GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE (2021)

Directed By: Navot Papushado 
Written By: Navot Papushado & Ehud Lavski
Cinematography: Michael Seresin
Editor: Nicolas De Toth

Cast: Karen Gillian, Lena Headey, Paul Giamatti, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, Chloe Coleman, Ralph Ineson, Michael Smiley, Adam Negaitis 

Three generations of women fight back against those who could take everything from them.


The film Plays like pop art to please the masses full Of neon coloring. As it takes a bunch of action film narratives and tries to splice them All together with some nods to film noir.

It strangely comes off kind of dull but very colorful. As we watch, trying to figure out what movie caused this scene’s inspiration. 

The action sequences are inspired and what the film depends on. As well as its Tarantino-inspired dialogue and quirkiness.

The film also like JOHN WICK tries to world build, unfortunately, it barely gives us a chance to know the characters or what is going on before a heavy emphasis on this. Which can lead to confusion early on.

Even if it more feels like HOTEL ARTEMIS with Its Rogue galleries of criminals, organizations, killers, doctors, clinics, and dealers. Though again John wick-ish with this network of criminals and yet also POINT BLANK with its organization that rules most of the underworld business. 

Just as the DRIVE inspired jacket she wears throughout 

While giving a more female-oriented point of view of the action in these types of films with a recognizable cast. Visually the film has all that it takes and is truly a style over substance but with an increasing degree when it comes to Netflix films it seems rather contained than open. Even as it works well with what it has. 

As the story is far from simple for this type of film as the action seems to follow and seems to only. Be confusing because it needs a reason to have an action sequence. 

The problem is that with all of this it still comes off limp and surprisingly a little dull. It’s like a meal that has food coloring nice to look at but ultimately something you have had before and are used to. 

As even the score tries to use Sergio Leone-inspired music or random pop hits more to fit the action sequences than anything.  Not necessarily adding anything to the emotional more like the director just thought it would be nice if this song played during this sequence. No real new meaning except for some irony.

Just as Karen Gillian is fine in the lead but is left with nothing to make her stand out. She comes off as having the skills but is pretty bland and one-note. She, unfortunately, stand out the least amongst the cast.

The only spark of originality other than color scheme comes for. The library and librarians were played by Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, and Carla Gugino. They are a nice breath of fresh air. Where the most impressive action sequence takes place. Also, the clinic is A cute sequence as well as the diner. 

Also the organization’s three henchmen they send to take her out up a challenge but seem pretty bad to be exclusive assassins. They come across as more muscle or thugs that would be back up or the type assassins have to do clean up Or dirty work for or Vice versa. Like a wrecking crew destroying and making a mess.  so that there is no evidence 

The villains offer no personality, only a stereotypical look of either Eastern European stereotypes or well-suited goons and backup men.  

It’s also a film that feels like it’s trying too hard. It wants to stand out from the rest which is understandable, but by trying too hard to be like the others or those that came before it Lacks its own individual personality and feels like a loser, and ultimately Proves to be about nothing 

It’s obviously a movie for a more mainstream audience looking. For an action escape and it works on that level but doesn’t offer anything new or original mist some nice dressing. As it definitely is more commercial and slick but offers nothing of depth. Like a best seller with no actual good writing just a story to work off of And try to live up to fill in the blanks 

Grade: C-

THE ONE (2001)

Directed By: James Wong 
Written By: James Wong &Glen Morgan 
Cinematography By: Robert McLachlan 
Editor: James Coblentz 


Cast: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham, Dylan Bruno, James Morrisson, Dean Norris 


This movie postulates what if there is more than one universe. And that all of these universes are held together by one single stream of energy and that energy is equally distributed to every living in each universe and if one of these beings die, that energy is reallocated equally to each other surviving member. And with each allocation, a person becomes stronger. Now one universe has master the ability of crossing into another universe, and a man named Shulaw who believes that if he can kill all of his counterparts, he will become invincible, but there are those who believe that it might have detrimental effects, so try and stop him. Unfortunately, he just has one more person to kill, Gabe Law, but the officers follow Shulaw but Shulaw has committed some crimes and Gabe is accused and is wanted. But Gabe discovers that he has changed and only wants to kill Shulaw not realizing what could happen.

