action, comedy, movie, movie review, sports

January 21st, 2018 Movie – Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

talladega nights

There are always going to be those movies that people will talk about or quote. Sometimes they are more dramatic or serious movies but usually, they tend to be comedies. That is definitely the case with today’s movie, as I know several people that like to quote various lines from this movie. My first introduction to this movie was not in theaters, but at a friends house after it came out on DVD, and was told to come watch it during a group movie night because it’s funnier with our friend Chris laughing at it (and I will admit his laugh is funny in it’s own right). Anyways, I enjoyed the movie and decided to pick up my own copy on DVD so let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby.

The plot: Years ago, Reese Bobby is speeding down the highway while his wife Lucy is going into labor. They pass the hospital because Reese is interested in driving faster and when he stops to turn around, Lucy ends up giving birth to their son, Ricky. 10 years later, Reese shows up at Ricky’s school for career day, making it the first time he has seen Ricky since he was born. After Reese is thrown out of the school, Ricky runs out after him and Reese tells Ricky, “If you aint first, you’re last.” before getting in his car and driving off. In the present day, Ricky Bobby and his best friend Cal Naughton Jr. are working on the pit crew for the Dennit Racing team. While racing in Talladega, the car’s driver leaves the car to use the restroom, claiming they are in last place so it doesn’t matter anyways. Realizing that they will lose their sponsor if they don’t get the car back on the track, the crew chief, Lucius Washington, asks if anyone there wants to drive fast and Ricky volunteers. After getting in the car and driving on the track, Ricky manages to finish in third place, prompting Larry Dennit Sr. to make Ricky Bobby the team’s new driver. With Ricky Bobby becoming Nascar’s hottest new star, the team gets a new sponsor and Ricky convinces Dennit to sponsor a second car, with his friend Cal as the driver. Ricky marries a fan named Carley after she shows him her boobs and they end up having two kids, Walker and Texas Ranger, and live in a large house with Carley’s father Chip. As time passes Larry Dennit Jr ends up taking control of the racing team and has issues with Ricky’s racing style, where he either wins or crashes trying. As Ricky and his friends celebrate their most recent win, they are interrupted by Jean Girard, a French Formula One racer who has just been signed onto the Dennit Racing Team. As Ricky and Girard get into a confrontation, Girard gets Ricky in an armbar and threatens to break his arm unless Ricky says that he loves crepes but even though Cal and his crew make an argument that would allow to save face, Ricky refuses and tells Girard to go ahead and break his arm. The next week at Lowes Motor Speedway, Girard breaks Ricky’s track record during the qualifying, prompting Ricky to tell Lucius to get his car ready to race, despite the fact that his arm is still in a cast. During the race, Ricky manages to catch up to Girard but is unable to pass him. Ricky calls on Cal to help him pass using a drifting/slingshot maneuver but Cal’s engine blows. Ricky eventually wrecks while trying to pass Girard, who wins the race, and as the paramedics tend to him, Ricky starts running around the track in his underwear, thinking he is on fire. At the hospital, Cal and Lucius go to check on Ricky and think he is paralyzed when they see him in a wheelchair but the doctors say he is fine and it is all in his head. As Cal and Lucius try to talks some sense into Ricky, Ricky stabs himself in the leg with a knife to prove he is paralyzed, then screams in pain when he realizes he isn’t. Cal and Lucius want Ricky to take things slow while getting ready to go back on the track but Ricky wan’t to go ahead and get started. However, on his first attempt at driving Ricky only goes 26 miles and hour, and when he gets out of the car, starts acting like he is on fire again and takes his uniform off, prompting Dennit to fire him and have Cal replace him. When Ricky returns home, he finds that Carley, desperate not to become poor, has decided to divorce Ricky and marry Cal, prompting Ricky to end his friendship with Cal. Ricky moves into his mom’s house with his two sons and ends up taking a job as a pizza delivery man but loses his license after hitting a woman’s shopping cart and a police officer so he is forced