Cinema Dispatch: Moonfall

Moonfall and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Roland Emmerich and I don’t always see eye to eye, but sometimes he can put together a decent enough spectacle to remind us of why he became such a big name in blockbuster cinema. Heck, I’m probably one of the few critics that thought Independence Day: Resurgence was pretty decent, so it shouldn’t take too much for me to give his latest movie a thumbs up; especially with such a brilliantly simple premise! The moon crashing into the Earth? It practically writes itself! Does Emmerich pull it off once again with this rather tenuous adaptation of Majora’s Mask, or will we be hoping for the moon to actually crash into us by the time this movie is over? Let’s find out!!

All the way back in the year 2011, a crew of astronauts was attacked by a mysterious space anomaly that led to one astronaut dying and the other two having to make a daring crash landing back on Earth. They manage to survive the incident, but one of them, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) ends up taking the fall for it as he insists that there was something out there that caused it and that it wasn’t just solar flares or orbital wobble. Fast forward ten years and the other astronaut, Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry), managed to make her way to Deputy Director of NASA while Brian has snuggled into the role of a disgraced booze-hound who will surely be quick to sober as soon as everyone realizes he was right all along. Sure enough, the moon starts to fall out of orbit and it looks like this anomaly is responsible for it; not that NASA wants to admit it, but a conspiracy theorist KC Houseman (John Bradley) manages to get the word out and the world starts to panic over the fact that they’re about to find themselves between a literal rock and a hard place. With little time to put a plan together and even less time to pull it off, Jocinda calls in Brian who drags along KC to try and save the world from utter destruction. Oh, and other people are doing stuff here and there, mostly involving the families of our main characters, but they’re mostly on hand to look at all the stuff getting destroyed. Can our unlikely trio of scientists and pseudo-scientists fix the moon before it turns the Earth into a giant space donut? What is the nature of this anomaly that Brian saw, and are there forces working behind the scenes to stop our heroes from discovering the truth? I don’t know, if we can’t figure out how to stop Global Warming, what are the chances we can stop the moon from headbutting us?

“All that recycling and it turns out the moon was gonna kill us all along.” “I blame social media.”
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Cinema Dispatch: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment

Directed by Chad Stahelski

So here we are once again.  Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of the second movie, but the John Wick movies have their own sense of style and craftsmanship that’s hard to ignore even when the story begins to fall apart, at least as far as I’m concerned regarding that sequel.  Now the time has come for them to hopefully right the ship and bring this franchise back to what made it great instead of the convoluted mess that we got last time.  Will we be getting the conclusion to John’s story that will make this whole wild trip worth taking, or is this franchise already too far into the rabbit hole for us to reasonably expect them to dig their way out of?  Let’s find out!!

The movie picks up mere minutes after the end of the last one where John (Keanu Reeves) has just been ex-communicated from The Continental for (SPOILER ALERT FOR JOHN WICK 2) killing what’s his face in the last film (Riccardo Scamarcio).  Now obviously no one expects John Wick to go down quietly, especially not the owner of The Continental (Ian McShane), and yet a bunch of assassins take a swipe at the guy with about as much luck as you’d expect.  However, John’s plan isn’t JUST to kill enough people to clog up the Hudson River; he needs to go and appease The High Table who I guess is in charge of The Continental and all the other Assassin Hotels which apparently was a THING in the last movie that I just forgot about.  Now what’s his face that no one liked from the last movie was apparently a member of this table (can’t be THAT great if he got a seat) and so John’s up to his eyeballs in not just hot shots trying to make a quick buck, but basically everyone within the orbit of The High Table.  This includes The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) who is there to clean up (i.e. kill) everyone with even a vague connection to John’s recent activities, and Zero the Assassin (Mark Dacascos) who’s band of ninjas have been hired to help The Adjudicator do his dirty work.  So while that’s all going down in New York, John is trying to get a meeting with a member of The High Table which is no easy task as he has to cash in whatever chips he has left to get help from his former trainer (Anjelica Huston) and a former colleague who owes him one (Halle Berry); both risking a lot even if whatever assistance they offer is through official channels because The High Table is having none of that crap anymore.  Will John find what he needs to in order to spare his life from the wrath of The High Table?  What will those back in New York do now that they’ve gotten the ire of the people at the very top of the food chain?  Just how many dudes do BOTH sides have to spare over this rather small dispute between the one guy none of them can kill and a dead dude who only got the job like a week ago?  Is there REALLY no other way they can solve this!?

