drama, movie, movie review, sports

October 12th, 2018 Movie – Cinderella Man

cinderella man

Another free movie that I own through the ultraviolet account, though for a while I used to own the actual DVD. See, years ago I would loan out movies to my brothers every now and then. One day, my brother Blake borrowed Saved from me and then ended up getting it stuck in a DVD player that no longer worked. Needless to say, I was not too happy about that but Blake offered to let me have his favorite movie, Cinderella Man, until he got my movie back to me. I accepted his deal, thinking he would try to get my movie back to me as soon as possible but I was wrong because it took several years before I finally got my movie back. So I found it very funny that I ended up with my own copy shortly after he finally got his copy back. Now let’s see if it is any good.

The plot: [was watching the movie but also dealing with some rambunctious nieces so I couldn’t really do the plot review like I normally would so I just copied the one from Wikipedia]

James J. Braddock is an Irish-American boxer from New Jersey, formerly a light heavyweight contender, who is forced to give up boxing after breaking his hand in the ring. This is both a relief and a burden to his wife, Mae. She cannot bring herself to watch the violence of his chosen profession, yet she knows they will not have enough income without his boxing. As the United States enters the Great Depression, Braddock does manual labor as a longshoreman to support his family, even with his injured hand. Unfortunately, he cannot get work every day. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation by another boxer, Braddock’s longtime manager and friend, Joe Gould, offers him a chance to fill in for just one night and earn cash. The fight is against the number-two contender in the world, Corn Griffin. Braddock stuns the boxing experts and fans with a third-round knockout of his formidable opponent. He believes that while his right hand was broken, he became more proficient with his left hand, improving his in-ring ability. Despite Mae’s objections, Braddock takes up Gould’s offer to return to the ring. Mae resents this attempt by Gould to profit from her husband’s dangerous livelihood, until she discovers that Gould and his wife also have been devastated by hard times. With a shot at the heavyweight championship held by Max Baer a possibility, Braddock continues to win. Out of a sense of pride, he uses a portion of his prize money to pay back money to the government given to him while unemployed. When his rags to riches story gets out, the sportswriter Damon Runyon dubs him “The Cinderella Man”, and before long Braddock comes to represent the hopes and aspirations of the American public struggling with the Depression. A title fight against Baer comes his way. Braddock is a 10-to-1 underdog. Mae is terrified because Baer, the champ, is a vicious man who reportedly has killed at least two men in the ring. He is so destructive that the fight’s promoter, James Johnston, forces both Braddock and Gould to watch a film of Baer in action, just so he can maintain later that he warned them what Braddock was up against. Braddock demonstrates no fear. The arrogant Baer attempts to intimidate him, even taunting Mae in public that her man might not survive. When he says this, she becomes so angry that she throws a drink at him. She is unable to attend the fight at the Madison Square Garden Bowl or even to listen to it on the radio. On June 13, 1935, in one of the greatest upsets in boxing history, Braddock defeats the seemingly invincible Baer to become the heavyweight champion of the world. An epilogue reveals that Braddock would lose his title to Joe Louis and later worked on the building of the Verrazano Bridge, owning and operating heavy machinery on the docks where he worked during the Depression, and that he and Mae used his boxing income to buy a house, where they spent the rest of their lives.

Cinderella Man met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “With grittiness and an evocative sense of time and place, Cinderella Man is a powerful underdog story. And Ron Howard and Russell Crowe prove to be a solid combination.” Rosemarie DeWitt, who plays the neighbor Sara Wilson, is the granddaughter of the real Jimmy Braddock. She is the daughter of his daughter Rosemarie, who is portrayed by Ariel Waller in the film. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $108.5 million off of an $88 million budget, and earned 3 Academy Award nominations.

So, while I don’t mind watching sports movies, I will admit that they are generally not my preferred genre of films. And when it comes to boxing movies, I don’t usually care about them one way or another. That being said, this was a pretty good movie. I thought the acting was pretty good, with Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger doing good jobs in their roles as Jimmy and Mae respectively. I also liked Paul Giamatti (Gould) and thought he did deserve the Oscar nod for his role as Joe Gould, while Craig Bierko (Baer) did a pretty good job as the foil to highlight Braddock’s rise to glory. The story was pretty good, especially since it was based on real events. I thought Ron Howard did a good job in showcasing the hope that people had that their lives can get better; which was something that the average person was truly desperate to cling too during the Great Depression. The drama in the movie had a very real feel to it, which made the story telling even better, while the fight scenes during the boxing matches were well choreographed to add to the mix. A good movie and one that is well worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 28th, 2017 Movie – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

