Thursday, June 26, 2014

Destruction, oh sweet sweet Indonesian Destruction.

THE RAID 2 (2014)

I let this movie sit with me for a bit because I wanted to make sure I wasn't just dealing with my initial "WOW" factor. I mean, my jaw hit the floor so many times during this movie I had to set a pillow at my feet... (Baddabing!)

Now, here I am, film processed, and well... I'm going to say it: I think this may be the best pure action film ever made. EVER Booniacs and Buckleheads.

Ok, lets get into some plot here. SO in the first film - Which I am sure you watched in the wake of my glowing review - Our hero Rama went into a drug building with his swat buddies and they all died, and Rama had to kick and punch every one in the face. In this here sequel, he now has the evidence he thinks will but away the dirty cops... but as he is told there is still much work to be done. That work includes going to prison befriending a Mobsters son. This then leads to complications when he gets out and finds himself smack dab in the middle of a Mob war with little to no support... Whats one Indonesian cop to do? Thats right. Kick and punch Ever-damn-body.

Wait. No Dammit, we messed the handshake up - again. 
I usually don't have a problem working the english language. Hell, you might say a have a certain flair from verbs, and translating awesomeness to word. But this film, trying to capture it in blog is like sticking your tongue out in a rainstorm hoping to taste lightening.

First if you have ever enjoyed a karate, Kung Fu, or hell even a fist fight showdown, this movie must be seen. But I will go further, if you have ever enjoyed an action film ever, WATCH THIS MOVIE! It's that simple.

Director Gareth Evans has one hell of a future. His knack for camera work is just unbelievable. Annnnnnnd one of the best things about it - Long shots. He lets the camera set there and catch everything. Yes there are cuts but we are talking every 15-30 secs not every 2-3 seconds like in your average North American film. He really gets to show off here including a car chase that more or less felt like he was just saying "Look what I can do better than you America" haha. It's true this type of filming makes for some difficulties, like time to get a scene done right (the final fight apparently took 2 weeks to film) but it is so worth it.

Here, let me get that top button for you. 

The Lead played by Iko Uwais is again great. He oozes charisma and honestly, has acting chops are little above his foot to face peers. Boy freaking howdy can he fight. But the supporting team around him is great. A deaf girl with two hammers, a hooded man with a bat and ball. A strange big haired bum looking guy that can kick everyones ass... (an actor from the first returning for so more whooping). There is just so much to love here...

This movie is 2 1/2 hours. Thats 150 minutes. And you will feel like you blinked and it was over. Yes there is plot, hell, the plot is actually pretty damn enjoyable. Standard fare with a Mob boss' son unhappy with the fact he doesn't run the organization. There is just so much action here, it flies by.

Now lets talk violence.

Oh man lets talk violence.

Forget greatest action movie, this could be the bloodiest (wait maybe thats the same thing?). I mean broken bones, faces, baseball bat chaos... Did I mention the chick that fights with two hammers? Trust me, anything you are imaging doesn't not cover it.

A blast of pure adrenaline. When you consider this film is at almost a 9 on IMDB you really start to realize just the love people around the world are having for this film.

Listen you could complain about the plot, hell, maybe if you really tried you can pick apart some acting. But what do you need from an action film? A story that holds together long enough to allow the action to come flying at you. No one, and I mean no one, leaves a theatre going - Wow you know what made that Action film awesome that wicked story. Its all about the action, and since that is scale we are grading on...

Make time!!

Movie scale 4 out of 5 stars
Action Movie scale 5 out of 5 stars. Thats it, a perfect genre score. To my knowledge I believe the first of it's kind on my sweet sweet here blog.

I am still smiling, I cannot wait to show this film to everyone I know. This is one that you will be slapping your boys shoulders going O-M-G did you... damn!

- Chuck B

Monday, June 2, 2014

Best super hero flick ever?


The XMEN are more or less the god fathers of the super hero genre. You could make an argument for Spiderman as well, but the xmen films were really what started it. A team of heroes throwing down with a team of villains. Great acting, great writing, great direction... it really changed how hollywood and the public thought of heroes on the big screen.

Now decade + later, and the original director one Bryan Singer has returned to bring to a screen a truly epic tale. First I want to say I am not a huge Singer fan. First, he nearly destroyed Superman with Superman Returns, and well, Jack the Giant slayer was just one of the biggest messes I have seen in a long time. However when he is on, he can be one of the best directors going... here he absolutely hits what I think is his peak.

Your Plot: In the Future sentinels have all but wiped out mankind, and the Mutants. A small group of Xmen is fighting for the world, and develop a plan that involves sending Wolverines consciousness back in time (to his 1970s self) to get the then young Charles Xavier and Magneto to help him prevent an even that leads to the sentinel program being created. It turns out mystique/raven/sexyblueJenniferLawrence is the key. So while both timelines seem destine to collide, wolverine and his small band of young xmen buddies try to prevent the end of the world.

Imma Gunna shoot you right in the lil' Wolverine

Wow. I have to start with that. I think XMEN: First class surprised a lot of people when it came out a few years back. New actors playing younger versions of characters already established. A lot of people called bullshit and money grab, and well, it turned out to be a very well written and acted and fun film. Now here we are and they just go for broke. Bringing back most of the xmen from the original trilogy (some in blink and you miss it cameos, others in larger roles) smash them together with the new young class of mutants, and just let it fall where they may... and WOW... the action in this flick.

