action, adventure, horror, movie, movie review

June 4th, 2018 Movie – World War Z

world war z

If there is one thing that the turn of the century can be noted for, it is the resurgence of the zombies (Hah, didn’t even think of the pun there). Zombie movies were making a rather large come back, but so were zombies in books and comic books. One of the biggest books to come out around the mid-2000’s was Max Brooks’ “World War Z”. I remember seeing hundreds of people reading or talking about this book when it was out. Several years later, news came out that they were going to make a movie based on the book. Now, that sounded interesting to me but there was one thing I found a little odd, the movie was going to be PG-13. Now that was going to be interesting as a PG-13 zombie movie was something that is pretty rare, if not entirely unheard of. Well, let’s see how it turned out with today’s movie, World War Z.

The plot: In Philadelphia, former UN worker Gerry Lane, his wife Karin, and two daughters Rachel and Constance (Conny), are stuck in traffic when a speeding motorcycle cop smashes the driver side window of their car. As Gerry gets out to try and see what is going on, an explosion occurs in the distance. Gerry gets back in his car just as another cop tells him to stay inside his car, right before he gets run over by an out of control garbage truck. Seeing a path out of there, Gerry follows behind the truck and tries to get out of the city but ends up being struck by an ambulance. Gerry and his family get out of the car, as they see more people running, and they head for an abandoned RV, as Gerry witnesses people, seemingly mad, begin attacking other people. As he looks back, he sees on person get bit and 12 seconds later, become one of the infected and start attacking other people. They get in the RV and drive out of the city and after a while, stop to tend to Rachel, who is suffering from an asthma attack. Realizing that they don’t have her inhaler with them, Gerry tries to get her to breathing calmed down when he receives a call from his former boss, UN Deputy Secretary General Thierry Umutoni. Theirry says he needs Gerry on this and makes plans to pick them up and will call back in an hour. Continuing on the road, Gerry and his family stop at a supermarket to get some supplies and medicine for Rachel. Gerry manages to get the medicine when he hears Conny screaming and when he checks on her, discovers two men attempting to rape Karin. Gerry yells out at them and one of the men tries to shoot him, forcing Gerry to use the rifle they found in the RV to kill him. After making sure Karin is all right, they head outside to find the RV is gone so they head to some nearby apartments, letting Thierry know where they will be, who says he will have a helicopter pick them up at day rise. As they get close to the apartments, more infected people begin chasing them and they quickly try to barricade the door and make their way towards the roof but are forced to take shelter with a couple and their son Tommy for the night. The next day, Gerry tries to convince the family to leave with them but they refuse so Gerry, making a makeshift gauntlet and taping a knife to the end of the rifle, leads his family towards the roof. When they come under attack by infected people, Gerry fends them off while Karin takes the girls to the roof and lights some flares to signal the helicopter. Gerry kills several people but as he spears the last one, it falls on top of him and tries to bite him but he is saved by Tommy, whose parents were attacked but he managed to escape. Gerry grabs Tommy and leads him to the roof but when he gets there, he avoids his family at first and heads to the edge of the roof, counting to 12 to make sure he wasn’t infected. The helicopter arrives and takes the Lanes and Tommy to an aircraft carrier that is serving as a makeshift base of operations, where Thierry is waiting for them. After getting his family and Tommy settled, Gerry speaks with Thierry, who tells him that the President is dead and several members of the Joint Chiefs. Major cities were struck the hardest by the virus, as airports proved to be the perfect way for the virus to travel. Reaching the control room, he points out Dr. Fassbach, who is telling a group of scientists and doctors that they need to find a point of origin for the zombie virus if they hope to find a cure. The UN military commander wants Gerry to go with Fassbach to help him with his investigation and keep him safe and Gerry refuses at first but the commander tells him that he has no room for non essential personnel and will have him and his family taken off the ship if he doesn’t help them. Gerry breaks the news to Karin and then says goodbye to his daughters, asking Tommy to help look after them. Gerry, Fassbach, and a team of SEALS fly to Camp Humphries in South Korea but as soon as they land, they are attacked by some zombies on the airstrip. Fassbach heads back to the plane but slips on the loading ramp and ends up shooting himself in the head. The base’s surviving personnel rescue Gerry and the rest of his team and bring them back to the base. Inside, Gerry asks about the memo, which was the first time the word zombie was mentioned, and the base commander, Captain Speke, tells him it was an email, not a memo. He takes him to a room where all of the bodies are ash and explains that the base doctor was the first patient on the base to be infected. He had gone to tend to the body of a soldier who went AWOL in a nearby village and the villagers asked him to tend to a sick boy, who was infected and tied to a bed in a barn. The boy bit the doctor and when he came back to base, he began biting his patients, except for one man who had a lame leg. Speke tells him that head shots seem to be the only way to kill them but they incinerated the bodies just to be sure. As they continue talking, Gerry’s attention turns to a cell where an ex CIA agent is being held, having been arrested for selling weapons to North Korea. The agent tells Gerry that the North Koreans will survive this because they pulled the teeth out of all of their citizens, making it impossible for the zombie virus to spread to them. He then mentions that Isreal had known something was coming, as they had walled off their cities a week before the first reports of the zombies had occurred. Deciding to fly to Jerusalem, Gerry and the