Gringo and all the images you see in this review are owned by Amazon Studios and STX Entertainment
Directed by Nash Edgerton
Hey, if Netflix is gonna try to produce feature films, then why not Amazon too!? Heck, they’ve had a pretty good track record with distributing films like The Handmaiden and The Big Sick, and some of the original programming on their video service has been pretty decent too! Hopefully they can translate that success into this wacky comedy which has a PRETTY good trailer but not a whole lot of buzz, though it’s not entirely their fault considering how much Black Panther and even A Wrinkle in Time have dominated the national discussion around film; leaving films like this to just kinda slink in wherever they can. Does Amazon have a great film on their hands that’s unjustly falling under the radar, or should they have sent this straight to their storefront where no one will ever actually buy it? Let’s find out!!
Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) is a well to do middle management corporate drone who is incredibly content with his current life living with his wife Bonnie (Thandie Newton) and working for Richard and Elaine (Joel Edgerton and Charlize Theron) at a pharmaceutical company he very much likes. The problem is that at every turn, the people in his life continually disrespect him and see him less as a valuable asset and friend, and more of an errand boy that also functions as a doormat. Eventually Harold gets wise to this during a trip that he along with Richard and Elaine take to Mexico in order to inspect one of the facilities, and the straw that breaks the camel’s back comes when Bonnie decides to divorce him; something that she tells him over skype. Having something of a nervous breakdown, Harold takes a bus to a small town in Mexico and fakes his own kidnapping once Richard and Elaine are back in Chicago. Little does Harold know however that the Cartel is after him due to his connection to the pharmaceutical company, so his little ruse might turn out to be more of a prophecy! On top of that, we’ve got a couple trying to sneak drugs from Mexico back to the US (Amanda Seyfried and Harry Treadaway), a mercenary who may be able to get Harold out of the jam he’s in (Sharlto Copley), and like four other subplots that are going on at the same time as Harold’s misadventures in Mexico. Will Harold be able to bilk his employers out of a crap load of money before he gets captured by the Cartel? What was Richard and Elaine doing that got the eye of the Cartel in the first place, and what will they do to get Harold out of the mess he’s in? Most importantly, HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO MAKE A STORY LIKE THIS SO BORING!?
“Hello? Has anyone seen the plot? I can’t find it anywhere!”
Free Fire and all the images you see in this review are owned by StudioCanal UK
Directed by Ben Wheatley
I honestly don’t get excited to see movies all that often. For one, I’m gonna see the damn movies whether or not they’re any good, and on top of that the only movies that seem to get a big marketing push nowadays are big franchise pictures like the MCU, the DCCU, and even The Fast and the Furious. This movie however was the exception to that rule as I caught the trailer a few times and fell in love with the concept right away. A real time gun fight set in the seventies with Sharlto Freaking Copley in it!? Damn! That’s almost too good to even show up in my local theater, which… spoiler alert: it didn’t and I had to drive to the one forty minutes away. See, while everyone was gushing over The Nice Guys last year, it just didn’t quite do it for me as much as it did for everyone else, and this seems like the kind of thing that was not only going for that kind of look and feel but was much more in my wheelhouse as far as the overall tone and the central conceit. Needless to say that this has been a long day coming and I’m hoping for the best while bracing myself for… well not the WORST as the trailers showed way too much promise for THAT to be the case, but at the very least I hope it’s better than mediocre. Does this manage to live up to my rarely lifted expectations, or am I doomed to be disappointed by a film that showed a whole lot of promise? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with essentially two groups of colorful people in the gaudiest seventies fashion meeting in a warehouse to broker a gun deal. One side is led by Chris (Cillian Murphy) and a few Irish gangsters (Michael Smiley, Sam Riley, and Enzo Cilenti) while the other side is led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his associates (Babou Ceesay, Jack Reynor, and Noah Taylor). In the middle are Justine and Ord (Brie Larson and Armie Hammer) who seem to have brokered the deal between the two sides and therefore probably have the most investment in everything going smoothly. Of course, we wouldn’t have a movie if everything was hunky dory, and eventually bullets start flying after a few altercations and outburst from some of the less professional individuals on each side. That’s it. The rest of the movie is watching to see who gets killed next as they trade bullets and yell insults at each other for the next eighty minutes, and it’s pretty damn awesome! Does anyone manage to make it out of this factory alive? Was there a more sinister plot in play than anyone on either side realized before they started shooting at each other? Can we please get Sharlto Copley a Marvel movie or something!? He’s like the new Nicolas Cage and I want to see him in everything!!
“If you see some motherfucking producer carrying a script around for another Wicker Man remake, you blow his bloody head up!”
Hardcore Henry and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment
Directed by Ilya Naishuller
Well it’s about time we got some badass action this year! Batman v Superman and Gods of Egypt turned out to be duds (admittedly I was a bit more optimistic of the former), and London Has Fallen turned out to be… well London Has Fallen. Can this unorthodox arthouse piece prove to the be shot in the arm we need in a landscape that only seems to care about action when super heroes do it, or will this experiment prove to be a resounding failure that glommed itself onto a half-baked gimmick? Let’s find out!!
The movie is all about Henry who is some dude that wakes up in a laboratory with amnesia, robotic limbs, and a hot wife named Estelle (Haley Bennett). For the most part I would call that a win-win, but of course nothing can go right for too long in a science lab, so the place gets attacked by… some guy. I’m pretty sure the dude’s name is Akan (Danila Kozolvsky) who has telekinetic powers… for some reason, and wants Henry… for some reason. No, I don’t know why he’s the ONLY ONE in this entire movie that has magic powers. In fact, there’s a lot about this movie I don’t know after seeing it, but I guess that’s not as important as the whole KILL EVERYTHING WITH YOUR BAD ASS ROBOT PARTS seems to take precedence over everything else. And that’s exactly what Henry proceeds to do for an hour and a half. His wife is kidnapped by the Akan the Black Mage, and he has to kill everyone in his path to get her back. Aiding him on his journey is the loveable Jimmy (Sharlto Copley) who’s pulling off an interesting trick here and has his own reasons for wanting to keep Henry alive and fighting. Will Henry get his wife back before it’s too late? Can this new cybernetic body handle all the stress and bullets that Henry is going to put it through? WHAT THE HELL DID HE JUST DO TO THAT GUY’S FACE!?
“You ready to see some shit? I don’t think you’re ready, but fortune favors the bold, right? No… Not really, but good luck to ya!”
Remakes are awesome, right? We all love it when the sole reason a movie gets made is because people don’t want to read subtitles! Alright fine. To be fair, this remake has A LOT going for it. It’s a remake of a fantastic movie that deviated hevily from the book (they could draw more material from that), and it’s directed by someone who we actually know. One of Amercia’s favorite (and polarizing) Auters Spike Lee! Not only that, but the cast is great with Josh Brolin who’s awesome, Elizabeth Olson who is a big up and coming actress, and bad ass movie mainstays like Samuel L. Jackson and Charlto Copley. Does this movie rise above other remakes, or is it a giant wasted effort? Keep reading to find out!!