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I propose a cutest dog competition!  I mean really, there’s no other reasonable way to solve this.

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Cinema Dispatch: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Kingsman kind of came out of nowhere and surprised everyone with just how big of a hit it became, but then again that’s kind of the most notable thing about Matthew Vaugh’s career so far.  Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, and Kingsman were all movies that no one really expected to become huge hits, but he managed to turn all three into huge money makers and even garnered quite a bit of critical praise in the process!  Now he’s attempting the one thing that so few directors have been able to pull off which is to make a successful sequel to one of his own films; something that even the best directors aren’t always able to pull off (*cough* The Lost World *cough*)!  Will this be yet another unexpected hit from a director who’s known for making those, or is this a challenge that will prove insurmountable even for someone as talented as Matthew Vaughn!?  Let’s find out!!

The movie picks up some time after the ending of the first film where The Kingsman Organization is thriving under new leadership and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is living the super awesome secret agent life while also dating Princess Tildae (Hanna Alström) who was the princess he saved in his last adventure.  Now obviously things can’t stay this way for long (lest this be a rather uneventful movie), as Eggsy’s past comes back to haunt him with the sudden reappearance of Kingsman dropout Charles (Edward Holcroft) who somehow survived the events of the last film and proceeds to set off a chain reaction of events that completely decimates the Kingsman Organization; even managing to kill agent Lancelot in the process (Sophie Cookson).  With nothing left and the world facing an imminent threat from an organization known only as The Golden Circle, led up by Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), the remaining Kingsman members (pretty much just Eggsy and Merlin played by Mark Strong) must turn to their American Counterparts known as The Statesmen in order to fight against whatever nefarious schemes Poppy and Charles have planned.  Can Eggsy save the world yet again despite having lost so much already?  Can the Statesmen be trusted to work with the remaining Kingsman members, or do they have a secret agenda of their own?  Seriously, how the hell do they write themselves out of a bullet to the head in order to bring back Collin Firth!?

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“DON’T MAKE ME USE THIS!  I GOT THIS SHIT STRAIGHT FROM THE PENGUIN!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Kidnap

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Kidnap and all the images you see in this review are owned by Aviron Pictures

Directed by Luis Prieto

TWO YEARS!  This movie has been sitting on a shelf for nearly two freaking years due to the financial troubles of its original distributor Relativity media before being picked up by its current distributor and finally getting a release.  I mean, I guess it’s better than the cinematic limbo that Amityville: The Awakening is stuck in (wrapped in 2014 and STILL hasn’t been released) but it still doesn’t bode well considering how little this movie is being promoted.  Hell, I thought this thing came out last year which is when I saw the first trailer, and I only found out like a week ago that it was only now coming out!  Still, Halle Berry is a really great actor (Catwoman non-withstanding) and I do tend to like a decent car chase movie.  Does this have a chance of rising above its troubled and awkwardly handled release, or was shelving this thing the best anyone involved could have hoped for?  Let’s find out!!

Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) is the clichéd single mom who’s got a crappy job but is trying to make it work as well as make time for her son (Sage Correa).  Being the perfect mother figure though, it was only a matter of time before dramatic irony rears its ugly head and the ONE FREAKING MINUTE she walks away to take a very important phone call, some scumbags (Lew Temple and Chris McGinn) manage to swoop in and take her son.  Why did they take her son and what do they hope to get from this working class mom?  Who cares!  THEY’VE GOT HER FREAKING KID!  Time for Karla to do the only sensible thing which is to be a total bad ass and chase after them in her minivan and try to get SOMEONE’S attention long enough for them to help her stop these crooks from keeping her son for any longer.  It’s too bad that her phone died AND she accidentally left it at the park where her son was kidnapped, but that’s beside the point!  COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, SHE WILL GET HER SON BACK!!  Does Karla have even the slightest chance of stopping the criminals before they do any harm to her precious son?  How far will she need to go and how much collateral damage will she cause in her mad dash not lose sight of the kidnappers?  Just where the heck did she learn to drive like that!?

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“Grand Theft Auto, don’t fail me now!!”

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