soldiers make a stealth run to refuel the plane and leave, but as they make their way their, Karin tries calling Gerry on his sat phone, rousing the zombies. Speke, driving the refueling truck, clears a path for Gerry and the pilots and they reach the plane but Speke ends up being bit in the leg and the co pilot is forced to stay behind and detach the fuel lines, leaving Gerry and the pilot as the only one’s left. As they head to Jerusalem, Gerry calls Karin and tells her where they are going but they see a nuclear explosion occur, and the EMP from the explosion shorts out his phone. Arriving in Jerusalem, Gerry tells the pilot to stay on the plane and get it ready for a quick take off, then heads into the city. Gerry meets with Mossad Chief Jurgen Warmbrunn, who explains that they had intercepted an Indian military message claiming that they were fighting “dead spirits”. He then says that Israel had developed a policy over the years of a “10th Man”, where if 9 people had the same facts and came to the same conclusion, then the job of the 10th man was to assume that they were all wrong; and when it came to that message, he was the 10th man. Jurgen shows Gerry the walls and he asks him where he should go in India to start looking but Jurgen says that is a wast of time. As some of the people begin singing in celebration, a young girl grabs a microphone to sing louder. This causes the zombies outside the wall to start swarming towards the walls and begin climbing over each other, forming a zombie ladder to reach the top. Gerry realizes what is happening and shouts a warning to Jurgen that is too late as the zombies reach the top of the wall and begin pouring over it. Jurgen has some of his soldiers escort Gerry back to the airport so he can leave but they get attacked by zombies. Trying to reach a secondary extraction point, Gerry notices that the zombies ignore an old man and an emaciated boy while attacking other people nearby. One of the soldiers, Segen, is bitten in the hand and Gerry cuts it off, then starts counting as he works on binding her injury and realizes he had cut it off in time to save her life. The helicopter arrives but is ovverrun by zombies and they make it to the airport just as Gerry’s plane takes off. Seeing a commercial airliner about to leave, Gerry and the soldiers hold it up long enough for Gerry and Segen to get on board. As Gerry works on changing the bandages on Segen’s hand, he thinks back to what he witnessed and realizes he might have an answer to the problem. Using his phone, he calls Karin and tells her to get Theirry, then asks him to find the nearest medical facility that was working on diseases and vaccines. Gerry then heads to the cockpit and hands the phone to the copilot and after a few minutes, he returns and says they are heading to Cardiff, Wales, where a W.H.O. facility is but they don’t know if it is still operational. As they get close to Cardiff, a zombie that had managed to get on board attacks a stewardess and some other passengers in the back of the plane. Gerry and some of the passengers try to barricade the front cabins but when that fails, Gerry grabs one of Segen’s grenades and uses it to blow a hole in the side of the plane. The zombies start getting sucked out the hole but strike the engine, causing the plane to crash. Gerry comes too and finds that he has been impaled by a piece of debris but is otherwise still alive, as is Segen, and they make their way to the W.H.O. facility. On the aircraft carrier, they receive word that the plane went down and hearing no communication from Gerry and believing him dead, Thierry is reluctantly forced to send Karin, Rachel, Conny, and Tommy to a safe zone in Nova Scotia. Back in Cardiff, Gerry comes too and finds himself strapped to a table with two doctors asking him questions. When they ask about the phone Gerry had, Gerry tells them to call the number in it and Thierry answers. Thierry tells the doctors who he is and apologizes to Gerry when he asks about Karin, saying that he had no choice as they thought he was dead. After being reunited with Segen, Gerry asks them where they keep the lethal viruses, but ones that are curable, and the doctors think that he wants to infect the zombies and tell him that dead people can’t get sick. Gerry says it is not for the zombies, but for them and explains that he wants to use it as a camouflage to hide from the zombies. The doctors feel like that might work but tell him all of the deadly viruses are stored in B-wing, which is currently overrun by zombies. Gerry, Segen, and the head doctor make some make shift armor and carefully make their way towards the vault but when they accidentally alert the zombies to their presence, Gerry leads them away so that Segen and the doctor can get to the vault. Segen and the doctor reach the vault but are unable to get through the zombies and are forced to make their way back to the other side of the facility, with the zombies chasing after them. Meanwhile, Gerry reaches the vault, finding it clear of zombies now, and makes his way inside, having one of the doctors call to tell him the code, and he starts to grab all of the viruses inside but when he goes to leave, he finds a zombie outside the door waiting for him. Finding himself trapped with no way to contact the others, Gerry writes a note and holds it up to the camera, asking them to tell his family that he loves them, then injects himself with one of the viruses and sits down to wait. The doctors watch as well, and worry for Gerry’s health as some of the viruses that he grabbed had no cure so he could be dead either way. After waiting for a while for the virus to fully infect him, Gerry opens the door and stands still as the zombie enters the room but moves right past him. Sealing it inside, Gerry makes his way back to the others, causing a distraction that lures all of the zombies away from the door and he smiles as he is able to walk right past them to make it to the others. Inside, the doctor treats him for the disease and then he and Segen leave the facility to meet up with Thierry and tell him the good news. As Gerry is taken to Nova Scotia to be reunited with his family, it is shown how the W.H.O. manufactures more of the “viral camouflage” to pass out to survivors and counter offensives are starting to start killing off the zombies, as Gerry says that this isn’t the end, as the war has just begun.