to use the bus or a bicycle for his deliveries. One day he delivers a pizza to a hotel only to find Reese there, who had ordered the pizza so he could talk to Ricky, but Ricky punches him then walks away. When he talks about the encounter with his mom, Lucy tells Ricky that she told Reese where Ricky was as she knew that he would be able to help Ricky get back into racing. Ricky reluctantly agrees to have Reese help him and Reese proceeds to try to get Ricky to overcome his fear of driving fast, one way involving putting a live cougar in the car and telling Ricky to get in there with it. Meanwhile, Lucy has had enough of Walker and Texas Ranger acting like hooligans and begins trying to reform them. As Reese’s lessons continue, one day he tells Ricky that he placed a kilo of cocaine underneath the car and called the cops, forcing Ricky to choose between driving fast or going to jail. Ricky starts driving with the cops chasing after him and when he realizes that he is going over 100 mph, he starts screaming out in joy as he works to avoid the cops. After getting away from the cops, Ricky goes to remove the cocaine from underneath the car only to learn that it was just Lucky Charms, with a note from Reese asking if it felt good to be going fast again. Ricky gets his license back and keeps the cougar, which he names Karen, and decides that they should have a nice family dinner but Reese causes a scene and gets thrown out of Applebees. When Ricky chases after him and says he started racing and won the races because of him, Reese tells him he was high when he said that and should have picked a better role model to follow. Feeling dejected, Ricky decides to give up racing when he runs into his old assistant Susan, who convinces him to get back into racing as he was meant to drive fast. After she is done talking, Ricky realizes he is attracted to Susan and they end up making out on the table. Ricky gets Lucius and his pit crew back together and shows them the car they have to work with and Lucius says he and the crew will work on getting the engine rebuilt so it can race. Ricky heads over to see Girard to tell him that he is coming for him and Girard wishes him luck, saying he only came to America to race Ricky in the hopes he would beat him so that he could go on to live out his dreams with his husband. The next day, Ricky is shown the new engine, with Lucius telling him that several teams donated some parts, and Susan explains the new paint job on the car, saying that Ricky doesn’t need corporate sponsors as he is out there racing for himself. Before the race starts, Ricky approaches Cal and Carley and apologizes to Cal for not valuing their friendship like he should have, causing Cal to start doubting what he has done. As the race commences, Ricky starts making his way up the pack until he catches up to Girard but he us unable to pass him. Dennit orders Cal to take out Ricky but Cal refuses and instead, gets ahead of Ricky so that he can use the slingshot maneuver to pass Girard. Angered by what Cal did, Dennit orders the driver of the Wonder Bread car to take out Cal, which causes a huge wreck that takes out every car on the field except for Ricky and Girard. Ricky and Girard keep racing and end up crashing into each other during the last lap. After their cars finally stop tumbling, Ricky and Girard get out of their cars and then start running towards the finish line, intent on finishing the race, with Ricky winning the race, but both drivers are disqualified for leaving their cars. Due to being in third place at the time of the crash, Cal is declared the winner and afterwards, he grabs Ricky and they repair their friendship. As Ricky is leaving, Carley approaches him and says she is willing to go back to him but Ricky refuses and says he would rather be with Susan. As Ricky, Susan, Lucy, and the boys leave, they find Reese sitting on his car and when he asks Ricky who he won the race for, Ricky says it wasn’t for him and that he just went out there to drive as he knew his family would love him no matter how he did. Ricky then suggests they go to Applebees so that Reese can get thrown out again and they all get into Reese’s car and head off together.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights’ mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner’s circle.” Wonder Bread, Old Spice, and Perrier were not charged for the product placement in the movie but Wonder Bread and Old Spice did promote the movie through back-end deals. The movie was a box office success, earning $163 million off of a $72.5 million budget.

