THE HUNT (2020)

Directed By: Craig Zobel
Written By: Damon Lindelof & Nick Cuse
Cinematography: Darran Tiernan
Editor: Jane Rizzo

Cast: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Ike Barinholtz, Glenn Howerton, Amy Madigan, Wayne Duvall, Sturgill Simpson, Reed Birney, Macon Blair

“Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are — or how they got there. In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, ruthless elitists gather at a remote location to hunt humans for sport. But their master plan is about to be derailed when one of the hunted, Crystal, turns the tables on her pursuers.


This movie is full of action and a rather surprising amount of violence. Though keeps a dark sense of humor throughout and flips the script a little. 

As the victims trying to survive the hunt are more Americana types who are usually villainized on social media and the hunters are emote the liberal elites who seem to find everything somehow insulting and must be corrected. 

The film doesn’t seem to take any side but shows there are good and bad in both and this is all taken to the extreme. The second scene is great as far as setting the tone. As we see familiar actors and types of characters who we assume will be the hero and then we see some of them taken down and through the first 30 minutes, we are never quite sure who to follow, trust, or believe. 

We are kind of put into the similar mindsets of the hunted characters constantly questioning what is going on. So enough our hero or anti-hero played by Betty Gilpin who stays a badass throughout and whose character had the same kind of sarcastic swagger that most male Action heroes have. Luckily at no point does her look or attractiveness has anything to do with her survival or getting the upper hand. This is a tar making role and she handles it well.

The film is over the top violent that after a while it becomes a joke itself as well as feels ridiculous at times.

Though there is mention of minorities. The film still doesn’t have any amongst its cast which is a lost opportunity the film seems to want to avoid. As that may make the film Have to more make a decision. Though it might have also given more of a point of view. 

Hillary swank as the villain would have been more interesting seeing her in the heroic role but that might have been too expected. It’s nice to see her in movies again. I only wish she was getting bigger roles. Though her hand to hand fight with Gilpin is the third act and one of the best action sequences in the Film. 

The film never quite slows down. As when it comes to the ending it feels like barely any turn has passed. So that this film feels like a breath of fresh air. 

Directed by Craig Zobel is shocking as his films are usually more humanistic dramas and comedies. This is the first more action-oriented mainstream movie he has made and he passes with flying colors. Showing himself to be more a journeyman director. 

The fact ironies in this movie are Intentional. As showing how all of this started. This is a worst-case scenario of what it seems like is going on in the world when it comes to personal politics. This is more a satire that fits in with movies such as BATTLE ROYALE, THE PURGE, MAYHEM, and THE BELKO EXPERIMENT. Though this film not as dark in the spirit, it might more remind or be a companion piece to THE RUNNING MAN or SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.

Grade: B-

HAYWIRE (2011)

Editing, Cinematography & Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Written By: Lem Dobbs

Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Bill Paxton, Michael Angarano, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas

Freelance covert operative Mallory Kane is hired out by her handler to various global entities to perform jobs which governments can’t authorize and heads of state would rather not know about. After a mission to rescue a hostage in Barcelona, Mallory is quickly dispatched on another mission to Dublin. When the operation goes awry and Mallory finds she has been double crossed, she needs to use all of her skills, tricks and abilities to escape an international manhunt, make it back to the United States, protect her family, and exact revenge on those that have betrayed her.

Continue reading “HAYWIRE (2011)”

THE ASSIGNMENT (2016)

Directed by: Walter Hill. Written by: Walter Hill & Dennis Hamill Cinematography: James Liston. Editor: Phil Norden

Cast: Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub, Anthony LaPaglia, Ken Kirzinger, Caitlin Gerard, Zak Santiago, Anthony Griffith

After waking up and discovering that he has undergone gender reassignment surgery, an assassin seeks to find the doctor responsible.

In the past this films plot might have been considered high concept, but now while a kind of interesting idea. It ends up becoming more of a who cares situation. That other then it’s

Story the rest feels heavily cliched and hard hitting just to go through the motions. Where after awhile you don’t care about anything happening.

it’s a shame Michelle Rodriguez finally Seems to have found the right role. Even with a well known action director Walter Hill. As she seems to be more interested in action roles in her career and ends up usually being a supporting player. Here she has the lead role.