World War Z met with modest review from the critics, holding a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “It’s uneven and diverges from the source book, but World War Z still brings smart, fast-moving thrills and a solid performance from Brad Pitt to the zombie genre.” Actor Peter Capaldi was credited as W.H.O. Doctor in the film. This is due to the film makers having insider knowledge of the fact that Capaldi would be portraying the next Doctor Who, which was announced by the BBC 2 months after the movie’s release. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $540 million off of a $190 million budget and a sequel had been planned, with Brad Pitt returning in his role and David Fincher slated to direct. The filming was supposed to start in 2018 but has been delayed as Fincher focuses on his TV series Mindhunter.

I have to admit, this was a pretty good movie, The acting was good, with Brad Pitt doing a good job in the lead role of Gerry. While the other actors were decent in supporting roles, as Gerry was honestly the main focus, I do think they could have done a better job with some of the people instead of just having them be there. The story was interesting, veering away from the source material somewhat while ramping up the drama, which really helped carry the movie along and keep people invested in it. The one aspect of the story that did irritate me was the idea of the “smart virus”. I felt like the idea of the virus “sensing” less than perfect hosts and avoiding certain people was honestly giving it too much intelligence. A virus is simply going to infect anyone it can, unless the body has the necessary anti bodies to prevent it, and zombies no longer have higher brain functions, simply functioning on instinct, and will attack any living body, regardless on if they are sick or not, as the only thing they notice is if the body is alive or dead. The special effects were pretty good but the main thing this movie had going for it was drama, and I felt like that was extremely well done. So it is possible to make a rather gore free zombie movie and, my issue aside, this is a good movie and one worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

crime, dark comedy, drama, movie, movie review, romance

March 28th, 2018 Movie – True Romance

true romance

Man, there were a lot of notable movies to come out in the 90’s and today’s movie is no exception. This is honestly my first experience with Quentin Tarantino’s work, even though he wasn’t the one directing the movie. Now I remember seeing this in theaters and being thoroughly entertained by it. When I watched it again years later, I was honestly amazed at how many people were in it that I didn’t realize when I first saw it. I know several of my friends that saw this movie also enjoyed it so let’s see if True Romance is still as much fun now as it was back then.

