Category Archives: movies

el camino: a breaking bad movie

From IMDb:

Finally free from torture and slavery at the hands of Tod’s uncle Jack, and from Mr. White, Jesse must escape demons from his past. He’s on the run from a police manhunt, with his only hope of escape being Saul Goodman’s hoover guy, Ed Galbraith. A man who for the right price, can give you a new identity and a fresh start. Jesse is racing against the clock, with help from his crew, avoiding capture to get enough money together to buy a ‘new dust filter for his Hoover MaxExtract PressurePro model’, a new life.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This story picks up immediately from the events of the Breaking Bad finale and Jesse’s escape from the crime gang. It follows his attempts to put everything behind him and start again. But to move forward he must look back and confront some of his own demons.

I really enjoyed this as it gave Jesse a chance to become more than just the sullen teenager that he is for much of the original series. He’s changed by his captivity and it’s great to see him do more than get stoned and say “yo!” and “bitch“. We see a deeper character in this movie.

I also loved seeing so many of the old characters back for one more spin. Todd’s weight change and Joe’s rapid aging are a bit jarring but apart from that it’s believable. Mike was always one of my favourite characters from both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul but I absolutely loved Badger and Skinny this time around. They, Skinny in particular, proved themselves to be Jesse’s true friends.

This is a fitting end to Jesse’s story and a project worth doing. Felina was Walt’s final chapter and I’m glad Jesse got to finish his story too.

independence day: resurgence

From IMDb:

Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Set 20 years after the original and bringing back a good few of the original cast (although not Will Smith) while also showcasing a lot of familiar faces and introducing a lot of new faces, essentially the younger generation and their turn to save the Earth from alien annihilation.

There’s nothing surprising about this film, it follows a fairly standard but very successful formula. It’s basically aliens show up, the Earth is brought to the brink of destruction and a small group of heroes save it in the final few minutes doing something no other race in the galaxy has managed to do so far.

However, you shouldn’t watch one of these films for intellectually challenging stimulation, it’s all about entertainment and this definitely has it. Excellent special effects combined with good characters* and a good musical score create a fast pace that carries you along. I watched this on TV but I’d say it was a fantastic cinema experience.

*the only character that seemed out of place was Brent Spiner’s. He was way over acting and in full-on “human Data” mode. I hate to say it but he doesn’t suit this type of role and should have stuck to what he’s good at!

no country for old men

From IMDb:

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall this was a great movie. The atmosphere is dark and foreboding from get go and Javier Bardem is fantastic in the hitman role. He’s like a human terminator all the way through. Tommy Lee Jones is society’s conscience worrying about how the world is degrading and Josh Brolin is the unwitting victim that doesn’t know he’s in over his head.

I have to say though that I didn’t like the end. The very final scene just didn’t do it for me. I would have much preferred to finish it with the scene just before. Also everything seemed to be happening at a steady pace and then boom, it’s all over. It just felt wrong to me. However, I’d still recommend it and I’m glad I watched it.

jack ryan: shadow recruit

From IMDb:

Jack Ryan, as a young covert C.I.A. analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Having read the reviews my expectations we’re low enough going into this but it’s actually a pretty good movie. Typical action movie fare but well done. Decent story that storms along at a good speed and four good actors that work well together and are well cast for the parts they play even if the Russian accents are more Hollywood than Moscow. Definitely worth watching.

jason bourne

From IMDb:

The CIA’s most dangerous former operative is drawn out of hiding to uncover more explosive truths about his past.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The 5th and most likely final, installment of the Bourne Series of movies. It follows on directly from The Bourne Ultimatum and recall requires knowledge of at least the first three movies in the series. If you have watched and enjoyed them then this one will come as no surprise as it keeps to the same story and characters.

It’s far from predictable though. The quality of production and direction is superb and the story moves at a perfect pace that keeps the action fast without losing control of the story. It all leads up to an excellent final confrontation proceeded by a great car chase and face to face action scene.

The two main characters are fantastically portrayed by Matt Damon (definitely one of my favourite actors) and Tommy Lee Jones but are very well supported by CIA agent Alicia Vikander and asset Vincent Cassel

If this is the final Bourne movie then it’s a very fitting end to an excellent series of movies.

robocop (2014)

From IMDb:

RoboCop (2014)

The year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years – and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

It’s hard to watch this reboot and not compare it to the original 1987 movie. In some ways it almost the same but it has been changed. The premise for the creation of a RobCop is different and the corporation involvement has been brought up to date with modern day. Saying that the main storyline of the struggle between man and machine is pretty much the same.

As action movies go it was pretty decent but not outstanding. The special effects are pretty good and the action scenes short but good. The last 20-30min are probably the best of the whole movie.

The two most familiar actors are Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson. They both play baddies. Keaton is the obvious bad guy but Jackson is the subtle manipulating media that’s very relevant in today’s modern world.

If you liked this then make sure you go back and watch the 1987 original at some stage.