Every time I watch this movie, I still hear Chris’ laugh, which makes me laugh even more. This is a very funny movie and definitely something that can make you laugh when you need it. The acting was really good, with Will Ferrell (Ricky) and John C. Reilly (Cal) making for a great comedic duo, but everyone was really good in this movie. The story was pretty good, with some serious moments added to the more ridiculous parts to balance out the movie. The humor was a mixture of various styles, with some more adult or risque than others, but I enjoyed the occasional slapstick that was thrown in. A great comedy and one that is well worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard
action, crime, martial arts, movie, movie review, video game

December 4th, 2017 Movie – Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li

street fighter the legend of chun li

You know what needs to happen, a prequel story to Street Fighter that has no relation with the original movie. Ok, I am completely lying about that and yet that is exactly what we got with today’s movie. Now, as soon as I saw the trailers for this movie, I knew it was going to be a “steaming pile” and had no desire to see it in theaters or rent it. Then I got bored while wandering through Movie Stop one day and ended up buying it. To be honest, I think the only reason I bought it was because I was buying some video game based movies and decided to go full on terrible in my purchases. Well, let me get some antacid ready as I watch today’s movie, Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li.

The plot: As a young girl, Chun-Li is forced to travel a lot due to her father’s job but while they are at their home in Hong Kong, her father Xiang begins teaching her wushu. One night, when Xiang returns home, he is attacked by Balrog and some men and he manages to hold them off but when Chun-Li comes downstairs to find out what is happening, Balrog grabs her and Xiang surrenders so he will let her go. Bison enters the room and tells Chun-Li to listen to her father and head upstairs and she watches from her window as Xiang is forced into a car and her mother is struck by Balrog when she tries to stop them. Years later, Chun-Li has become a young woman and is performing a piano concert in Hong Kong and when she returns back stage, her friend says a gift came for her, an ancient scroll. As Chun-Li takes the subway home, she sees some men beating on someone before leaving him lying on the ground and as Chun-Li approaches him and asks someone to help, she notices the web tattoo on his hand. Meanwhile, Bison meets with the heads of the local branches of Shadaloo and says that he will be taking over control of all of them and when the men laugh and leave the building, Bison has Vega kill them all. He then receives a flash drive from Balrog and takes it to Xiang, whom he has been holding captive all this time, and tells him it is photos and a recording of Chun-Li’s concert, which he gives to him in exchange for his continued work for him. After Chun-Li’s mother dies, she decides to find out more about the scroll she received and as she is walking along the streets of Hong Kong, a street sweeper, bearing the same web tattoo, forces her into a shop. Inside, the owner examines the scroll and tells Chun-Li that she should go to Hong Kong and seek out a man named Gen, and Chun-Li realizes that Gen was the one she had helped and forced her into the shop. Meanwhile, Thailand police detective Maya Sunee is joined by Interpol Agent Charlie Nash and they discover the heads of the crime families and Nash tells her that Bison is the one behind it in order to consolidate power. Chun-Li travels to Bangkok, where she lives on the streets, and constantly searches for Gen but has no luck. One night, she sees some thugs beating someone and yells at them to stop, then proceeds to get in a fight with the men. Chun-Li beats them but passes out due to exhaustion and Gen shows up and carries her away. When she regains consciousness, Gen tells Chun-Li that they have been watching her and know where Xiang is being kept. Chun-Li is shocked to learn that Xiang is still alive and asks where he is but Gen tells her she is not ready to know. He then starts to explain about Bison and Shadaloo, saying he used to be part of the organization but now chooses to help those that Shadaloo hurts. He then offers to train Chun-Li in his style of martial arts, warning her that her anger will keep her from realizing her potential and Bison would easily capitalize on it. Meanwhile, Bison has kidnapped the families of various property owners of the slums around the waterfront in order to buy up the property for his own ends. Nash and Maya are keeping tabs on Bison’s operations and follow Bison’s secretary Cantana after she leaves the meeting. Unknown to them, Chun-Li was also watching Shadaloo and follows Balrog, where she overhears him discussing a shipment called the White Rose and asking for it to get into the city without going through customs. Chun-Li continues her training with Gen, who comments