action, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

Flashback Review: May 31st, 2014 Movie – The Bourne Identity

the bourne identity

So when I first hear about this movie, I did the thing I normally do when a movie based on a book comes out, I went to read the book first. Unfortunately, it took me forever to read the book. I don’t know why, but every time I tried to read it it would put me to sleep. Putting my efforts to read the book to the side, I didn’t get a chance to see The Bourne Identity when it was in theaters nor did I immediately rent it when it came out on DVD. My first time watching it was actually watching about a third of it on TV one day. This prompted me to end up renting it and eventually, buy a box set containing the first three movies in the set.

The plot: In the Mediterranean Sea, a n Italian fishing boat is out at sea during a storm when they see an unconscious man floating in the water and rescue him. As they bring him into the cabin, the ship’s captain discovers two bullet wounds in the man and as he tends to the wounds, he finds a strange capsule in the man’s hip and removes that as well, discovering that it contains an account number for a bank in Zurich. Suddenly, the man regains consciousness and attacks the doctor but as the doctor explains that they found him and asks his name, the man can’t remember who he is. Elsewhere, a CIA agent working for a black ops program  known as Operation Treadstone, tells the program’s director, Alexander Conklin, that their mission had failed. Back on the boat, the amnesiac man finds that he can remember how to do some things, like tie knots and speak several languages, but still doesn’t remember who he is. When the boat arrives in Italy, the captain gives the amnesiac some money that will enable him to get to Switzerland and wishes him luck on his journey. When he gets to Switzerland, the amnesiac ends up being harassed by some police when he is found sleeping in a park but when they go to arrest him, he instinctively grabs their batons and knocks them out, then gets freaked out by what he did and quickly runs away. Meanwhile, Nykwana Wombosi, an exiled African dictator, is giving an interview in Paris, France claiming to have survived an assassination attempts. In CIA Headquarters in Langley, the director is telling his deputy directors about Wombosi’s claim and that he wants them to put him back into power or else he will tell the world that they were behind the attempt. After the meeting is dispersed, Deputy Director Ward Abbott meets with Conklin to find out what happened and is upset that he didn’t tell him that their asset has disappeared until now. Back in Switzerland, the amnesiac heads to the bank when it opens and after giving them the account number listed in the chip, he is led to a high security safety deposit box. After the box is taken to a secure viewing room, the man finds a passport with the name Jason Bourne on it, as well as several other items. Noticing a second layer to the box, he pulls out the top part and finds a large quantity of money, several more passports with different names on them, and a gun. Deciding to take the passport saying he is Jason Bourne, Bourne, grabs all the money and everything else in the safety deposit box, leaving the gun inside, then leaves the bank, unaware that the bank manager is making a phone call to Treadstone about Bourne. Bourne makes a phone call to Paris, trying to ensure that he does live at the address listed on the passport but when he notices that the police seem to be taking an interest in him, he hangs up and quickly leaves, with some police officers following him. Bourne uses his passport to head into the American consulate but when he changes his mind about his plan and goes to leave, he is detained by the guards. Bourne quickly subdues the three guards that try to capture him, then attempts to leave the building, grabbing a guards radio so he can keep tabs on their attempts at capturing him. Bourne makes his way up to the roof  and after avoiding being detected, he climbs down the wall and grabs the bag that he dropped. Bourne heads down an alley and notices Marie Kreutz, a German woman that had been at the consulate when Bourne was there, and offers her $10,000 to drive him to Paris and she refuses initially but, needing the money, she agrees to drive him. Meanwhile, Treadstone is busy confirming that Bourne is still alive and when they see the picture from a video camera and hear the report about the consulate, Conklin orders several of their assets, Castel, Manheim, and the Professor, to be activated and sent after Bourne. They eventually spot where Bourne had met up with Marie in the alley and after getting Marie’s information, they send that to Nicky Parsons, a handler in Paris, so she can send their pictures to the authorities so they can be detained. Back in Europe, Bourne tells Marie about his amnesia and the weird things he does know and she doesn’t quite believe him but continues to drive him to Paris. When they arrive at the address on Bourne’s passport, Bourne pays her the rest of the money he promised but Marie, having become interested in Bourne, doesn’t want to leave just yet and Bourne invites her inside. When they ring the doorbell, the housekeeper for the building happily greets Bourne and lets him in and they head upstairs to his unit. Inside, they both look around his place before Marie asks to use the bathroom. As she is gone, Bourne hits the redial on his phone and when he gets the hotel, asks for Jason Bourne and when they have no record of him, he asks for John Michael Kane, one of the names that was on another passport. He is told that Kane had died 2 weeks ago and he starts to get paranoid, searching the house after grabbing a knife from the kitchen. When Marie exits the bathroom, he drops the knife behind a doorway, out of her sight, but as they talk, they are suddenly attacked by Castel. Bourne defends himself and manages to disable Castel and he throws Marie Castel’s bag and has