The plot: Clarence Worley is attending a Sonny Chiba triple feature at a Detroit theater when a girl, Alabama Whitman, accidentally dumps her popcorn on him. As Alabama apologizes, she asks Clarence to fill her in on what she missed in the movie and the two start talking, continuing their conversation over pie after the movies. Clarence takes her back to the comic shop that he works at and shows her around and they end up having sex in Clarence’s apartment above the shop. Later that night, Alabama admits to Clarence that she is a call girl that Clarence’s boss hired for his birthday but that she has fallen in love with him. Clarence says he is in love with her and the two end up getting married the next day. Later that day, Clarence keeps thinking of Alabama’s pimp, Drexil, and has a vision of Elvis telling him he should kill Drexil and Clarence decides to go through with it. Clarence asks Alabama for Drexil’s address, saying he is going to go there to pick up her things, and she begs him not to go but he insists that he has too so she relents. Clarence goes to Drexil’s house and tells him he is Alabama’s husband and he wants her things and ends up getting into a fight with Drexil and his bodyguard, Marty. Clarence kills Drexil and Marty and tells one of the other call girls to put Alabama’s things in a suitcase but when he gets back to his place, they find the suitcase is filled with bags of cocaine. Clarence and Alabama go see Clarence’s father Clifford, a former cop, and Clarence asks him to asks his friends on the force to see if they are looking into Drexil’s murder. Clifford does so and says that the police think it was drug related, as Drexil was associated with a drug dealer Blue Lou Boyle. Clarence thanks Clifford for his help and gives him the address for his friend Dick in Los Angeles, where they are heading too. As Clarence and Alabama head to L.A., they call Dick, saying they will be there tomorrow, and ask him of they got the letters Clarence sent, as it would explain what they are coming there for. Meanwhile, Clifford is visited by Vincenzo Coccotti, Boyle’s consigliere, and his men, who proceed to interrogate Clifford for Clarence and Alabama’s location. Clifford tells them that they left on their honeymoon and didn’t tell him where and Vincenzo kills him. As he cleans up, Vincenzo tells his men to go to Clarence’s apartment and find out where he might have gone when one of his men finds the note Alabama left with Dick’s address and points it out to Vincenzo. In L.A., Clarence and Alabama arrive at Dick’s apartment and he is shocked that they really have a suitcase full of cocaine. When Clarence asks if he arranged a sell, Dick says he can’t do it but his friend Elliot works for someone that could handle that much cocaine. Clarence, Alabama, and Dick meet with Elliot at an amusement park and explain what they have and Elliot calls Lee Donowitz, a film producer, who agrees to meet with them to sample the merchandise. Meanwhile, one of Vincenzo’s men, Virgil, shows up at Dick’s apartment and speaks with his roommate Floyd, asking where Clarence and Alabama are and Floyd tells him the motel they are staying at. Clarence drops Alabama off at the hotel while he goes to get them some lunch but when Alabama walks into the room, she finds Virgil waiting inside with a shotgun. Virgil asks her about Clarence and the cocaine and she tries to lie but he proceeds to beat her to get the information. Virgil finally finds the cocaine and plans to kill Alabama but she fights back and manages to kill him just as Clarence returns, and he quickly grabs her and the cocaine and quickly leaves. Meanwhile, Elliot gets pulled over for speeding and tries to get the girl he is with to hide the cocaine he is carrying but she refuses and ends up smacking him with the bag, covering him in the powder. He is arrested and offers to cut a deal, telling them about the upcoming sale, and the two detectives, Nicky Dimes and Cody Nicholson, tell their captain about it and plan to wire Elliot to make a sting. As the day of the deal comes up, Clarence, Alabama, and Dick show up at the hotel and meet with Elliot but Clarence, feeling cautious after recent events, points a gun at Elliot and threatens him, causing the police listening in on the wire to worry that the op is blown but Elliot manages to convince Clarence that everything is fine. Meanwhile, Vincenzo’s men show up at Dick’s apartment and learn from Floyd where Clarence and Alabama went. Back at the hotel, Clarence and the others arrive at Lee’s penthouse and they make the deal for the cocaine. As Clarence goes to use the restroom, he is visited by Elvis again, who tells him everything is going fine. Meanwhile, the police got the information they need and show up to make the bust, just as Vincenzo’s men show up. Finding out that Elliot had set him up, Lee throws coffee in his face, causing a shoot out to occur. Clarence is wounded as he exits the bathroom and Alabama crawls over to him while Dick throws the cocaine in the air to cover his escape. Everyone ends up getting shot to death, while Clarence is shown to still be alive and Alabama grabs him and the suitcase with their money and they leave, using a standoff with the last mafia member to cover their escape. Clarence and Alabama head to Mexico to live, with Alabama giving birth to their son, which they decide to name Elvis.