on her improvement. That night, Chun-Li heads to the night club where Cantana is and, given her fondness for women, manages to attract her attention and lead her into the bathroom. Once there, Chun-Li attacks her and manages to get the location of where the White Rose will be arriving and gives Cantana a message before she is forced to quickly leave when Cantana’s bodyguards start to break into the restroom. Chun-Li heads to another part of the club, where she ends up being attacked by the bodyguards and some other men, but she quickly defeats them and quickly runs when Nash and Maya, alerted to the commotion, head into the club and see what she did. The next day, Nash and Maya try to find Chun-Li but realize that the people in the area are protecting her. Meanwhile, Chun-Li asks Gen to tell her about Bison and he tells her how Bison had grown up an orphan and became a thief as the years passed. Seeking to get more power, he took his pregnant wife to a hidden temple and transferred all of the goodness in his soul into his unborn child, then kills his wife and cuts the child from her womb. Gen then sends Chun-Li out to get some groceries, wanting to get her out of the house as he knows Shadaloo men are coming. When the men get there, Gen is able to defeat them but Balrog fires an RPG at the house, blowing it up. Chun-Li had just returned and is knocked back by the blast and when she tries to find Gen, all she can find is his medallion and she weeps for the loss of her master. Meanwhile, Bison hires Vega to ensure the White Rose arrives untroubled and to kill Chun-Li. As Chun-Li is walking the streets, she senses someone following her and takes off running along the rooftops before quickly hiding. When Vega approaches where she is, Chun-Li fights with him and quickly beats him, leaving him tied up and hanging off the roof of a building. The next day, Chun-Li heads to the harbor and questions a dock worker as to when the White Rose is supposed to arrive. Meanwhile, Nash returns to his task force headquarters to find that it has been disbanded under orders from above and Maya tells him that he was right about Shadaloo’s influence. Chun-Li heads to the dock to intercept the shipment only to be captured by Bison and his men. Chun-Li is taken to a warehouse and tied to a chair, then Xiang is brought into the room and the two are left alone to talk for a few minutes before Bison enters and breaks Xiang’s neck before leaving. Balrog orders two men to kill Chun-Li but she is able to knock them out and escape. As she makes her way through the streets, Balrog and his men spot her and give chase and start firing at her but some of the crowd begin chasing after them. When Chun-Li is shot trying to prevent Balrog from shooting a kid, the crowd begins throwing things at Balrog and his men, forcing them to leave. Chun-Li ducks into an alley, where she is found by Gen and he takes her away to tend to her injuries. After she is healed, Chun-Li returns to the dock worker, who apologizes for leading her into a trap, and learns when the White Rose is really arriving. Chun-Li then heads to see Nash, telling him of the White Roses arrival and asking him to help her take down Bison. Nash arrives at the dock with his men and are soon joined by Maya and some of her men but as they see Bison arriving, Nash notices a bomb in the building and they quickly evacuate before it explodes. Bison’s men then begin firing on the cops, who are forced to defend themselves but Maya is injured during the fight. Elsewhere, Gen heads onto the boat and encounters Balrog, who reveals that the White Rose is a girl before Gen uses liquid nitrogen to kill him. Meanwhile, Chun-Li is on the boat looking for Gen when she spots a girl and tells her to stay where she is. When Chun-Li finds Gen, he tells her what Balrog said and Chun-Li realizes that the girl she saw is actually Bison’s daughter, Rose. The two go find Nash, who has a helicopter ready and they head off after Bison, who had managed to grab Rose and get away during the confusion. Chun-Li, Gen, Nash, and one of Maya’s SWAT team members head into Bison’s headquarters and attempt to find Bison and Rose, taking out the guards along the way. Gen encounters Bison, who easily defeats him, while Nash finds Rose and takes her out of the building. When Bison enters Rose’s room, he finds Gen waiting for him and the two fight again but when Bison throws Gen out the window, Gen’s leg is impaled on a piece of rebar. Before Bison can finish him off, Chun-Li attacks him and after a vicious battle, she summons a ki blast to knock him off the roof they are on, then jumps down onto him and breaks his neck. Nash approaches her and tells her to leave while he deals with the fallout with the authorities. Some time later, Chun-Li returns to her home in Hong Kong when Gen approaches her and shows her an article about an upcoming street fighter tournament. He says that they need to recruit some more fighters and mentions a prospect in the tournament named Ryu but Chun-Li says that she won’t join him as she is home now.

