8.53pm

My ten word review of Big Game

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1.47pm

Every now and then Mrs B and I like to re-watch old movies; movies that we saw a few years ago, have forgotten the plot and details from, but which we remember enjoying. We recently spotted Munich on Netflix, and during the holidays decided it was due for a re-watch.

Wow.

It is such a good movie, and even on a second viewing it shines as a masterpiece of storytelling, tension, and pacing.

Steven Spielberg directs Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, and Geoffrey Rush in a story examining Operation Wrath of God, the mission undertaken by the Mossad to eliminate the architects of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of members of the Israeli team.

It is a powerful film, and still holds up more than ten years after release. Eric Bana is absolutely outstanding in it, and the whole cast is in top form, a testament to Spielberg’s direction and influence.

It handles the subject matter well, and rather than being a flag waving “let’s get some payback” type story, it shows the impact this mission had on the lives of those involved.

If you’ve never had the chance to see it I suggest you track it down, or if you saw back in 2005 when it came out, take the time and give it a second viewing.

1.13pm

A longtime movie hero of mine is Jackie Chan. I remember as a not so young boy leaping off my couch into a spinning kick amped up from watching whatever his latest offering was at the time. Even now, in his 60s, Chan continues to pump out movies, and is still just as entertaining as ever.

If you are my age you probably know Johnny Knoxville from the TV show Jackass, but since finishing up with that series and its subsequent movies, he has built up a pretty good resume of movie appearances, and I was intrigued to see him teamed up with Chan for the movie Skiptrace.

Having watched the movie, I have no idea why its called “Skiptrace” but what I do know is that its a good fun movie, and fits right in with Chan’s usual style. It’s full of practical stunts, good humour, and some classic Jackie Chan fight sequences. One thing that I thought was pretty cool was when they introduced characters, they switched from live action to comic style cartoon introductions, kinda like in Suicide Squad, but to much better effect.

The humour keeps up throughout the movie, as does the action, and at points it is most definitely cheesy, but not any more cheesy that your average action movie. Jackie has not slowed down with his age, and still looks to be present in most of the fights and stunts, and continues to bring that rare charm that he has to each scene he is in.

An example of this was one of the best visual gags I’ve seen in a long time. There is a fight in a warehouse where Russian toys are made, Chan’s Russian opponent throws a life sized Russian doll at him. He catches the doll and she proceeds to punch it. The doll breaks revealing a smaller doll inside. So she aims a kick at Chan and he blocks it with the doll making it smash revealing a smaller doll inside. This keeps on happening until the doll gets down to a small size and then they keep fighting as normal.

Its just one of those signature Chan moments, that made us laugh out loud. He has a knack for this kind of comedy.

All in all its a good fun film and while it might might seem a bit disjointed in places, its a jolly good time.

12.38pm

Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds in the same movie? Upon watching the trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, I was immediately on board for this.

Those two have a natural funny bone, and to see them eat up the screen together is a real treat. Right off the mark, this movie is hilarious and there were so many laugh out loud moments that I lost count.

Ryan Reynolds’ character is the head of a VIP protection service who is down on his luck after a job goes wrong. Samuel L Jackson’s character is a hitman / assassin who is needed to testify against an East European dictator on trial for war crimes. Their worlds collide when Reynolds is roped into acting escorting Jackson from the UK to The Hague to make his appearance.

This movie has it all. Verbal comedy, physical comedy, blood, bullets, f-bombs – ohhh the f-bombs!  It is a super fun ride that is well deserving of its MA15 age rating, and is definitely not one to take grandma along to.

If you liked Deadpool level humour and action, combined with a duo right up there with Ferrell and Wahlberg in The Other Guys, then this movie will be right up your alley.

12.02pm

Tom Cruise has had a stellar career, but of late seems to be leaning heavily toward the action genre. Our interest in the TV show Narcos meant that when the trailer for Cruise’s movie American Made came out, we were immediately interested. Add to that that it did not look like just another cookie cutter action movie, and tie with that the comedic tone of the trailer and we were on board.

It’s now out on DVD and now, having watched it, I can say that he trailer accurately reflects the movie.

It deals with a serious subject – drug smuggling and government complicity – in a way that is at times funny, but at others also very sobering.

The story follows Cruise’s character Barry Seal as he transitions from small time cigar smuggling in his job as a commercial airline pilot, to flying  photographic recon for the CIA, to smuggling cocaine for Pablo Escobar. It charts this story in sections which means the time jumps are easy to follow as we are taken through around a decade of events.

Cruise plays the role well, as do all the side characters, and it all makes for an entertaining movie. It is definitely one of his better movies from recent times, and as such is somewhat of a breath of fresh air after seeing him in so many generic action films.

The fact that it’s based on a true story makes it all the more intriguing and I came away keen to learn more by way of a book or something. It’s a solid film, very entertaining, and well worth your time.

As a side note, if you like this kind of subject but want a much more serious take on it, then I highly highly recommend film Kill the Messenger.