her go through it while he questions Castel. When Marie finds pictures of them from the consulate, she freaks out and starts yelling at Castel about how he got her picture and as Bourne tends to her, Castel jumps out the window, killing himself. Bourne helps Marie outside, as she has gone into shock, and after driving away from the scene, they head to the bus station, where Bourne heads inside to hide the bulk of the money. When he returns to the car, he finds Marie had left but soon sees her returning from the shop she had gone into. As he tries to tell her to go to the police and get away from him, as it would be safer for her to get away from him, he notices the police approaching them and asks her one more time to leave but she buckles her seatbelt, choosing to stay with him. Bourne begins driving and after causing several cops to crash, manages to eventually lose the police, then they quickly leave the car. Meanwhile, Wombosi goes to the Paris morgue to look at the body of Kane, who was the person that had attempted to assassinate him, but when he examines the body, he says it is not the same person as the body was not shot. Later, Nicky contacts Conklin and tells him that Wombosi wasn’t fooled so Conklin orders the Professor to kill Wombosi. Later, Abbott confronts Conklin about Wombosi’s murder but Conklin blames Bourne for the assassination and says that with the mission completed, he should be checking in within 24 hours, Meanwhile, Bourne helps Marie to dye her hair and afterwards, they end up having sex. The next day, Bourne has Marie help him get some information from the hotel that Kane was staying at and after she gets him the phone records, he begins calling people that Kane had called, eventually getting a meeting at one of the companies. When he goes to the meeting, Bourne is shocked to find that they know him as Kane. As Bourne tells Marie what he learned, she tells him that she found Kane in the morgue and they head there to examine the body only to find that it has been taken already, claimed by Kane’s “brother”. Bourne grabs the register and learns that Wombosi had gone to see the body but when they go to Wombosi’s place, theylearn about his assassination. Bourne and Marie head back to their hotel but when Bourne notices the police heading towards them, he has the cab driver pull over and tells Marie that they have to leave. Learning that the police are looking for them, Marie wants to get away from Bourne but he tells her he will take her wherever she wants to go and she won’t have to see him again but for now, they have to stick together. Back in Langley, Abbott confronts Conklin about Bourne’s not coming in yet and Conklin tells him he will take of things. Conklin then decides to have his men search Marie’s past and figure out anyone she might go to for help in the hopes of finding Bourne. Marie tries contacting an old friend of hers but when she gets no answer, she has Bourne drive her there, thinking it would be empty and they could hide there. When they get there, they find evidence that her friend is there and Bourne wants to leave but her friend shows up and they are forced to bluff and stay the night. Meanwhile, Conklin’s men are able to trace Marie’s call and figure out where she is going and give the information to the Professor so he can kill Bourne. The next day, Bourne and Marie are getting ready to leave but when her friend’s kids say their dog is missing, Bourne realizes that an assassin is there for them and tells everyone to hide in the basement. Bourne grabs a shotgun from a shelf and heads out, shooting a fuel supply in order to mask his movements from the Professor. Bourne is able to get the drop on the Professor and starts questioning him, learning about Treadstone before the Professor dies. Marie’s friend is getting ready to leave and Bourne give Marie some money so she can leave with them and start a new life somewhere where she will be safe. After they leave, Bourne goes through the Professor’s things and when he finds a phone, he calls the number programmed in it, eventually getting connected to Conklin. Conklin tells Bourne to come in but Bourne knows he will try to kill him again and instead tells him to meet him in Paris that afternoon and to come alone. Bourne heads to the meeting point early and observes it from a nearby rooftop. He sees Conklin arrive but since he sees Conklin’s team with him, he calls Conklin and tells him that since he didn’t come alone, he was leaving, then places a tracking device on Conklin’s car. Conklin tells Nicky to begin deleting all the files and computers at the office and heads over there. As they finish cleaning out the place, Bourne creates a distraction that allows him to sneak in, disabling their security systems as he does. Conklin grabs a gun and starts looking for Bourne but Bourne gets the drop on him and has him drop his gun. As Bourne tries to get answers from Conklin about what Treadstone is, Conklin tries to find out what happened with the mission involving Wombosi. As Conlin lists what Bourne had told him about his plan, Bourne suddenly remembers his attempt on Wombosi and how he couldn’t bring himself to kill him as his kids where there with him. Bourne tells Conklin that Jason Bourne is dead and if he sees anyone coming after him, he will bring everything about Treadstone to light. Suddenly, Bourne notices that Conklin’s radio was live and he knocks Conklin out, then takes out the guards before walking away. Conklin leaves the building shortly after Bourne and ends up being gunned down by Manheim, who had been ordered to kill Conklin by Abbott, then Abbott orders Treadstone to be shut down. Some time later, Abbott is testifying before a Congressional panel about Treadstone and after successfully telling them that it had been shut down, he then starts telling them about a new project called Black Briar. Elsewhere, Marie has opened up a scooter rental shop on Mykonos and when Bourne shows up at her shop, she smiles before rushing over and hugging him.