It may be hard to imagine, but Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li did even worse than it’s predecessor, only earning a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The combination of a shallow plot and miscast performers renders Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li a perfectly forgettable video game adaptation.” The movie marks the third fighting video game franchise that Robin Shou has been a part of, as he had played Liu Kang in the Mortal Kombat movies and the pirate leader in D.O.A.: Dead Or Alive. The movie was a box office bomb, only earning $12.8 million off of an $18 million budget.

Oh yeh, this is definitely one of those movies that is famous for being terrible. The acting was ok at best, with Robin Shou (Gen) and Michael Clarke Duncan (Balrog) doing good jobs in their roles but the actual stars, Kristin Kreuk (Chun-Li) and Neal McDonough (Bison), actually being pretty boring with their roles. The story was a horrendous mess, only loosely following the story in the game, that being the fact that Chun-Li was after Bison for revenge for her father, but several of the major characters in the game, outside of Bison’s men Balrog and Vega, are not seen or mentioned, except for Ryu at the end. Some of the fight scenes were ok but a lot of the special effects looked cheap, which hurt the scenes they were used in. If you really want to watch this movie, do yourself a favor and smack your head against a brick wall a few times first, so you can be rendered unconscious before the movie starts.

Rating: 1 out of 5

 

Standard
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

Standard
action, adventure, comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review

July 13th, 2017 Movie – The Scorpion King

the scorpion king

When The Mummy Returns was in theaters, one of the selling points that all the trailers referenced was that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in it, but his role actually ended up being pretty brief. Since his star power was beginning to break through outside of the wrestling world, it only made sense to do a spin-off with his character. Now while I am a wrestling fan and liked The Rock’s character, I honestly didn’t plan on going to see this movie. Honestly, the main thing I liked about the movie at the time was the soundtrack. Still, I did eventually end up watching it and it was more entertaining than I thought it would be so I wound up picking up a copy. Let’s see if that purchase was worth it as I watch The Scorpion King.

The plot: In the time before the pyramids, a barbarian tribe is in their main hut, where the leader is talking about all of the races they have fought and killed before approaching their prisoner, saying they have never killed an Akkadian before. The Akkadian, Jesup, warns them that his brother is coming for them, just as his half brother Mathayus enters the hut and begins killing the warriors in order to free his brother. Meanwhile, a warlord named Memnon leads his horde of invaders to conquer the ancient lands and only a few tribes are left to oppose him as he has a sorcerer that is able to predict the battles’ outcomes. King Pheron, one of the last leaders of the free tribes, is holding a meeting with the other leaders when Mathayus, Jesup, and Rama, the last of the Akkadians, appear and Pheron explains that he hired them to kill the sorcerer. While most of the assembled men are happy with the news, as the Akkadians are known for their assassination skills, Pheron’s son Takmet is upset that his father used the last of their treasure to hire them while another leader, King Balthazar, doesn’t like the Akkadians due to their mercenary nature. The Akkadians make their way to Memnon’s camp, taking out the sentry’s and saving a horse thief named Arpid from being executed. As they make their way towards the sorcerer’s tent, Mathayus notices movement in some of the other tents and calls out a warning just as the tents open to reveal Memnon’s men. Jesup and Rama are shot with arrows but Mathayus manages to escape and makes his way into the sorcerer’s tent. As he is about to kill the sorcerer, the sorcerer is revealed to be a sorceress named Cassandra, who says she knows why Mathayus is there and that he has been betrayed. Instead of killing her, Mathayus begins killing Memnon’s soldiers that appear but he is eventually captured. Mathayus then sees Takmet enter the tent, who admits to killing his father and swears his allegiance to Memnon. Memnon then has Jesup, who is still alive, brought to him and he proceeds to kill him in front of Mathayus but when he goes to kill Mathayus, Cassandra stops him. She says that the gods wish him to survive the night and that he won’t be killed by Memnon or any of his soldier’s hands so Memnon has Mathayus knocked out. When he regains consciousness, Mathayus finds himself buried up to his neck in the sand next to Aprid, as one of Memnon’s guards begins putting small torches down some ant hills to coax the fire ants out to kill them. Aprid manages to escape and knock out the guards, then rescues Mathayus after getting his word that he won’t kill him. They head towards Memnon’s city, and Mathayus knocks out Aprid and uses the bounty on his head to get access to the city. Once inside, Mathayus revives Aprid and buys him some wine to apologize for hitting him, then heads towards Memnon’s palace. Along the way, he encounters some street urchins, who steal the pouch with the blood rubies, but Mathayus is able to get it back, then offers one to the urchin he caught if he can get him inside the palace. The urchin leads him inside and the reach the workshop of Philos, Memnon’s court magician, who tells Mathayus where Memnon is. Mathayus pays the urchin then takes up a position to shoot Memnon but when he sees the urchin was captured and about to have his hand cut off, Mathayus saves him, exposing his position in the process. As the guards try to kill