True Romance met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Fueled by Quentin Tarantino’s savvy screenplay and a gallery of oddball performances, Tony Scott’s True Romance is a funny and violent action jaunt in the best sense.” It was Brad Pitt’s idea to make his character a stoner that never left the couch and the hat he is wearing in the movie was one that he found on the boardwalk and decided to keep it, wash it, and use it for the movie. Despite the good reviews, the movie did not fare well at the box office, earning $12.3 million off of a $12.5 million budget.

This is such a good movie an so many levels. The acting was really good, with Christian Slater (Clarence) and Patricia Arquette (Alabama) doing great jobs in the lead roles. I also liked all of the other characters that were in the movie, though I wish that Christopher Walken (Vincenzo) had a bigger role in the movie than just the one scene. The story was incredible and very well written, indicative of Tarantino’s style for story telling. I will admit that the scene with Virgil beating up Alabama to get the information is a bit rough to watch but her fighting back and killing him made it memorable and if possible, more powerful. The drama involved was great in moving the story forward and the fire fight scene, while a bit over the top, had a bit of a poetic feel to it. A great movie and one that earns it’s own place in Tarantino’s hand crafted cinematic universe.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

comedy, crime, movie, movie review

October 9th, 2017 Movie – Snatch


When it comes to today’s movie, the one thing that really stands out in my mind was Madonna’s way to advertise for it. Back when this movie had come out, Madonna had recently married the director, Guy Ritchie. I don’t know remember when it happened exactly (and I am honestly too lazy to try and look it up) but at some point Madonna was photographed wearing a t-shirt that just said “Snatch” on it. Now, with this being Madonna, a lot of people, myself included, thought this meant something dirtier than what it really was but that was not the case. She was simply helping to promote her husband’s latest movie, which happened to be titled Snatch.