the amazing spider-man 2

So a superhero movie comes to the theaters and I have no desire whatsoever to see it. I know, it is really an odd thing to have happen but it is true. When the trailers for this movie came out, hinting at a possible Sinister Six plot line, I was actually less than amazed. I would say that maybe it is that dreaded adulthood creeping up on me and I felt the desire to see more Oscar worthy films that would only elevate my sense of culture. Of course, that would be shot down by the fact that I happened to see 3 other superhero movies that year and enjoyed all three of them so obviously that is not true. I think it was probably just that the trailers themselves gave me no desire to see this movie. Anyways, I decided to pick it up on Blu-Ray sometime after it came out and honestly, put off watching it until several months after I bought it. After all of the hesitation, let’s see if today’s movie was worth it as I watch The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The plot: Late one night, Richard Parker destroys all of the test subjects and erases the data from his bio-genetics lab at Oscorp but he is found out and his clearances are revoked before he finishes so he grabs the hard copy files as he leaves. As he records a message explaining what he has done, he hears Peter calling out to him, leading to the events at the beginning of the first film. After dropping off Peter, Richard and Mary are taking a plane to somewhere where they can hide and Richard is working on uploading some files while Mary uses the restroom. When one of the pilots exits the cockpit and starts talking to Richard, Richard notices blood on his hands and gets suspicious. The man reveals himself to be an assassin and as a struggle breaks out between Richard, Mary, and the assassin, Mary ends up being shot. The plane starts to go into free fall as Richard and the assassin continue to struggle and Richard manages to get control of the gun and shoot out a window, causing explosive decompression of the cabin which rips the door off the plane. The assassin is sucked out of the plane and falls to his death while Richard ensures that the files were uploaded just before the plane crashes. In the present, Spider-Man hears about a police chase involving some stolen plutonium from Oscorp and he heads off to stop it and during the course of the chase, he saves Max Dillion, an electrical engineer that works for Oscorp. As Spider-Man catches two of the thieves and works on keeping the plutonium containers from spilling out of the truck, he receives a call from Gwen, wondering where he is as their graduation ceremony is starting. When the third thief, Aleksei Sytsevich, drives his wrecker truck into a bus, Spider-Man quickly keeps the bus from tipping over and injuring the people inside and some pedestrians in it’s path, then captures Aleksei before heading to his graduation. After the graduation ceremony, Aunt May congratulates Peter, wishing that Ben had been there to see this. May takes a picture of Peter and Gwen together and then Gwen invites him to dinner with her family that night but Peter keeps seeing the image of Captain Stacy. When Peter shows up, he doesn’t enter the restaurant and Gwen goes outside to talk to him and Peter tells her about constantly seeing her father and she tells him she can’t keep having him do this to her and despite the fact that Peter says he loves her, she breaks up with him. Some time later, Harry Osborn returns to New York City at the request of his dying father Norman, who tells Harry that he sent him away for his own good. Norman then tells him that he is dying from a genetic disease, and Harry is at the age where the disease begins to manifest. Meanwhile, Max is about to leave work when his boss, Alistair Smythe, has him check on an electrical surge in one of the labs. As Max fixes the short, he gets shocked and ends up falling into a tank of genetically modified electric eels, which attack him and their bites mutate and electrocute him as the tank explodes. Norman dies the next day, leaving Harry as the CEO of Oscorp, though the board is less than happy about it, as the company is under intense scrutiny after the event with Connors. Peter goes to see Harry, as they were childhood friends, and the two end up talking and catching up, while members of Oscorp’s security try to hide Dillon’s body. That evening, Gwen calls Peter and asks to meet and says she wants to try to stay friends. As they try to set up some ground rules, Gwen tells him that she was offered a scholarship to go to England for studies and she is considering taking it. Meanwhile, Max regains consciousness and finds his body has transformed into a living electrical generator. He makes his way towards Times Square and starts absorbing some of the electricity from the area until the police show up and Max inadvertently attacks them when they start shooting at him. Peter, having sensed the disturbance, changes into Spider-Man and heads over there  and after recognizing Max from his description of his saving him, tries talking to him to defuse the situation. When Max cause an explosion of sparks by accidentally stepping in a puddle, a sniper shoots at him, causing Max to react violently and cause a blackout before attacking the police. He then attacks Spider-Man, blaming him for setting him up but Spider-Man is able to keep some bystanders from being electrocuted then, with the help of some firemen, use a fire hose to short out Max and bring him down. Returning home, Peter starts questioning himself about whether he should continue being Spider-Man or if he should try to have a normal life with Gwen. Meanwhile, Harry is examining the device his father left him when he discovers a series of video files on it concerning Richard Parker’s work. Peter is working on building a more insulated web compound in case he has to face Max again when Harry calls and says he needs to see him. When Peter arrives at Oscorp, Harry explains that he is dying of the same disease that killed his father but shows him the files of Richard and Norman talking about their experiments and Harry says that he needs Spider-Man’s blood to cure himself and asks Peter to help him locate Spider-Man, as Peter is the one to take Spider-Man’s pictures. Peter says he will try to find Spider-Man and leaves but sees Gwen being chased by security and when he grabs her, they duck