that one is a lock too. I completely loved this film and will definitely add this to my list of memories I will never lose. This was a very good movie, and one I encourage everyone to get out to see while you can! It’s definitely worth it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Cross Creek Pictures, Demarest Media, IM Global,

Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn

Desmond Doss (played by Andrew Garfield) was the son of a man who was severely tested by World War I. His father was an abusive alcoholic who used to beat his wife and children senseless. Desmond was very religious, and swore never to touch a gun, and never to harm anyone. But when World War II broke out, he was touched by the need to defend our country. But he had a different plan. He wanted to serve America as a medic to protect and save his brothers, but without a gun. Desmond ended up in the battle for Okinawa, one of the most vicious and horrible battles of the war, without a gun, where he saved the lives of a great many of his fellow soldiers. This is a true story, based on the real Desmond Doss who not only survived the battle, but lived to tell the story in his humble manor.

This is an intense story of probably the worst battle of WWII. When the soldiers were sent to capture Okinawa in a necessary step to conquer Japan, they had no idea how many Japanese were hiding in an underground bunker. This film was expertly directed by Mel Gibson, and is a wonderful film. Special notice has to go out to Vince Vaughn who plays Sgt Howell, one tough Sergeant, who has a close connection to Desmond in the end. At the end, we get to meet the real Desmond Doss and some of the other major characters who confirm the things in the story. As near as I can tell, the things that are depicted really happened. This film not only covers Desmond’s childhood which shaped his thinking due to the hardships he endured, but also the difficulties in getting though basic training before finally being deployed. There is no way this guy could have survived what he went through, but somehow he did. The battle scenes in this movie will take your breath away. It is very intense and gives the film it’s R rating which it deserves due to the realistic battle scenes, but it’s also very heart warming as well. One minute you’ll want to cry, and the next your heart is bursting with pride. It is such an amazing story and one that had to be told. Typically I’m not a big fan of War Movies, but this particular one is so very well done, that you have to see this one. The fact that it’s true is a huge plus as well. Make sure to see this movie!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Fox 2000 Pictures, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation,

Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Michael Liu, Maribeth Monroe

Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) and his wife Karen (Isla Fisher) are about the coolest family in the neighborhood. But when the empty house was sold to new people and when they moved in, Tim Jones (Jon Hamm) and Natalie (Gal Gadot) were about the most perfect couple anyone had ever seen. Jeff was out to make friends right away, but Karen was a bit concerned that something didn’t seem right. But Karen was right as it turned out that they were out after criminal mastermind, Scorpion (Patton Oswalt) But before they know it, curiosity killed the cat, and Jeff and Karen are in deep in the middle of the incident and they have no clue whether the neighbors are the good guys or the bad guys.

This rather humorous little spy film is a lot of fun. It’s got a lot of the same gags and plot moves that most of these types of movies have, but the delightful thing about this one is the quality of the performances of everybody in the cast. Zach can really get on your nerves if he’s not in the right role, but this one suited him perfectly as he played it neither too goofy or too straight, but followed the line of a normal guy who is in over his head. He did a great job. Isla Fisher is one of my favorites though, and she was also very good in this role. These are the most well suited roles for them I have seen. Jon Hamm was nearly perfect in his role of the guy who hates his job, but knows he has to make the best of it. He plays a very sarcastic Tim Jones in a very Patrick Warburton kind of way and was very good as well. Gal Gadot I was not so familiar with, but she play Boris’ Natasha in a very good portrayal of the foreign spy girl who keeps her husband on his toes. All in all, it was a very good story played by an excellent cast, and I am surprised this this wasn’t bigger in the theater. But this is a perfect rental, and very much worth watching, so give them some support by renting this and have a very enjoyable evening laughing with them throughout. Yes, you’re going to figure out what’s going to happen early on, but it’s still a great deal of fun to watch it evolve.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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