The plot: 4 men, led by Franky Four Fingers, rob a diamond exchange in Antwerp, stealing an 86 karat diamond from the vault. Franky heads to London to fence the diamond and before he leaves, one of his men tells him to look up an ex KGB agent named Boris the Blade in order to get a weapon. Meanwhile, Turkish, an amateur boxing promoter, is trying to organize a fight for his boxer, Gorgeous George, and is forced to work with Brick Top, a known gangster, who agrees to the fight so long as George throws the fight. Franky lands in London and calls Cousin Avi, an American gangster that he works for, who tells Franky to go see Doug the Head to get a price on the diamond and warns him to stay out of the casinos. At the same time, one of Franky’s men calls Boris and tells him that he is sending Franky to him to get a gun and he should steal the diamond, but not to do it himself so it doesn’t get traced back to him and Boris says he knows some people that he can use. When Franky goes to see Boris, Boris gives him a gun in exchange for placing a bet at a particular bookie’s place. Meanwhile, Turkish sends his partner Tommy and George to go get a new Caravan trailer from a group of Pikeys (gypsies). When the Pikeys trick Tommy into buying a worthless Caravan, George gets upset and ends up getting into a fight with the Pikey’s leader, Mickey O’Neil, who is a bare knuckles boxing champion and knocks out George with one punch. Boris goes to see Sol, a local pawnshop owner/fence and hires him to rob Franky and Sol has his friends Vinny and Tyrone help him. Meanwhile, Turkish is upset about George being hurt and decides to hire Mickey to take his place in the fight. When he tells Brick Top about the change, Brick Top is upset and tells Turkish to make sure Mickey throws the fight in the 4th round. Sol, Vinny, and Tyrone head over to stake out the site of the match and wait for Franky but Tyrone accidentally backs their car into the van that Franky is changing in, knocking him unconscious. Avi learns from Doug that Franky is going to an illegal boxing match so he flies to London and heads to the fight with Doug to stop Franky and get his diamond. Sol and Vinny go try to rob the bookie only to find that all the bets were called off and they end up trapped when the clerk activates the security room features but Tyrone simply opens the door from the outside and they all leave. As they go to leave, Tyrone pulls away from the van but when he sees Franky emerge from it, he knocks him out and throws him in the car. Inside the arena, Turkish explains to Mickey that he needs to throw the fight but Mickey ends up knocking out the fighter as soon as the fight starts. Later that night, Boris goes to see Sol and the others to get the case but they tell him they want half of the diamond’s worth, refusing the money he offered them. Boris ends up shooting Franky and when he learns they put the diamond back in the briefcase, he chops of Franky’s hand and walks away with the briefcase. Brick Top confronts Turkish about the money he lost and tells him he wants to use Mickey in another fight but this time, Mickey has to throw the fight. Turkish and Tommy go to see Mickey and try to convince him to take the fight and Mickey agrees to fight in exchange for a new Caravan for his mother, which Turkish and Tommy are forced to buy after they lose a bet with Mickey. Meanwhile, Brick Top asks his men if they recognize the men that tried to rob his bookie office and when they recognize Tyrone, they capture him and force him to tell him about the others. Brick Top and his men head to Sol’s shop and plan on killing them but Sol says he can get him a giant diamond so Brick Top says they have 48 hours to deliver it. At Doug’s suggestion, Avi hires Bullet-Tooth Tony to help him find Franky and they manage to track the diamond to Boris. Meanwhile, Turkish tells Bricktop Mickey’s demands and how he can’t meet them since Brick Top took all of Turkish’s money and Brick Top proceeds to smash up Turkish and Tommy’s arcade and burns Mickey’s mother’s trailer with her inside. When they hear what happened, Turkish and Tommy head over to the campsite to pay their respects and Mickey says he will do the fight. Avi, Tony, and Avi’s bodyguard Rosebud confront Boris and capture him, though Rosebud is injured in the process, and as they leave Boris’ house, they are followed by Sol, Vinny, and Tyrone. At the same time, Turkish and Tommy are returning from the campsite when Tommy throws Turkish’s drink out the window, which splashes onto Tony’s car and causes them to wreck, killing Rosebud. Boris manages to get out of the trunk but he is struck by Sol, Vinny and Tyrone, who end up wrecking. Avi and Tony head to a nearby bar to get cleaned up and Sol, Vinny, and Tyrone follow them and confront Tony but he notices they are using replica guns and he chases them off when he pulls out his Desert Eagle. As Sol and the others leave, they run into Avi and try to grab the case from him when Boris, who had survived being hit by their car, shows up with an assault rifle and demands the case. Tony hears the commotion and begins firing his gun through the wall, hitting Boris and Tyrone but Sol and Vinny escape with the case. Sol and Vinny plan on selling the diamond but Avi and Tony track them down and force them to give it back but Vinny’s dog swallows the diamond and as Avi starts shooting wildly at the dog, the dog jumps out a window and Avi accidentally kills Tony so Avi decides to call the job a loss and flies back to New York. Meanwhile, Mickey enters the fight and knocks out Brick Top’s fighter so Brick Top orders his men to kill the rest of the Pikeys but finds out that the Pikeys killed all of his men. As he goes to kill Mickey, Turkish, and Tommy himself, Brick Top ends up being killed and Mickey leaves with the rest of the Pikeys. When they go to the camp site the next day, Turkish and Tommy find it deserted. The police show up and question why they are there and Turkish spots Vinny’s dog, which had been bought from the Pikeys and had returned to the camp site, and says they were walking the dog, then the two leave with the dog, passing Sol and Vinny who are being arrested for having Franky’s body in their trunk. Tommy convinces Turkish to let him keep the dog and they take it to the vet, where they find the diamond in it’s stomach, so they take the diamond to Doug, who calls Avi, who flies back out to London to retrieve the diamond.

Snatch met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Though perhaps a case of style over substance, Guy Ritchie’s second crime caper is full of snappy dialogue, dark comedy, and interesting characters.” Brad Pitt’s role and character were written specifically for him, as Pitt had called Guy Ritchie and wanted to be a part of his movie but after Ritchie agreed, he realized he didn’t have a part for him so he rewrote the script to include Mickey. The indecipherable speech of Mickey was brought about by Pitt’s having a hard time mastering a London accent, but also as a counter to some critics’ complaints about the accents in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. The movie was a box office hit, earning $83.6 million off of a $10 million budget.