into a maintenance closet. Gwen explains that she had met Max and was looking up information about him but all of his records had been purged from the system and Peter distracts the guards so she can leave but she ends up in the elevator with Harry, who talks to her on the way down. When Peter returns home, he finds Aunt May in his room staring at the collage of pictures concerning his parents and she ends up telling him that his parents were suspected of being traitors and selling secrets to foreign governments. Spider-Man goes to visit Harry but refuses to give him a sample of his blood, saying it could kill him or worse and Harry gets enraged. When Peter returns home, he angrily destroys the collage and smashes things in his father satchel but finds some subway tokens hidden in an old calculator and, recalling a comment his aunt made about his father’s schedule, investigates it further and finds Richard’s secret lab in a hidden subway tunnel. Inside, Peter sees the video explaining that Osborn was the one selling secrets and framed Richard for it. Richard also explains that the human DNA that he merged with the spiders was his own so without his blood, or his bloodline, nobody would be able to recreate his experiment. Meanwhile, Harry is told by his assistant Felicia that while the spiders were killed, the scientists saved the venom from them in case it could prove to be useful and is kept in an area of the building called “Special Projects”. Harry looks into “Special Projects” and learns that they are experimenting on Max at Ravencroft and that he supposedly signed off on it. Suddenly, he finds his authorization revoked and is approached by security and Oscorps’ Vice President Donald Menken, who had framed Oscorp in order to usurp control of the company away from him. Harry breaks into Ravencroft and goes to Max’s cell, who is calling himself Electro now. Harry says he will free Electro in exchange for his help in getting back into Oscorp and as the guards approach and try to grab Harry, Harry zaps Electro with a taser, giving him enough of a charge to break free from his restraints and kill the guards. Harry and Electro head to Oscorp and after taking Menken hostage, Harry has him lead him down to Special Projects while Electro heads to the city power grid. Inside Special Projects, Harry has Menken inject him with the spider venom but it causes him to start mutating and Menken is able to escape. Harry manages to crawl into his father’s special armor prototype and the armor’s inboard healing process begis working on curing him. Meanwhile, Peter exits the subway tunnel and finds he has a voicemail from Gwen, telling him she is heading to England for a summer class as a means of trying to get over him. As she is stuck in traffic, she sees Spider man writing “I Love You” in webbing on the nearby bridge and as she gets out of the cab and stares at it, Spider-Man swings down and grabs her. On top of the bridge, Peter tells Gwen that he decided that he wants to be with her and go with her to England and the two kiss. Suddenly, the whole city suffers a blackout and they see Electro absorbing the power from the power grid. Gwen helps Spider-Man magnetize his web shooters so they will work against Electro, then tells him that she is going with him, as she knows how to reset the grid, but Spider-Man webs her hand to a police car to keep her from following him. Spider-Man heads to the power station and battles Electro but finds himself outmatched and is about to be killed, only for Gwen, having freed herself from the webbing, crash the police car into Electro. Spider-Man and Gwen come up with a plan to overload Elector, feeding him too much electricity so that he ends up exploding. As the two approach each other, they are surprised by the arrival of Harry, having mutated into a goblin like appearance from the venom. When Harry sees Gwen had helped Spider-Man, he realizes that Spider-Man is really Peter and gets even more enraged and grabs Gwen, flying her up to a nearby clock tower. Spider-Man pleads with Harry to let her go and Harry drops her then begins fighting with Spider-Man as he tries to save her. As Peter is holding onto Gwen with a strand of webbing, Harry tries to force it into the gears so it will snap and Spider-Man shoves his foot in the gears to keep them from turning. The pressure eventually causes the gears to break and Harry is knocked unconscious by the debris while the webbing snaps. As Gwen falls, Spider-Man leaps after her and tries to snag her with some more webbing to save her and succeeds in doing so before she hits the bottom but the sudden stop causes her neck to snap, resulting in her death. As Peter climbs down to check on her, he finds that she has died and cries out in grief over his part in her death. A funeral is held for Gwen and Peter decides to give up on being Spider-Man, not wanting anyone else he cares about to be put in danger. Several months later, Gustav Fiers, the man who visited Connors in his cell, pays a visit to Harry in his cell and tells him preparations are ready for his team and asks how many people he wants in it. Harry says to keep the number small and that everything they need is at Oscorp and asks if they have their first volunteer. Fiers says they do and he heads to Special Projects, walking past several specialized suits until he reaches a giant armored suit fashioned after a rhino. As the news report about Aleksei’s escape from prison and the rise in crime in the city since Spider-Man disappeared, Peter ends up watching Gwen’s graduation speech, where she tells the graduating class to become hope for people, and Peter decides to become Spider-Man again. When Aleksei, wearing the rhino armor, attacks the city, a little boy dressed as Spider-Man stands up to him and Aleksei starts mocking him but the real Spider-Man shows up and comments on the boys bravery before sending him back to his mom and then goes to face Aleksei.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “While the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters.” The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $709 million off of an estimated budget between $200 and $293 million. The movie was supposed to spawn another sequel, with a spin-off movie featuring the Sinister Six but plans were scrapped and Sony instead entered into a partnership with Marvel to redo the series as part of the MCU.