The Bourne Identity met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Expertly blending genre formula with bursts of unexpected wit, The Bourne Identity is an action thriller that delivers — and then some.” The movie was a box office success, earning $214 million off of a $60 million budget and would go on to spawn 4 sequels. While it is not the only movie to share plot points with the Bourne series of books, The Bourne Identity is the only movie in the series to remotely resemble the plot of the book of which it was named, as 2016’s Jason Bourne shared some plot points with “The Bourne Supremacy”.

Yes, it differs from the book but this is still a good movie on it’s own merit. The acting was good, with Matt Damon doing a great job as Jason Bourne. Franka Potente and Chris Cooper did great jobs in their roles as Marie and Conklin respectively and I also liked Brian Cox (Abbott), Julia Stiles (Nicky), and Clive Owen (The Professor), though their roles were limited. The story was pretty good, with the differences in the plot between the movie and the book making for a more straightforward story without dealing with the somewhat complex plot point involving “The Jackal”. The action scenes, such as the fights and the chase scene in Paris, were very well done and definitely added to the excitement without detracting away from the suspense of the story. All in all, this was a great movie and definitely helped introduce a new action hero to the silver screen.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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crime, movie, movie review, thriller

September 10th, 2017 Movie – Sin City

sin city

When it comes to movies based on comic books, 95% of the time I am all in for going to see them. Occasionally, there are those few (*cough* Catwoman *cough*) that I have no interest in seeing, but that was definitely not the case with today’s movie. I was a fan of Frank Miller’s work ever since I first read “The Dark Knight Returns” and when I heard that they were making a movie based on his “Sin City” graphic novels, I was definitely all in. So I went to watch it on opening night, and got the added bonus of seeing a fight between two girls as I was leaving the theater but that is another story, and was definitely not let down by it. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Sin City.