I can’t decide if the final theme song played over the credits was tongue in cheek or not but it’s definitely inspired 😊

john wick

From IMDb:

With the untimely death of his beloved wife still bitter in his mouth, John Wick, the expert former assassin, receives one final gift from her–a precious keepsake to help John find a new meaning in life now that she is gone. But when the arrogant Russian mob prince, Iosef Tarasov, and his men pay Wick a rather unwelcome visit to rob him of his prized 1969 Mustang and his wife’s present, the legendary hitman will be forced to unearth his meticulously concealed identity. Blind with revenge, John will immediately unleash a carefully orchestrated maelstrom of destruction against the sophisticated kingpin, Viggo Tarasov, and his family, who are fully aware of his lethal capacity. Now, only blood can quench the boogeyman’s thirst for retribution.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Simple and uncomplicated, but therefore a bit predictable, storyline.

Lots of big names and familiar faces. Marred at times by wooden and unconvincing performances, particularly the two main Russian characters.

Very violent but well choreographed action scenes and an excellent sound track.

Keanu Reeves did well in the lead role but couldn’t help but feel that it would have suited a more familiar action star.

The two sequels have good reviews so looking forward to seeing how the story develops.

joker

From IMDb:


In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is most definitely not a Batman film! It’s a very, very dark depiction of a wild slide into a destructive breakdown in mental health in a world that doesn’t care. It’s frightening to see the destruction and Arthur’s inability to either recognise or prevent it until it’s too late and then to prefer the broken person he has become versus the one be was. This is a disturbing film and one that left me with a profound sense of sadness at the end.

I think this is only the second time I’ve seen Joaquin Phoenix in a starring role. The first was Johnny Cash in Walk The Line and I couldn’t help but see the similarities between the two characters. It makes me wonder what he’s burying inside himself that lets him play these roles so well.

it: chapter two

From IMDb:

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The sequel and conclusion to IT which is itself a reboot of the original TV miniseries both based on Stephen King’s novel. This novel is one of King’s best and it’s good to see it adapted so well into film.

The films are split along the time lines of the original story with Part 1 dealing with the main characters and their battle with Pennywise as kids and Part 2 dealing with them as adults and set 27 years after the first.

It’s a long time since I read the book but the films seem to stick pretty much to the book although the films are set approx 30 years ahead. This doesn’t interfere with the story at all and the only odd result is Bill’s childhood bike which doesn’t seem to come from the 80s.

IT: Chapter 1 is a brilliant film and one of the first to properly scare me in a long time. Chapter 2 is very good but doesn’t meet the tension and horror of the first. This is mainly due to how the story has changed and the fact that it’s adults now rather than kids which added an extra element to Chapter 1.

The special effects are really good, especially Pennywise, his many different forms and his transformation from one to the other. Pennywise is a fantastic character and the producers have managed to recreate him amazingly accurately to the book. The special effects really enhance the fright factor but hats off to Bill Skarsgård who brings him to such frightening life.

Overall a very good film and a satisfying close to an excellent adaptation of a fantastic Stephen King story.

star trek: nemesis

From IMDb:

After a joyous wedding between William Riker and Deanna Troi, Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew stumble upon a positronic signature which results in a prototype version of the android Data. Then the Enterprise is invited to Romulus to negotiate a peace treaty with the Romulans by their new leader, Praetor Shinzon. However, Shinzon is revealed to be a clone of Picard who was raised on Remus, a slave planet to the Romulans. Later on, Picard discovers that this peace treaty was nothing more than a set-up on account of the fact that Shinzon needs Picard in order to survive. But little do the Enterprise crew know that Shinzon also plans to do away with the Federation by unleashing a weapon that could destroy a whole planet.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had been putting off watching this after the disappointment of Insurrection but this is so much better. The bulk of the story focuses on mainly Picard but also Data. I really enjoyed the parallels between Picard/Shinzon and Data/B4 especially the differences in how each pair felt about the other, how Data called B4 his brother while the human pairing of Picard and Shinzon were on a destructive path.

It’s very obvious that there has been a change of direction and production from Insurrection and this is so much for the better. Nemesis feels like a movie. The scenes flow together well, the story is engaging, battle scenes are dramatic and well designed with good graphics.

Tom Hardy makes a great anti hero and his acting is great as always. Having Hardy, Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner dominate the majority of the storyline results in a standard of acting not usually seen from Star Trek and totally overcomes the failings of Insurrection.

As with all Star Trek adventures the ending is predictably positive but not to the normal extent and I loved the very final scene of Picard and B4 that leaves us with a sense of hope for the future.

The story and the ending however, do depend on two scenes that are quite clumsily inserted into the flow. The first is the ability of the Remun Viceroy to connect with Deana Troi and the second is the mini transponder in Data’s arm. Both scenes make no sense in their current storylines and are only there to help with later scenes. This clumsiness is the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars.

This is the last installment in the Next Generation series of films and a fitting end. Looking forward to seeing the story continue now with the new TV series “Picard”.