Yeh, I don’t really know how I feel about this movie. The acting was ok, with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone both doing good jobs reprising their roles of Peter and Gwen respectively. Jamie Foxx’s portrayal of Electro was kind of interesting and, while brief, Ialso liked Paul Giamatti’s portrayal of the Rhino but thought that Dane DeHaan was a little odd as Harry Osborn, seeming to play the character a little too sleazy than he should have. The story wasn’t bad and it actually did a good job in setting up for a possible sequel and introducing other members of the Sinister Six, primarily Doctor Octopus and the Vulture. Personally, I would much rather have more involvement with Fiers, as his character, which was introduced in a series of novels, was very interesting and I would have liked to have seen more involving him. As for the Gwen Stacy death, I understand that they had to make some changes due to the story line but I liked how they did this as opposed to Raimi’s rendition in Spider-Man. The special effects were pretty good and I liked the fight scenes with Spider-Man and Electro. I honestly laughed when the effects of him moving through the towers caused them to hum out “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider” during the final fight with Electro. Not as bad of a movie as I thought but still it could have been a lot better.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, drama, movie, movie review, romance

September 13th, 2017 Movie – Singles

singles

Sometimes when I think back to the movies I loved as a teenager, I find it hard to decide on if I loved it because of the movie itself, or the soundtrack. With regards to today’s movie, I think it was pretty equal in regards to how much I enjoyed them. This movie and soundtrack came out right when I was in high school, having just moved to another state, and starting to figure out who I was going to be and both of them just appealed to me on various levels. So let’s head back and get a glimpse of the Seattle scene during the blossoming “Grunge” era as I watch today’s movie, Singles.

