Some good ones this time around, but Hollywood’s repeated pounding of left-wing messaging is getting stronger and more tedious than ever. Maybe as pushback from the proliferation of crappy, low-budget, right-wing Christian movies that have been coming out lately? I don’t know. I don’t watch those things. Because they suck too. But dammit, I really wish both the left-wing and the right-wing would keep their political garbage out of mainstream movies so I could actually enjoy them. Oh well. Probably too much to ask for.
American Sniper – I already made a full review and analysis here.
Blackhat – I loved this movie, but I’m going to be in the minority on this one. This movie happens to be all about things I love. Computers, technology, corporate espionage, Hong Kong, China, it’s a perfect storm of all the crap I like. Michael Mann (the director of movies like Collateral and Heat) is also amazing as usual. So I loved it, but you may not.
Project Almanac – I did a analysis of the time travel aspects of the movie here. The bottom line is that it’s a decent movie that does entertain, but it doesn’t take the aspects of the found footage genre nor time travel very seriously.
Jupiter Ascending – A movie with fantastic action and special effects bogged down by all the usual Hollywood movie tropes we’ve seen a thousand times. Poor People Are Noble™. True Love Conquers All™. Capitalism Is Bad™. Everything Blows Up At The End™. And oh yeah, did we mention Capitalism Is Bad™? They make sure to repeat that one several times throughout the movie, just in case you didn’t get it the first time.
I’ve always been able to shut off my brain and enjoy a movie for its special effects, which is something a lot of people can’t do, but I admit it’s starting to get more and more difficult as Hollywood tries to continually shove these political concepts down my throat.
Predestination – HOLY CRAP! Halfway through I was like HOLY CRAP! Then at the end I was like HOLY CRAP! I can’t say anything about this movie without ruining it, but you need to watch it. Talk about your weird plot twists. Great sci-f mind-bender. Unless you hate sci-fi movies, just watch it. I’m serious. I’ll say no more. Watch it. You’ll thank me.
Kinsman: The Secret Service – My favorite movie of the year so far. This is despite, yet again, an extreme left-wing focus (ah, Hollywood). Regardless, it’s great. This movie has some real balls. It’s full of amazing, gruesome, bloody action. Things happen you don’t expect, and these days that’s a mark of a great film. I’d love to tell you a few things that happen towards the end to give you an idea of how ballsy and crazy this movie is, but that would spoil it. There’s one scene in particular, and you’ll know it when you see it, where the movie does a complete 180 in tone and you almost can’t believe what you’re seeing.
I’m getting a little tired of seeing Samuel L. Jackson in every other movie Hollywood makes, but that’s a minor nitpick. Amazing movie, from start to end. Watching Kingsman is an absolute must if you like action movies or more subversive films.
Focus -The first half is way better than the second half. It’s almost like two movies. Will Smith (Deadshot!) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn!) are really fun to watch and the first half of the film is just fantastic. I really wish the second half was as good as the first.
Chappie – I hated Elysium so much that I expected not to like this movie, but I did, despite several flaws. Like with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, not once during the movie did I think I was watching special effects. Chappie and the other robots were so real. Just incredible, and the action scenes are well done. There are many problems though. Hugh Jackman is guilty of some serious over-acting, though I really think it was the director’s fault. Ever the left-wing guy, the writer/director made sure to show that Jackman, the villain, is a right-wing Christian, always walking around doing the sign of the cross and complaining about “godless” robots. Great. Moreover, I have an I.T. background and all of the computer logic in this movie is completely ridiculous. Chappie is good for a one-time watch if you have nothing else better to do.
Run All Night – Now we’re talkin’. It’s really nice to see a movie that turns out way better than you expect. Run All Night is a fantastic combination of drama, action, and suspense. The editing in this movie is absolutely perfect, just frenetic enough without being irritatingly shaky-cammy. Having the entire movie occur in one night really amps up the storyline. All the performances are great, and seeing Ed Harris and Liam Neeson in the same movie together, as both friends and enemies, is a treat. I could watch the next 10 movies with those two guys in it and be happy. Highly and happily recommend this one.
The Gunman – Uh…wait a minute. One of the most left-wing guys in Hollywood is going to star in a movie where he uses a GUN?!? And the very name of the movie is the GUNman? What the hell? Seeing the trailers for this movie confused me greatly. I thought Sean Penn was a good lefty who hates guns? Doesn’t he realize by making a movie like this he’ll soon be featured in a video like this?
Stand by your principles? Hell no! Gimme dat CASH!
Regardless, I was rooting for this film. Sean Penn has a pissed-off look to him (similar to Mark Walberg) that works well with action heroes, he really buffed up for the part, and the action scenes are acceptable. Yet sadly, the movie doesn’t really work. It has very long, boring stretches, there’s a lot of romantic sappy shit, and none of the characters are interesting or compelling. People do things and die, and you just don’t care. Good effort, Sean. At least you got my $8.
Furious 7 – Ah, insane goodness. True, it’s a big, dumb action movie. True, none of the physics make any sense and most of the action is kinda ridiculous. True, the heroes repeatedly survive all kinds of things that would be impossible to survive in the real world. But as big, dumb action movies go, this is one of the best ones you’ll ever see. These Fast and Furious movies keep getting more and more fun, again, if you shut your brain off while watching. Because I happen to have that particular superpower, I loved it. There was no left-wing political crapola being shoved down my throat to distract me from the craptacular action. Yay! Good stuff. I mean, c’mon. How many other movies have The Rock driving an ambulance into a Predator drone while it’s flying? (Yeah. That actually happens. See? Told you it was awesome.)
One of the wonderful things the Expendables movies did is raise the bar for ensemble action movie casts. The cast in this movie is really fun. Vin Disel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell(!), Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa(!), Ronda Rousey, on and on. Good stuff. The ending tribute to Paul Walker was tasteful and well done considering the problems they had making this film due to his untimely death. All in all, one of the best “dumb” action movies I’ve seen. Cant wait for Furious 8, which might be so dumb I might have to get drunk for the first time in my life just to watch it…and I’ll still love it.
That’s it for now! Next up are the big summer movies. (Avengers! Mad Max! TERMINATOR!!! Yes! I hope…)