Mathayus, he runs back into Philos’ workshop, then uses a catapult that Philos built to escape the room. Mathayus ends up landing in Memnon’s harem room but as the women distract him, they secretly take all of his weapons and proceed to alert the guards. Mathayus is able to escape and ends up in Cassandra’s room, where he quickly takes her prisoner as he escapes the city. Mathayus rejoins Aprid, who was trying to take Mathayus’ camel, and they head towards the Valley of the Dead, with Cassandra explaining she was Memnon’s prisoner along the way. Meanwhile, Memnon sends his general Thorak to retrieve Cassandra and kill Mathayus, handing him an arrow laced with scorpion venom to kill him with. Mathayus, Cassandra, and Aprid reach the valley and when Mathayus sees Thorak approaching, he has Cassandra and Aprid take shelter, then rides out to face Thorak and his men, using an oncoming sandstorm as cover. Mathayus is able to kill several men in the storm and when they try to take shelter in a cave, starts picking them off one by one. He eventually fatally stabs Thorak but when he goes to kill the last of Thorak’s men, Thoraks stabs him in the leg with the poisoned arrow. When the storm passes, Cassandra and Aprid go to find Mathayus and Cassandra is able to use her powers to save Mathayus’ life. MAthayus and the others soon meet up with Philos, who had escaped the city after being accused of being a traitor, and he happily tells them he found the secret to his magic powder (gunpowder). As the group stop at an oasis to rest, they are captured by rebel forces and taken to the main camp. Once there, Balthazar plans on killing them but Mathayus is able to get free and fights Balthazar, eventually beating him. That night, Cassandra has a vision of the village being massacred by Memnon’s men and she goes to tell Mathayus what she saw. He sees this as a way to kill Memnon but she has a vision and tells him that he will die if he faces Memnon. Mathayus says that he chooses to make his own destiny and kisses her. Mathayus and Cassandra end up sleeping together, after which she wakes up and takes Mathayus’ camel and rides back to Memnon’s city in order to spare the village. When Mathayus wakes, he plans on going after her and Balthazar stops him at first but then accompanies him with some of his warriors. At the city, Memnon is having a feast to celebrate his army’s impending victory in the morning but one of his generals says the men are talking about Cassandra not being there as a sign the gods are not with them. When Cassandra appears, she tells the men that she sees victory for them and Memnon kills the general that questioned him, then says the feast is over. Memnon then tells Takmet to seal the city while he takes Cassandra into his chambers. Once there, he says he feels something is different about her and has his men place four cobras in some vases, then has them spun around before making her choose the two vases that are free from the cobras. Meanwhile, Mathayus and the others make their way into the city before separating to go on their own missions. In Memnon’s chamber, Cassandra correctly picks one vase but when she chooses the next one, she grabs the cobra that is in it and threatens Memnon with it. Memnon easily kills the cobra but when he goes to kill her, Mathayus bursts into the room and begins fighting with Memnon. Meanwhile, Philos and Aprid head underneath the city and place sacks of gunpowder around the main support column for the temple. On the palace grounds, Balthazar and the Amazon warriors fend off the palace guards, with Balthazar killing Takmet during the fights. Memnon manages to grab Cassandra and exits the chamber but Mathayus follows after him. When Memnon gets the upperhand on Mathayas and one of his guards shoots him in the back, just as Cassandra had seen. As the rest of Memnon’s soldiers arrive at the scene, Aprid sets the gunpowder on fire, just as Mathayus stands up, pulls the arrow from his back, and shoots Memnon with it. Memnon is consumed in the explosion before crashing to the ground in front of his army and as they see Mathayus standing atop the temple, they kneel and declare him their new king as per their tradition. The next day, Balthazar and his people leave, with Balthazar telling Mathayus he is a king now but they will be watching him. Cassandra says that she foresees a time of peace and prosperity for his kingdom and when he asks how long it will last, she says nothing lasts forever but Mathayus says that he will make his own destiny.

The Scorpion King met with mixed to negative reviews from the critics, holding a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Action adventure doesn’t get much cheesier than The Scorpion King.” Dwayne Johnson said that he intentionally shied away from using any of his signature moves as The Rock in the movie, with the only exception being “The People’s Eyebrow”, which he used after he landed in Memnon’s harem. The movie was a box office hit, earning $165.3 million off of a $60 million budget, and ended up spawning 3 direct to video sequels.

This is a pretty basic over-the-top action movie but it can be entertaining. The acting was good, with Dwayne Johnson (Mathayus), Kelly Hu (Cassandra), and Michael Clarke Duncan (Balthazar) doing good jobs in their roles, while Grant Heslov (Aprid) and Bernard Hill (Philos) making for some good comic relief. The story was interesting, since it was a prequel to a movie, which in turn was a sequel to another movie. As for the actual plot itself, it was pretty basic to be honest with nothing really special or original to it. The special effects were ok but I honestly thought they could have been better for a big budget picture like this. It is interesting to watch to learn about the character’s history but unless you are just in the mood for an mindless action movie, there isn’t much reason to watch this movie.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Standard