The plot: Linda Powell is an environmentalist living in Seattle and happy to have her own place. One day she meets Luiz, a tourist from Spain who is only in the country for a few more days. After talking with her friend Ruth about Luiz, Linda decides to make the most of her time with Luiz and starts a brief relationship with him. The night before he is supposed to leave, Luiz gives Linda a ring to remember him by and she gives him her garage door opener, her most prized possession. The next night, Linda and Ruth go out dancing and as they stop to get a drink at the bar, she sees Luiz there with another girl and when he notices her, he just shrugs his shoulders. Linda and Ruth quickly leave the club, with Linda crying once she gets outside, and the next day, Linda buys herself a new garage door opener. Steve Dunne lives in an apartment complex which caters to mostly single bedroom apartments with his friends Janet Livermore and Cliff Poncier. While Steve is contemplating his love life and decides to focus on work, Janet is seeing Cliff, who is a musician as well as doing odd jobs to help pay the bills, but Cliff is not as serious about the relationship as Janet is. One night, Steve is at a club with his friend David Bailey and he sees Linda and Ruth there. Steve approaches Linda and tries talking to her but she dismisses him and as she is leaving , he tries asking her if she would like to go somewhere else but she refuses. Steve and David leave and stop at a newsstand, where David brags about getting 20 girls’ phone numbers, when they happen to see Linda and Ruth stop at the stand and Steve and Linda end up talking. Steve calls up Linda a few days later and they meet for lunch and end up talking the entire time. That night, Linda is doing laundry at Steve’s place since her machine is broken and she asks him about his neighbors at the complex and he tells her about Cliff, Janet, David, and Debbie. As her clothes are drying, Steve invites her in to his apartment and the connect even more and almost kiss but Linda pulls back and goes to get her clothes. As she is leaving, Linda freaks out when Steve offers her a garage door opener so she can use the underground garage the next time she comes over and quickly leaves. When she gets home, she thinks back on Steve and starts to smile when Steve shows up at her place, and she kisses him and brings him inside, where they have sex. The next day, Steve is talking with David, Janet, Cliff, and Debbie about how he should handle things with Linda and they convince him not to call right away and he ends up not calling for 4 days, which upsets Linda and she breaks things off with him. Meanwhile, Janet is feeling insecure in her relationship with Cliff and decides to get a boob job. However as she is about to be prepped for the procedure, she changes her mind and decides she want Cliff to love her for who she is so she cancels the surgery, helping the doctor get more confidence in himself at the same time, and breaks things off with Cliff. Debbie decides to use a video dating service to meet someone and has Steve, Janet, Cliff, and David choose the guy she should meet. When she arranges the date, there is confusion over the location to meet and she learns that her date left a message saying he will meet her at her apartment. When she gets there, she finds her date flirting with her roommate Pam, and learns that the two have a history, and she argues with Pam about this but Pam lets Pam have the guy in exchange for $80 and her doing the dishes for a month. Meanwhile, Linda calls Steve and tells him that she is late and after they do a home pregnancy test, she confirms that she is pregnant. Steve says they should get married and after they discuss things, Linda agrees to it but when they get in a car wreck, she ends up losing the baby. When she recovers, she tells Steve that she needs to get away for a while and collect her thoughts so she heads out on an oceanic environmental trip for a month. When she returns, things are uncomfortable between them and Steve says they don’t have to go back to how they were and can start over and Linda agrees. However, Steve knows he made a mistake and tries calling her to explain that he asked her to marry him because he loved her and he wants to be with her but her answering machine eats the tape and so she doesn’t hear it. Debbie flies to Cabo and ends up sitting next to an annoying kid but when she lands, she meets the kid’s father, who compliments her on her favorite earrings and they end up falling in love. The man wants her to move to Mexico and until she is able to get a job there, he sends her flowers every day. Steve ends up losing his job at the Department of Transportation when the Mayor rejects his plans for building a super train to help relieve the city’s traffic problem. Falling into a depression over everything that happened, he starts to turn into a shut in and Janet pays him a visit and tries to convince him that things will get better. Cliff realizes that he misses Janet and tries to win her back but she tells him that she is finally over him. Linda has moved back in with her ex-boyfriend Andy but when she breaks a plate, she thinks back to her time with Steve and goes to see him. The two end up getting back together and finding a place of their own while Cliff and Janet also end up back together after they end up on an elevator together and Cliff says “Bless You” when she sneezes, which is something that Janet had wanted him to do in the past.

Singles met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Smart, funny, and engagingly scruffy, Singles is a clear-eyed look at modern romance that doubles as a credible grunge-era time capsule.” The movie’s soundtrack, featuring several bands that were prominent in the upcoming Seattle music scene, came out 3 months before the movie was released and became a best selling CD. Singles was a modest hit at the box office, earning $18.5 million off of a $9 million budget.

Watching it now, I think I would have to give my appreciation to the soundtrack an edge over the movie but this is still a great movie to watch. The acting was great, with Kyra Sedgwick (Linda), Bridget Fonda (Janet), Campbell Scott (Steve), and Matt Dillon (Cliff) all doing great jobs in their roles. I will admit that it is a little sad to see Alice In Chains and Soundgarden performing in this movie, as both Chris Cornell and Layne Staley both died. The story was interesting as it kept jumping back and forth between the different people, with several times the characters would break the 4th wall and address the audience at times. I did like the relationship struggles that they presented in the movie and how they showed each characters way of dealing with their problems and resolutions. The soundtrack was amazing and is still something I listen to on a semi-regular basis, with almost all of the songs being from bands that were from Seattle or coming up in the Seattle scene. A great movie and a great soundtrack, both of which are worth watching and listening too.

Rating: 4 1/2 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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