[Since the movie does not have a linear plot, I will review each section as it is shown in the movie]
The plot: [The Customer Is Always Right: Part 1] A woman in a red dress is standing outside on a terrace when a man approaches her and offers her a cigarette. The man tells her he is there for her and has been watching her for days, then tells her he can tell she is tired of running and offers to help her. The two share a kiss and as he holds her, the man shoots her and then holds her until she dies. The man says he will never know what she was running from but will cash her check in the morning.
{That Yellow Bastard: Part 1] Police detective Jack Hartigan is an aging cop on his last day on the force, as his doctor is forcing him to take early retirement due to his bad heart. Before he retires, Hartigan hopes to rescue a young girl, Nancy Callahan, from the clutches of Roark Junior, a sadistic child molester/killer who escapes justice due to his being the son of a senator. When he gets to the docks, his partner Bob tries to talk Hartigan out of it but Hartigan refuses to wait and punches Bob out cold. Hartigan makes his way to the warehouse where Junior and Nancy were said to be at, taking out two of Junior’s men on the way, when he collapses in pain due to his heart problems. Taking some pills and pulling out his gun, Hartigan bursts into through the door and takes out the two men inside, but Junior shoots him in the arm and escapes with Nancy. Hartigan follows him to the end of the dock, where Junior taunts him that he can’t touch him because of his father, but Hartigan shoots his ear off. As Hartigan tells Nancy to cover her eyes, Junior shoots Hartigan in the shoulder, prompting Hartigan to shoot off Junior’s hand and his penis. Suddenly, Hartigan is shot in the back by Bob, who was on Senator Junior’s payroll, and when Hartigan refuses to sit down and goes for his hidden piece, Bob shoots him several more times until Hartigan collapses on the dock. As the sirens get closer, Nancy approaches Hartigan and lays down in his lap while Hartigan passes out due to blood loss, thinking it fitting that an old man dies so a young girl may live.
[The Hard Goodbye] A man named Marv has sex with a prostitute named Goldie but when he wakes up, he finds that she has been murdered and he has been set up to take the fall. When the police come to arrest him, Marv fights his way through them and escapes his building, steals a police car, then drives it off a pier before swimming to a nearby sewer pipe and using it to escape the manhunt. Marv heads to the apartment of his parole officer Lucille, who is dating a shrink that gives her some pills for Marv to take after she tried to give him therapy. After telling her about his run in with the police, Marv heads out to find out who killed Goldie and why. Marv heads to Kadie’s bar and orders some drinks while watching Nancy Callahan, now an adult, dance on stage. While he is drinking, a man named Dwight McCarthy is watching him and comments on Marv being born in the wrong century. When two hit-men show up and escort Marv outside, he quickly subdues them and tortures one of them to get information on Goldie’s killer before he kills them. As he leaves, he thinks he smells Goldie’s perfume but dismisses it, not noticing a woman that looks like Goldie is following him. Marv works his way up the food chain to a crooked priest, who tells him that Roark is involved and tells him to head out to a farm to verify the truth and Marv kills him when he insults Goldie. As he leaves the church, Marv is struck by a car driven by the woman that looks like Goldie, who shoots at him before speeding off. Marv thinks the attack was just a hallucination and heads out to the farm, where he finds a human bone before he is quickly knocked unconscious by Goldie’s killer, a young man named Kevin. When Marv comes too, he is in a tiled room with the heads of several women mounted on the wall and a naked Lucille shivering in the corner and as he goes to comfort her, she reveals that Kevin is a cannibal and has eaten her hand. After she calms down, Lucille explains that she had hired Goldie to be with Marv and Marv said he never knew she was a hooker. Marv manages to break the bars off the window and they try to escape but a police helicopter arrives. Lucille knocks Marv out and tries to arrange a peaceful surrender but the officer in charge shoots her, prompting Marv to kill all of the cops. The officer in charge tells Marv that the man behind all of this is Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark, who holds enough political power to get his brother made a senator. Marv heads to Old Town to find out more information about Goldie when he is shot by the woman. When Marv comes too, the woman starts pistol whipping him to find out what he did to Goldie and the others but when one of the other hookers calls the woman Wendy, Marv learns that she is Goldie’s twin sister. After convincing Wendy that he isn’t the killer, Marv has her help him pick up some supplies and then drive him back out to the farm. After laying out a trap for Kevin, Marv throws a firebomb into the house and sets it ablaze, then manages to handcuff himself to Kevin, so that Kevin can’t move around, before knocking him out. Wendy shows up and