This is such a funny movie and definitely one that should be watched, even if you don’t like British movies. The acting was really good all around, with Jason Statham (Turkish) and Brad Pitt (Mickey) were great in their roles, while Vinnie Jones (Tony), Dennis Farina (Avi), Rade Serbedzija (Boris), Benicio Del Toro (Franky), Alan Ford (Brick Top), and Lennie James (Sol) were also good in the smaller roles they had. The story was very well written, having two fairly intricate plot lines going on at the same time, and occasionally mixing together, without really losing any focus on either one. It’s honestly hard for me to decide on which aspect of the comedy I liked better, the verbal comedy or the physical. The dialogue made for some really funny moments, especially when people were trying to figure out what Mickey was saying. As for the physical aspect, I think Lock, Stock had more physical comedy but there was plenty of physical comedy, such as when the bookie’s office was being robbed or when Tony shoots at Sol, Vinny, Tyrone, and Boris through the wall, then keeps warning Boris to stay down and shooting him before heading over and physically killing him. A lot of fun and well worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

crime, drama, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

July 25th, 2017 Movie – Seven


1995 was a time for some fairly memorable movies to come out, and man did I enjoy watching them. Today’s movie was one that I first had the opportunity to watch during a movie night at college, but ended up falling asleep. That was an interesting night as they were showing both today’s movie and 12 Monkeys and I fall asleep after Gluttony body is found and wake up to a bunch of animals running around a city with no clue what had happened. So when this came available to rent, I immediately rented it so I could find out what exactly happened. I always thought it was a good movie but never got around to buying it on DVD. When my brother was getting rid of his DVD’s and offered some of them to me, I saw that he had this one so I immediately decided to grab it. Now let’s see if it is as good as I can remember as I watch today’s movie, Seven.