The opening ten minutes may be the best ever... forget in a super hero film. You could argue the opening bank heist in The dark knight but I think for pure adrenaline pumping action... full on Future Sentinels vs future XMEN... including one of my all time favs - Blink. One thing I really appreciated here, no subtitles for the dum Dums. I mean it. No let us explain who this mutant is, and what this means. There are just full speed ahead right from the get go.

Blink. My teen boy crush comes to life... Le sigh. 

Acting is top marks all around. I mean Patrick Steward and Ian McKellen aside. Hugh Jackman, the aforementioned Jennifer Lawnrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Mr. GOT himself Peter Dinklage... the list just goes on and on...

The directing like I mentioned is on. Bang on. No quick cuts littering a great action scene. There was one scene in particular that involved blink vs two sentinels near the beginning that just rocked. The camera sits there slowly sliding letting you drink in the entire scene. Gorgeous.

Listen the plot is a bit silly at the beginning, and the whole Kitty/Sadowcat mind time travel thing is a little out there even for the XMEN... but who cares! It's a nearly unnoticed moment in Two hours and 15 minutes of jaw dropping cool.

If you are tired of sad brooding heroes, and have just been looking for something to fill the void in your hero loving heart since THE AVENGERS dropped the fun bomb on you... this is it. I will even say it... (deep breath... finger stretch) I think this film may be better than the avengers... The Characters may not be as big... and no, there's no Hulk. But damn, this is a fun time.

The Quicksilver scene in the kitchen... fav scene of the entire film... beautiful in the 3D. Ok, yup guess we should chat on that too. The 3D is not too bad here. They do what most films seem to do and forget to use it for most of the film... but there are a few really good scenes where things come at ya and so I was pleased over all.

Movie scale 4 out of 5 stars
Super Hero scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

That is one high score... indeed. But for me, there may still be a couple above it. As far as straight comics come to live goes though... this has the win for sure. Fun from opening to closing scene... yes even the scene after the credits with the... (can not reveal at this time) bomb... all worth it.

-Chuck Boonsweet.

The King of Monsters is back!


Ok. I am going to talk about this here, and you know what it will probably come up more than once... ok it will probably come up often. Why? Because when something upsets me (as you loyal bionics are of course aware) I rant. It's therapeutic.

Society is whelmed. That's right. Not over, not under, just whelmed. And why, because we are freaking spoiled. I saw this film on sunday of the opening weekend. By then I had gotten about 6 reviews from friends that more or less went like this: Well, it was okay. I mean Godzilla was cool. and I don't know the story was kinda whatever. 

I want to make this clear. I am a film fan. I am not a film critic. Fan first. Period. When I go in to a film based on a series of films that involved a man in a rubber suit stomping on model cities... what am I expecting? Oscars? I mean this is a 200 million dollar film about a 186,000 ton dino that trashes cities and throws down with uglies... what in the sweet hell does plot or acting have to do with this? Has anyone watched the other godzillas... Aliens, giant robots, singing twins that call forth a super sized moth... I mean come on... Whelmed. Peeps are just whelmed. Except me. I loved this flick.

Your plot (i debated even putting this in): Years ago a "Thing/creature" destroyed a nuclear power plant that led to the death of Joe's (Bryan Cranston) wife. This led to a few things 1. Joe being obsessed with what actually happen in the wake of the government coverup, and 2. The relationship with his son becoming estranged. Now decades later the truth comes out and he and his son become tangled up with monsters and city wide destruction. Oh and then Godzilla shows up.

Catching snowflakes on the tongue. Or about to eat a plane? 

Ok. The other creatures in this film, kinda resemble the creature from Cloverfield... I have no issues with that, annnnnnnd if it was intentional it's kinda a cool homage. I have to say I absolutely loved the back story in this film about nuclear testing during the 50s actually being attempts to slay Godzilla... I mean that is gold. Then factor in the fact that we are back to the Godzilla as a force of nature and I was loving it.

Yes they make you wait to see Godzilla. Seriously... does that surprise anyone? Yes the characters out side of maybe one are so two dimensional that are practically part of the scenery... does that surprise anyone? hahaha it shouldn't. I thought the blot did a great job of setting up the eventual throw down... the reason why I bought my ticket. I kinda look at this like a classic kung fu flick .... serious.... stay with me here. All the weird and sometimes crazy plot leading to an insanely awesome fight that leads to you buying the film, chomping popcorn and watching with friends.

Yup. That is Godzilla.

I mean he looks great. And the King of Monsters has never been able to throw down like this before. The tail whip.... oh the tail whip... so awesome.

I had fun, giant smiling fun. I mean if your friends want to complain about the story, and acting, let them... because you will know they suffer from a wicked case of the Whelmed.

Also I quick note about the tech side of things. Gareth Edwards, this being only his second feature film (and the first with any kind of budget) rocks this flick. The shots are wide, and beautiful, and capture the action rather fantastically. But there are some subtle touches in here that are just classic shout outs to sic fi... Like the scene with Joe and his wife... where you can tell he is loving having the money to make the film he wanted. His fun equals your fun.

I refuse to pick apart anything more concerning acting and plot. There is just no point. Thats like going to a James bond movie and asking why everyone woman sleeps with him in roughly 7 1/2 minutes.

Let your inner kid out!

movie scale 3 out 5 stars
Sci fi scale 4 out of 5 stars

A blast... the last 30 minutes are just awesome. Pure. Unadulterated awesome.

Boonsweet is out to dig out his old Godzilla toys and set up a couch side show down... No... noooo... thats too much effort. I'll just watch an episode or two of the old cartoon :)