goes to kill Kevin but Marv knocks her out and places her in the car. He then heads back to Kevin and proceeds to cut off Kevin’s limbs and then leaves him to be eaten by the wolf that was kept at the farm, cutting his head off before he leaves. Marv calls Kadie’s and has Nancy meet her at her place and he leaves Wendy with her, then heads out to find Cardinal Roark. After hearing Roark’s reasoning for the killings, Marv kills Roark and is then shot by the police but isn’t killed. After he recovers from surgery, he is beaten by police and blackmailed into signing a confession when they threaten to kill his mom. After the trial is over and he is sentenced to death, Marv receives a visit from Wendy, who tells him he can call her Goldie as she holds him. The next day, Marv is strapped into the electric chair and they are forced to electrocute him twice, as he managed to survive the first attempt.
[The Big Fat Kill] Shelly, a waitress at Kadie’s, is arguing with her abusive ex boyfriend Jackie Boy, who is trying to get her to let him into her apartment. As Jackie Boy keeps pounding on the door, her current boyfriend Dwight says to let him in but she refuses as she doesn’t want to cause more trouble. When Jackie Boy threatens to break down the door, Shelly opens it while Dwight gets dressed and ducks out of sight. Jackie Boy and his friends enter the apartment and after talking with her for a few minutes, he decks her and tells her to call some friends so they can all party, then heads off to use the restroom. As Jackie Boy finishes, Dwight grabs him and holds a straight-razor to his face and warns him to stay away from Shelly before dunking Jackie Boy’s head into the toilet and holding it there for a few minutes before he leaves. Jackie Boy is shaken up and quickly leaves with his gang while Shelly finds Dwight out on the ledge watching them leave. She tries to explain how she met Jackie Boy before Dwight came back but Dwight says it doesn’t matter and he has to stop Jackie Boy before anyone else gets hurt. As he leaps off the ledge, Shelly screams out at him but Dwight can’t hear what she is saying due to a passing police helicopter. As Dwight is following after Jackie Boy, a cop starts following him and then goes after Jackie Boy when he almost causes an accident. Jackie Boy heads to Old Town and the cop quickly turns around, as the girls of Old Town are the law in that part of town. Jackie Boy attempts to pick up a prostitute named Becky, Dwight goes to follow but is stopped by Gail, the defacto leader of the girls of Old Town, who tells him that they have been keeping tabs on Jackie Boy and his friends and that Miho is waiting for them to get out of line. When Jackie Boy pulls out a gun and threatens Becky, Miho throws a throwing star to cut off his hand, then proceeds to kill all of Jackie Boy’s men. As Jackie Boy tries to kill Miho, Dwight goes to help her and warns Jackie Boy not to shoot as Miho had blocked the barrel but tries to shoot Dwight and the gun backfires, sending the barrel into his head and Dwight asks Miho to put him out of his misery. As the girls start looting the bodies, Dwight searches Jackie Boy and discovers that he is a cop, which means his death will threaten the truce the girls have with the police. Some of the girls are worried that the bad times will start again but Gail says they will go to war and fight them off. Dwight tells Gail to get him a car and he will get rid of the body before the police shut down the roads and Gail refuses at first but after Dwight smacks her to get her to get the gun out of his face, she kisses him and agrees to give him the car. As Dwight helps Miho cut up the bodies so they fit in the trunk, Becky asks Gail if she can leave and Gail says yes but not to call anyone but Becky disobeys her and calls her mom when she is out of Gail’s sight. All of the bodies don’t fit in the trunk so Dwight puts Jackie Boy’s body next to him and as he drives off, he hallucinates that Jackie is talking to him. After talking his way out of being stopped by a police officer, Dwight pushes the car the last 1/4 mile to the tar pits but ends up being shot by someone who is after Jackie’s body. Meanwhile, Gail is organizing a lock down of the streets when she is grabbed by Manute, who tells her that they know what happened and his master will take over Old Town but offers her a chance to save the women’s lives. Back at the tar pits, the four mercenaries head over to the car to check the body but Dwight was saved due to the bullet hitting Jackie’s badge and he kills the four mercenaries but a grenade is tossed towards him and he is blown into the tar pit. When he comes too, he finds two men working on cutting off Jackie’s head as Dwight sinks into the tar. Dwight is rescued by Miho and Dallas, who tell him that Gail is captured and Dwight tells them they have a spy in Old Town. The head after the two mercenaries and crash into their car and eventually get the head back but Dallas is killed during the fight. Back in Old Town, Manute is torturing Gail while Becky tries to talk her into giving up but Gail bites Becky. Suddenly, Miho shoots an arrow into one of Manute’s men with a note from Dwight offering an exchange of Jackie’s head for Gail and as Manute and the others leave with Gail and Becky, Miho kills the man she shot. Outside, Dwight tells them they can have Old Town so long as he gets Gail and Manute releases Gail, who runs and embraces Dwight. As Dwight hands over the head, Becky says something is wrong and questions why there is tape over Jackie’s mouth, just as Dwight hits the detonator and triggers the explosive he placed inside the head. As Manute and his men recover, they find the rooftops filled with the girls of Old Town and Dwight, Gail, and all of the girls begin shooting at Manute and his men, as they want to leave a body count so high that the mob will deem it not worth trying to take Old Town. Becky is wounded but manages to get away while Dwight and Gail kiss each other and stare at the carnage.