The plot: At the scene of a murder, retiring detective William Somerset is examining the scene when his new partner, Detective David Mills, arrives and introduces himself. As they leave the scene, Somerset questions Mills as to why he chose to transfer to that particular city before they part ways. On Monday, Somerset and Mills arrive at the scene of an obese man who was found dead in his kitchen. As they examine the scene, they find the man’s hands and feet were bound and a bucket was under the table, collecting the man’s vomit. When Mills keeps talking nonstop, Somerset tells him to go help the officers ask the neighbors if they heard anything, which upsets Mills. At the morgue, the medical examiner tells Somerset and Mills that the man was forced to eat constantly until his stomach ruptured, with bruises on his head indicating a gun was pressed against it to force him into eating. Meeting with the captain, Somerset asks to be reassigned, as he feels like this is only the beginning and he doesn’t want this to be his last case. When he also asks that Mills be reassigned, as he doesn’t want this to be his first case, Mills objects and says he will work the case alone if Somerset doesn’t want to. The captain tells Somerset that he will keep working the dead man’s case, while sending Mills to investigate the death of a defense attorney. Mills arrives at the law firm, ignoring reporters’ questions as he heads up to the scene of the crime, where he finds the word Greed written in blood. Meanwhile, Somerset returns to the dead man’s apartment, after he had been given some pieces of wood that were in the dead man’s stomach. Examining the fridge, Somerset notices scratches in the floor in front of it and moves the fridge to find the word Gluttony written behind the fridge as well as a note. Back at the precinct, Somerset explains to the captain and Mills that the crimes are related and seemed patterned after the seven deadly sins. Somerset then tells them that they can expect 5 more murders before he walks away, saying he can’t be a part of this case. Somerset heads to the library and does some research on the seven sins, leaving a note for Mills to follow up on. The next day, as Mills is getting settled into his new desk (which was Somerset’s old office), his wife Tracy calls and invites Somerset over for dinner. After dinner, Somerset and Mills go over the photos of the attorney’s death and after seeing the picture of the attorney’s wife with blood around her eyes to make a pair of glasses, they decide to go ask her to look through the pictures to see if she sees anything missing or different. When the wife says one of the pictures is upside down, the two men go back to the office to examine the painting and discover fingerprints on the wall that spell out “Help Me.” When they run the prints, they match a known drug dealer and child molester so the SWAT team accompanies Somerset and Mills to his last known address. Breaking into the man’s apartment, they find hundreds of air fresheners hanging from the ceiling and the emaciated body of the man strapped to his bed. Mills finds photos of that the killer took of the man, showing he had been held captive there for a year, when the man suddenly starts breathing and thrashing on the bed and they have him rushed to a hospital. That night, Tracy calls Somerset and asks if they can meet in the morning to talk. Meeting at a diner, Tracy tells him that she is pregnant but she hasn’t told Mills yet as she hates the city and doesn’t want to raise a child there. As Somerset and Mills discuss the case at the precinct, Somerset gets an idea and has Mills accompany him to the library, where he prints a list of all the books that have to deal with the seven deadly sins. They then head to a diner, where Somerset hands the list to a contact at the FBI and he explains to Mills that the FBI would be able to find out who had been checking out some of those books, as well as books about murder and crime scenes in order to come up with some possible suspects. When they get a name, they head to the apartment of a man called John Doe but as they knock on the door, they notice a man approaching at the far end of the hallway. The man suddenly starts firing at them and Mills gives chase throughout the apartment and out into the street but John Doe gets the drop on him and holds a gun to Mills’ head, but lets him live and escapes as Somerset shows up. Heading back to the apartment, Mills wants to go in and look but Somerset tries to talk him out of it, as the way they found him was not technically legal, but Mills kicks the door open anyway, then bribes a woman to lie to the police in order to justify their being there. Heading inside, Mills finds several pictures, including one of him, and realizes that they had seen the killer earlier at the drug dealers’ apartment, posing as a reporter. When they hear a phone ring, Mills answers it and the killer congratulates them on finding him but says he will have to step up his time table. Seeing a picture of a blonde woman, they have some cops try to locate her before it is too late, while they head to an S&M shop, where John Doe had apparently purchased a custom item. When the girl is found, they find that she is dead, as a man was forced to rape her with a bladed codpiece, which ended up traumatizing the man. The next day, 911 receives a call from John Doe and Somerset and Mills arrive to find the fifth victim, a woman whose face had been slashed up and had a phone glued to one hand and a bottle of sleeping pills glued to the other; giving her a choice of living with a disfigured face or ending her own life. When the two return to the precinct, they are surprised to see John Doe arrive and turn himself in, demanding to see his lawyer. As John Doe speaks with his lawyer, Mills and Somerset learn that John Doe had been cutting the skin off of his fingertips for years in order to keep from leaving any prints. The lawyer meets with the detectives, the captain, and the D.A. and tells them John Doe’s demands. He says that he will take Mills and Somerset to the location of the last two bodies and sign a full confession of what he did but if they don’t do exactly what he says, he will plead insanity to everything. Somerset and Mills get in the car with John Doe and he directs them to a field outside of the city, discussing the people he killed along the way as a police helicopter follows them. When they arrive at the field, John Doe has them walk out to the field when Somerset notices a van coming down the road towards them and goes to intercept it. He discovers that it is a delivery van with a package for Mills that John Doe had arranged to send to their location at that time. When Somerset opens the box, he recoils in horror, then tells everyone to stay away before he runs back towards Mills, yelling at him to put his gun down. John Doe starts talking to Mills and telling him how much he envied his life and how he went to his home and tried to imitate it with Tracy but it didn’t take so he killed her and took her head as a trophy. When Somerset reaches them, Mills asks what is in the box while Somerset tries to get him to put his gun down. When John Doe tells Mills that Tracy begged for her life as well as her unborn baby’s life. Mills becomes grief stricken and ends up shooting John Doe, becoming Wrath like John Doe intended. Mills is taken away and the captain tells Somerset that they will do all they can to take care of him, and when he asks where Somerset will be, Somerset tells him he will be around as he walks away.

Seven met with positive results from the critics, holding an 80% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.” While filming the scene of Mills chasing after John Doe, Brad Pitt really did injure himself when he fell and his arm went through a windshield, requiring surgery, and the injury was worked into the movie. Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone were offered the role of Mills, while Al Pacino was offered the role of Somerset, but they all declined for various reasons and have sense admitted that they regret turning down the roles. The movie was a big hit at the box office, earning $327.3 million off of a $33 million budget.

If you want a dark and gritty movie, than this is the one for you. This is a fantastic movie to watch. The acting was fantastic, with Morgan Freeman (Somerset), Brad Pitt (Mills), and Kevin Spacey (John Doe) were absolutely incredible in this movie, while Gwyneth Paltrow was pretty much the only bright spot in the movie, somewhat literally with her blonde hair, in her portrayal of Tracy. The story was incredible and did a good job of painting a rather bleak outlook on life. The drama and tension involved in the movie did a great job in drawing the audience in and getting them invested in the outcome. I have to admit that even though I knew it was coming, I still jumped when the drug dealer started moving on the bed. A great movie to watch, especially on a dark, stormy night.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5