Saturday, September 29, 2012


Destined to be one of my favorite films of 2012, LOOPER is an amazing movie. Director Rian Johnson (BRICK, BROTHERS BLOOM) is 3 for 3 and I only see his career getting better. Rian tackles the Time Travel genre with LOOPER starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis playing the same character, Joe.

Joe is a Looper. Looper's are time travel hit men for the Mob. In the future Time Travel is illegal so naturally the Mob has control over it. In 2072, when the Mob wants to get rid of someone they send them 30 years in the past to get “taken care of” by a Looper. Since organized crime syndicate's don't like loose ends they created a retirement package for Looper's to where your older self is sent to get executed by your younger self. The Looper kills his older self, gets a huge pay off and is supposed to live an indulgent life until the day they get sent back. I should point out that these “loose end” sent back it time to get iced are all generally masked and bound with their hands tied behind their backs.

During a routine hit Joe come to “the end of his Loop” when his older self shows up unmasked and ready, willing, and able to fight for his life. So it's Young Joe vs. Old Joe as Old Joe tries to fix his future by preventing the death of his wife while Young Joe tries to “close his Loop” and finish his job before the Mob does him in.

There is a lot more to the story but saying anymore would spoil a lot of the excitement in this kick butt Time Travel tale. It delves deep into the age old question If you could go back in time to make the future better for you (always the case) or the betterment of mankind would you do it even if it meant killing someone? The concept of Time Travel will always be cool and we will always ponder the 'what if' scenario but LOOPER does a fascinating job of making us realize how selfish and messed up Time Travel can be.

Highly recommended!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is the best film in the series thus far! That's saying a lot seeing as I really did not connect with the last one RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE. This may sound strange because you could argue that these films are all just more of the same and I'd say you're right; however,sometimes there is not accounting for taste and with RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION I just 'got it' and with RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE I did not.

Say what you will about director Paul W.S. Anderson but I think he's a great filmmaker. He loves movies and you can get a sense of that in his films and I like that a lot. With a smile on my face I consider him one of the best modern day (meaning he doesn't make his stuff look 70's) exploitation/genre filmmakers working today. I highly recommend his THE THREE MUSKETEERS from last year very entertaining film!

So last time we left off with Alice fighting off a bunch of zombies and Umbrella Corp. infantry. This latest installment picks up exactly where that firefight left off and Alice gets captured. The Umbrella Corp. has Alice locked away in a massive underground complex. It is here that the evil corporation run sinister tests involving their T-Virus. Someone from the inside wants Alice free and to help her she gets aid from a team of mercenaries, but they must fight and survive long enough to escape before time runs out!

More of the same but the action is a lot better and I had a lot more fun with what was going on in this installment. I won't get into it but because of cloning Michelle Rodriguez's character Rain is back. Now I've always considered Milla Jovovich today's equivalent of Pam Grier but honestly that title really goes to Michelle Rodriguez. She rocks in this!

The rescue squad of mercenaries were awesome especially since one of them was played by one of today's coolest character actors Kevin Durand!

I mentioned earlier how director Paul W.S. Anderson is a genre filmmaker and during the big action packed escape scene I could not help but think that this is his ALIENS movie. It has some similar action beats and emotional ones as well with the Alice character. Paul W.S Anderson understands what he does and he does it well.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION gets a strong recommendation from me especially if you like action movies.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


DREDD 3D is awesome! Very much in the style of Hard R action films from the 80's like ROBOCOP, PREDATOR, and TOTAL RECALL (1990), DREDD 3D is a welcome return! Every once in awhile we'll get action movies with guts (no pun intended) like CRANK, RAMBO, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, and THE EXPENDABLES; however, the American action movie genre is weak if not dead.

When TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY came out it was revered as “the greatest action film of all time” and I'll admit I was one of the films disciples, but then a few years later I got to see what was going on in Hong Kong. Director John Woo changed everything for me, the stunts and images I was seeing in THE KILLER and HARD BOILLED completely floored me! The rest of the 90's I couldn't stand another Hollywood American action movie. It vastly improved around the late 90's early 2000's with films such as THE MATRIX, EQUILIBRIUM, and KILL BILL but the momentum ended with spy thrillers like THE BOURNE IDENTITY and whatchamacallit's like TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

DREDD 3D is based of off the popular character Judge Dredd from the British comic book anthology 2000 A.D. Dredd is an American law enforcement officer in a violent city of the future named Mega City. Judges are vested with the power to arrest, sentence, and even execute criminals on the spot. Joseph Judge Dredd is one of the best and most feared officers.

Dredd is assigned to take rookie Judge Anderson out in the field and evaluate her to see if she has what it takes to be a Judge. They respond to a triple homicide which turns out to be more than they bargained for when Mama the leader of the gang responsible takes siege of the building complex leaving the two Judges alone with no backup facing 50 floors of hell.

Karl Urban (Star Trek, Red, Priest) does an amazing job (as always) playing the title character. He is so bad ass in this! Ive never read a Judge Dredd comic book but I'm almost certain his performance fits the source material 'To a T'. The same goes for Judge Anderson played by Olivia Thirlby (Juno) who's performance made her my favorite character in the film.

The look of the film is just amazing. A lot of visual style all around with tons of action, slo-mo, and 3D. Major kudos to the director and screenwriter for making the slow motion have purpose. I am sick and tired of 'cool' slow motion action scenes just for the sake of making something happening on screen seem more awesome. Here the slo-mo actually serves a purpose with having a drug that Mama's gang manufactures and distributes that makes the user high as a kite while also experiencing everything in slow motion. Cheep parlor trick for the 3D action but clever and entertaining to say the least.

I want more DREDD 3D films, more importantly I want more action films like this to come out of Hollywood!

Highly recommended for action film fans and comic book movie fans. I even recommend seeing it in 3D which is a format I rarely show love for.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


SEEKING EMPLOYMENT is the newest paycheck for Nicolas Cage. The movie seems a tad phoned in. If Nicolas Cage and Guy Pearce weren't attached to this the movie would probably be a Lifetime Channel original presentation.

Cage plays Will Gerard a high school English teacher, whose wife gets raped. At the hospital he meets Simon who tells Will that his wife's attacker can be “taken care of” just as long as Will does him a “favor” in return at any given time. Will declines the offer at first but his emotions get the better of him and he agrees. Six months pass and it's time for Will to fulfill his end of the bargain but when it involves killing a man he chooses not to do it.

The pressures of Simon and his vigilante organization become too great for Will that he decides to go through with it. What happens next is the unraveling of a conspiracy that involves the police, a journalist, and far too many people Will can or cannot trust.

This movie sucks or more specifically the plot hole ridden script sucks! Director Roger Donaldson is very talented at making several scenes suspenseful that otherwise sound completely retarded on paper. The movie very much feels like one of those dime a dozen crime fiction novels they sell at the grocery store, you know the kind that make better C.S.I television episodes than a 239 page book or vice versa.

Say what you will about Nic Cage's (most have written him off but I'm still a fan mostly) acting, but in SEEKING JUSTICE he sells the entire performance. When I should be laughing at how mediocre the plot is unfolding I am engaged with what's happening because Nicolas Cage is working his butt off playing Will Gerard.

Good direction and at least two solid performances mixed with cheep production and a lazy if not terrible script make SEEKING JUSTICE a non recommendation.