[That Yellow Bastard: Part 2] Hartigan wakes up in a hospital bed to find Senator Roark standing over him, explaining that he plans on keeping Hartigan alive so he can torture him for what he did to his son, by framing him for the rapes and murders of all the kids Junior killed. He then receives a visit from Nancy, who is upset that they won’t let her testify and when Hartigan tells her not to visit or contact him, she tells him that she won’t visit but will write him every week and sign them Cordelia so they won’t know it is from her. The police try to get Hartigan to confess but Hartigan refuses so he is placed in Solitary, where he finds a letter from Nancy waiting for him. Nancy writes him for 8 years but when a few weeks go by without a letter, Hartigan gets worried about them having found Nancy. One day, Hartigan wakes up on the floor and finds a yellow skinned man sitting on his bed. The yellow skinned man knocks out Hartigan and when he comes too, he finds an envelope with a finger inside. Hartigan breaks down and decides to give Roark what he wants and confesses to the crimes in order to try and find Nancy. Hartigan is released and finds Bob waiting for him and he drives him to Nancy’s place, unaware that they are being followed by the yellow skinned man. At Nancy’s place, Hartigan finds no sign of her or where she might be except for a matchbook for Kadie’s. He heads there and asks Shelly if she knows Nancy and Shelly directs him to the stage, where he sees Nancy dancing. Hartigan realizes that he had been tricked and had led the yellow bastard straight to Nancy and tries to get outside before she can spot him but Nancy sees Hartigan and quickly jumps off stage and kisses him. Hartigan tells her they have to leave and as they leave the club, the yellow skinned man follows them and starts shooting at them. Hartigan uses Nancy’s gun to shoot back and manages to shoot the yellow skinned man in the throat, causing the car to crash. Hartigan has Nancy stop so he can confirm that the man is dead but when they check the car, they find no sign of the body and figure he crawled out to die. They head out to a motel to rest, unaware that the yellow skinned man was hiding in the back seat of Nancy’s car. Inside the motel, Nancy admits to Hartigan that she is in love with him and has been ever since he saved her, which is why she wrote to him, and Hartigan has a hard time telling her no, eventually giving in and kissing her before forcing himself to back away from her but tells her that he loves her too. Hartigan goes to take a cold shower only to have the yellow skinned man, who reveals himself to be Roark Junior, knocks him silly. Junior strings Hartigan up and leaves him to hang while he leaves with Nancy and Hartigan tells Nancy not to scream before Junior kicks the table out from under him. Hartigan doesn’t die and manages to break the window and use a piece of glass to free himself. As Junior’s men head to the motel to get rid of Hartigan’s body, Hartigan knocks one of them out and threatens the other one to learn where Junior took Nancy and he tells him that Junior went to the farm. Hartigan heads there in the goon’s car but as he approaches the farm, he starts having chest pains and coughs up blood. Hartigan uses a knife to kill some of the guards quietly and as he gets closer to the barn, he hears Junior whipping Nancy but she refuses to scream. As Hartigan rushes to get to the barn, he ends up getting shot in the arm, alerting Junior to his presence. Hartigan kills the shooter then heads to the barn to confront Junior but as he goes to shoot him, he suddenly collapses. Junior heads over to taunt Hartigan only for Hartigan to stab him in the stomach, revealing that he faked the heart attack to get Junior away from Nancy. Hartigan then proceeds to beat Junior to death with his bare hands before collapsing into Nancy’s arms. As Hartigan escorts Nancy to his car, he tells her to leave while he waits for some federal officers to process the scene so they can take down Roark but after she leaves, Hartigan, knowing Roark will do whatever it takes to kill Hartigan and Nancy since Junior is dead, kills himself in order to save Nancy’s life.
[The Customer Is Always Right: Part 2] Becky is at the hospital getting her arm tended too and talks to her mom on her cell phone when she steps into an elevator. Inside the elevator, she is approached by The Salesman, dressed as a doctor, who asks if she would like a smoke and Becky, knowing who he is, tells her mom that she loves her before hanging up the phone.