Even for experienced writer-directors James Wong and Glenn Morgan who were also showrunners for THE X-FILES, this film feels especially weak for a science-fiction tale though I realize it is more action. That element could have been played up more. I am not even blaming the lackluster effects. It’s just that everything about this film feels uninspired.
This is a film I have seen beige and pretty much forgotten about until I re-watched it recently and all the old feelings and impressions came rushing back.

It feels uninspired though it takes elements from a bunch of different sci-fi films it never settles to use any of those inspirations to come up with spent anything different and original. I can accept that.

It also seems like a film where the directors were either fans or in awe of the star of the film Jet-Li and seem to just hang back on film ad let him do what he does best. Which would be fine of hey a least set him up with scenes that were somewhat Interesting and set up the action so that we can be amazed by his skills.

For the martial arts aficionados: Jet Li uses two distinct kung fu styles when portraying Gabe and Yulaw. The evil Yulaw uses Xingyi Quan, or “Mind-Form Fist” (loosely translated). As can be seen, when he is training, it is a very linear, offensive style. Gabe on the other hand practices Bagua Zhang, or the “Eight Trigrams Palm”. It is characterized by open palm fighting, with circular footwork. Both styles are two of the three main “internal” styles of Chinese kung fu – the third being Taiji Quan (Tai Chi).

The film LETHAL WEAPON 4 did it and look at how. Underwhelming that film was. He only played a supporting part and amazed audiences with his martial arts skills so much that soon after he was making film after film in the United States though he Barry spoke any English and most of those films while disappointing at least knew how to use him to his advantage and have at least one memorable scene with him.

This is a shame as Jet-li never really found his niche in America sure he starred In many American films though he never found a project that really defined him nor pinpointed his skills. None were truly showcases or even highlights. They all looked kind of like bargain-basement productions and paired him with a musician of some kind. They also seemed more to advertise him to more of an urban audience. (CRADLE TO THE GRAVE, ROMEO MUST DIE) Though usually, the films were multiracial. Though the films he made just as always from overseas were usually excellent to passable (HERO, FEARLESS)

This film feels like it could have been written for any action star. To use their skills in the role only here it happened to be martial arts. Truly this could have started anyone that is how much the lead character and the villain have no real personality or general-purpose other than to fill out their roles and work within the mechanics of the film.

When Dwayne Johnson’s’ The Rock’ was attached to a star, this film was known as The Rock Movie. When he left to work on THE MUMMY RETURNS, it was listed for a short while as Untitled Sci-Fi Project, and when Jet Li came aboard, it became The One. Now I will admit I can be a snob and at times hard on the action, that might be because growing up with action films I grew used to them and I just can’t take the run of the mill. There must be something special or some kind of passion about the film for me I appreciate it. Even of the film is lackluster there must be something in it even iconic that might bring me memories of yesteryear ones. This one though truly feels like a waste of time and talent. That seemed doomed from the beginning.

Skip it

 Grade: F

THE CENTER OF THE WORLD (2001)

centerofthe world

Directed By: Wayne Wang
Story By: Wayne Wang, Miranda July, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt
Written By: Ellen Benajmin Wong
Cinematography By: Mauro Fiore
Editor: Lee Percy

Cast: Molly Parker, Peter Sarsgaard, Carla Gugino, Mel Gorham, Pat Morita, Bahlthazar Getty, Shirley Knight

A successful computer engineer meets a stripper in a cafe. He offers her $10000 and she offers 3 days and nights of no penetration in Vegas.

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NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (2006)

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Directed By: Shawn Levy
Story & Written By: Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant
Based On The Book By: Milan Trenc
Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro
Editor: Don Zimmerman

Cast: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Jake Cherry, Ricky Gervais, Rami Malek, Kim Raver, Paul Rudd, Anne Meara, Steve Coogan 

A newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.

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SON IN LAW (1993)

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Directed By: Steve Rash
Written By: Fax Bahr, Adam Small & Shawn Schepps
Story By: Patrick Clifton, Susan McMartin & Peter Lenkov
Cinematography By: Peter Deming
Editor: Dennis M. Hill 


Cast: Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith, Mason Adams, Tiffani Amber-Theissen, Patrick Renna, Cindy Pickett, Dennis Burkley

Country girl Rebecca begins college in Los Angeles. There she meets Crawl, a student who is crazy, unpredictable and wild. During the holidays she brings him with her home. Her parents have never seen anything like him and are shocked when Rebecca tells them that they are engaged to be married. Two different worlds collide…

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