Sin City met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Visually groundbreaking and terrifically violent, Sin City brings the dark world of Frank Miller’s graphic novel to vivid life.” With the movies being based on Frank Miller’s books by the same name, there were actually several references to the books through out the movie. During the three main stories, the title of the story is mentioned during one of the main character’s narrations, while the cover art for the book “Booze, Broads, and Bullets” is seen various times throughout the movie. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $158.8 million off of a $40 million budget.

I am not going to lie, I absolutely love this movie. I honestly think it is one of the best translations to film of any comic book that has ever occurred. The acting was fantastic all around, with Bruce Willis (Hartigan) and Mickey Rourke (Marv) turning in absolutely amazing performances. The story was amazing and honestly felt like I was watching the comic book having come to life right off of the pages. The film technique used in this movie was fantastic, with the black and white style of filming adding to the dark tones of the movie while the occasional splashes of color made for some incredible contrasts which only added to those scenes. One of my favorite aspects was Alexis Bledel’s character of Becky, whose bright blue eyes made for some amazing contrast. The special effects with the fight scenes and the blood were also really good and really added to the whole feel of this being a comic book brought to life. Whether you are a comic book fan or not, this is absolutely a must see movie.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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action, crime, dark comedy, movie, movie review

August 29th, 2017 Movie – Shoot ‘Em Up

shoot em up

Sometimes, you just need your action movies to be completely over the top in their violence. Aside from the mass star power, I am pretty sure that is one of the reasons that The Expendables franchise has been so successful. Years before those movies came out, we had another dose of over the top violence in the form of today’s movie. Now I remember seeing the trailers for this movie when it came out and thought it looked fun but never went to see it. After it came out on video, a friend of mine brought it over one night when a bunch of us were hanging out watching movies and we watched it. I thought it was absolutely hilarious and immediately went and got my own copy of it. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Shoot ‘Em Up.

The plot: A man named Smith is sitting at a bus stop eating a carrot when he sees a pregnant woman walk past, showing signs of having contractions. When a man chases after the woman, she ducks into a warehouse and the man stares at Smith before pulling out a gun and following after her, prompting Smith to follow them. Inside the warehouse, the woman tries to shoot the man but misses and as he approaches her with a knife, Smith grabs him and uses his carrot to kill him. When some more men appear, Smith grabs the dead man’s gun and begins shooting them, telling the woman to get out of there. After killing several of the men, Smith is forced to help deliver the baby in the midst of the continued gunfight. As the leader of the men, Hertz, arrives, Smith grabs his gun and asks why they are after the woman but Hertz doesn’t answer and instead, tells Smith that the gun won’t work unless his thumbprint unlocks it. As more men arrive, Smith hits Hertz with the gun, then grabs the woman and leaves but as they make their way up the stairs, he realizes that the woman has been shot in the head. Smith starts to leave but has a change of heart and grabs the baby, then heads up to the roof. Once there, he grabs a gun from a man that followed him and uses it to shoot out the neon lights on the sign above the other men before jumping across the roof tops and making his escape. As he is walking along the streets, he notices someone watching him so he ducks into a bus terminal and hides in the restroom. As he tends to the baby, he drops the gun in the toilet and quickly strips and dries it just as the man arrives and tells him to give him the baby. Smith tries to shoot him but the gun still isn’t dry enough so he ducks under the stalls and turns out the lights, then struggles with the man before using the hand dryer to finish drying off his gun and after getting the upper hand on the man, he leaves. Smith heads to a park and leaves the baby on a carousel for someone to pick up but when a woman gets shot as she approaches the baby, he sees Hertz aiming a sniper rifle at the baby. Smith shoots the carousel, causing it to spin around, messing up Hertz’s shop and he grabs the baby and manages to escape. Smith heads to a brothel and goes to see Donna Quintano, a hooker who specializes in lactation fetishes, and offers her $5000 to take care of the baby for a while but she refuses. Meanwhile, Hertz figures out that the baby will need some food and tells his men to look for wet nurses or any such option Smith might go to. Hertz ends up at Quintano’s room and questions her about Smith, repeatedly firing his gun and pressing the heated barrel against her skin as a form of torture. Just before he can seriously burn her, Smith appears and throws Hertz out of the room, then uses a severed hand on the gun he stole so he can shoot Hertz. Knowing more people will be coming, Smith has come with him and as they are walking along the street, Smith sees someone park in a handicap spot without a sticker and steals their car. Smith heads to a pawnshop and attempts to buy some guns and ammo, signing over a check from the blood bank to cover some of the costs, while Quintano turns a quick trick in order to buy a bullet proof vest for the baby. Heading to the church Smith has been squatting in, Smith decides to call the baby Oliver, after Oliver Twist, but he and Quintano continue to argue about what to do. Meanwhile, Hertz had been wearing a bulletproof vest and after recovering, manages to track down Smith to the church and have some new men meet him there so they can kill Smith. Upstairs, Smith is flipping channels on the TV and realizes that Oliver stops crying when he hears heavy metal music. Suddenly, the men break into the room and start attacking them and Smith has Quintano use the old dumb waiter to escape downstairs, while he kills the attackers and manages to make it downstairs with Oliver. As Hertz uses a dog to track them, Quintano tells Smith to shoot it but he refuses, saying he likes dogs, and instead uses his pet rat and Oliver’s diaper to lure the dog away from them. Following his hunch about the music, Smith heads to a heavy metal club that is near where he first saw the pregnant woman and sees several empty diaper boxes outside. After Quintano tortures the manager, he leads them to the upstairs area and unlocks it for them and Smith and Quintano see several dead guards and two other dead pregnant women, as well as one man who is reporting in on the scene. As they look around, they discover that someone was setting up a baby farm to harvest bone marrow and Smith kills another guard so they can escape. Hiding out in a hotel, Smith tells Quintano that he called all the news channels and newspapers, as well as the FBI, and that once the story goes public, they should be safe. Quintano is still upset with Smith about having her care for Oliver, as her own child had been delivered still-born. Smith and Quintano end up having sex when some men show up to kill them but Smith, without manages to kill them all while continuing to have sex. As they are getting dressed, Smith notices that the men have Hammerson guns that are not available on the market yet. Smith has Quintano and Oliver hide in a tank at a museum and goes to investigate Hammerson. Inside the factory, he sees Hertz talking with Hammerson and Hertz reveals that he knows who Smith is. When Hammerson and Hertz, along with Hammerson’s men, realize that Smith is there and try attacking him but Smith had rigged some weapons on trip wires and uses them to kill all of the men and make his escape. Heading back to the tank, Smith tells Quintano what he learned and as Quintano is changing Oliver’s diaper, he sees the photo of Senator Rutledge and realizes that he is the one that needs Oliver’s bone marrow. Smith comes up with a plan to get Quintano out of town, telling her not to tell him where she gets off in case things go bad. Smith then fools Hertz and his men into chasing after him with a decoy baby, giving Quintano time to get Oliver and leave town. Smith then calls Rutledge’s security detail and arranges to meet with Rutledge as he flies to North Carolina. On the plane, Smith and Rutledge are talking but Smith notices the dog hairs on Rutledge’s pants and realizes that he had meet with Hammerson, as he recognizes the dog hairs as belonging to Hammerson’s German Shepherd Duchess. Smith grabs one of the secret service’s guns and holds Rutledge office as Hammerson and Hertz and tell him that Rutledge made a deal with them in order to save his life. Smith takes Rutledge to the lower portion of the plane and ties him to the ladder, then shoots him, figuring that Rutledge’s assassination would help get his bills to pass by a sympathy vote. Smith then jumps out of the plane but he is followed by several secret service agents, who attempt to kill him in mid-air. Smith manages to kill them all, but is shot in the arm in the process, and after landing safely, he heads to an empty building to rest only to wake up to fins Hertz pointing a gun at him. Hertz takes him to Hammerson’s home and proceeds to torture Smith by breaking the fingers in his right hand but Smith refuses to tell him where Quintano and Oliver are. As Hertz prepares to use more extreme methods of torture, Smith manages to get free and kills Hertz’s men and then manages to overpower Hammerson and have him shoot himself. When Hertz approaches him, Smith attempts to shoot him but his mangled hand causes him to miss. Smith retreats to another room and Hertz finds him leaning next to the fireplace and as he gets closer, he sees that Smith had placed the bullets from his gun in between the fingers of his left hand, which he sticks in the fire in order to ignite them and shoot Hertz. Smith goes to leave but Hertz stands up to try and stop him and they both raise their guns but Smith manages to shoot Hertz and finally kill him. Smith leaves Hammerson’s house, accompanied by Duchess, and heads to the bus stop that Quintona used to get out of town. Riding the Green Bus, Smith and Duchess get off at one of the stops and head to a Dream Queen ice cream shop to get some food. While there, Smith sees that Quintona works there and the two embrace and kiss. Suddenly, three armed men burst in and attempt to rob the place but Smith grabs one of their guns and, using a carrot to pull the trigger, manages to stop them as Quintona continues to hold him.

Shoot ‘Em Up received mixed to positive reviews from the critics, holding a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “As preposterous and over-the-top as Shoot ‘Em Up may be, its humor and non-stop action make for a very enjoyable film.” The first gun Smith uses in the film is a Walther PPK and when it jams on him, he calls it a piece of crap, which is a subtle dig on the fact that Clive Owen had been considered for the role of James Bond but was passed over in favor of Daniel Craig. The movie did not fare well in theaters, earning $26.8 million off of a $39 million budget.

This is such a ridiculously funny movie. The acting was good, with Clive Owen (Smith) and Paul Giamatti (Hertz) doing a good job playing off of each other, while Clive Owen also had some great chemistry with Monica Bellucci (Quintano). The story was pretty intriguing, with the slight mystery surrounding Oliver making a good focal point for the all of the violence that occurred. The special effects involving the gun fights were really over the top, which made for a lot of entertainment and laughs throughout the movie, such as Smith shooting out the letters in the sign to spell “FUK U”, and as Hertz stares at Smith across the rooftop, he shoots out the “L” in TOOL, so that the sign now then reads “FUK U TOO”. A lot of crazy action that is a blast to watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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