Though it offers her nothing new or that strong as far as material or quality.

As for the sex change her character goes through. Even before she looked like she was in. Make drag and had a supposed chiseled chest and body hair. Once she has the sex change in the movie it just looks like she shaved and grew a chest. Which makes the scene when she meets up with an old conquest who barely recognizes her all the more u intentionally funny.

It seems interesting in these films the worse punishments the main characters go through is to be forced to love life as a female. The film tries to present that as only cruel considering the character but the movie seems to have that attitude.

The film plays somber and never seems to have enough energy to keep the audience interested. As it tries to have a jazzy mood but comes off as more a typical straight to streaming thriller.

The progressions which are animated to make us beleive they are in bigger major Cities and locations seems inspired by the dvd cut of his move THE WARRIORS. Which have animated inserts during scenes.

The film Seems to want to be a frantic character price with a thriller impact but feels tone deaf. That tries to be different and wants to say something but feels so misguided

Michelle Rodriguez speaks liek she is InnA 1940’s gangster film which only shows that the film is aspiring for many things and is making no sense and not in a bar shit crazy way but in an embarrassingly bad way.

Sigourney Weaver seems to be a one not villain whose beliefs and actions seems there only because there has to be a reason for all of this and writing it off as an experiment seems so trivial.

Largely, the film s boring as when there are action sequences they go by so quick and without any excitement. Even towards the end, With such an esteemed cast one would expect better.

Grade: F

THE IMITATION GAME (2014)

Directed By: Morton Tyldum. Written By: Graham Moore. Based On A Book By: Andrew Hodges Cinematography: Oscar Faura Editor: William Goldenberg Music score: Alexandre Desplat

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Just like when the film is set. The film plays like a spy film Filled with espionage and thriller elements. For what the film might lack in action for some. It leaves the audience with a more devastating aftermath of emotions.

The thrills are given in a much more intelligent battlefield as the action is more a meeting of the minds and trying to outsmart one another.

Throw in a story of a great inventor and his everlasting invention. That was itself a journey to build with plenty of naysayers and challenges.

There is also a kind of love story at it’s heart but maybe not the one you are expecting. Not to mention a focus on the injustice and prejudice of homophobia and anti-gay rights.

So this film has it all, likely Oscar bait but for once. One with some bite and thrills that come out of nowhere and could have been a simple period drama, but comes out and is actually exciting though some might find it to be a little like a British version of the movie A BEAUTIFUL MIND. Though much is going on all the parts for precisely together.

The performances are off the charts. Keira knightly as the Love interest and top code breaker still has to deal with sexism and domesticity as her parents expect her to be a good wife and find a husband before she can use her skills and brilliance.

Mark strong as the mysterious Mi6 agent and liaison is devious and powerful.

Benedict cumberbatch really shows his range as he can be the awkward outsider o e minute, the pretentious snob and know it all but also the heartbroken and doomed. That you want to save him, but can’t

A film that is built like a drama but plays more like a thriller, with room enough for drama. As on one point he works to get his invention to work and then on another keeping his sexuality a secret. Even though he seems rarely to find interest in others. Even though a romance or more partnership does develop.

Even when he is black mailed on all sides and slowly starts to make friends as others finally get used to him and his polarizing personality that one could easily label it as partially inspired by BIG BANG THEORY with the character Sheldon from that show.

We get to see what makes him tick or inspires him to imagine. as the project keeps something alive in him a kind of hope, love and memories.

How it can be greater Than anything in life. Including your own. The object takes the place of a lost love that could never be. So he builds something his great creation as a kind of loving memory.

How all this history is revealed from just a breaking and entering case. Leaving the detectives in the hunt for supposed treason and spies turns into a heartbreaking story that destroys his whole life because of a detectives insistence over being dismissed and talked down to by him and who has no idea what he will cause and never meant to.

How our actions can have deeper ramifications then expected and can’t be taken back.

The title seems to come from code breaking, imitating the enemies code system to read and understand their messages. It would also be used for the main character who always knew he was different.

So he tried calling initiate others to fit in to a point that no one would really notice and if he couldn’t replicate her would keep people away. More like push, so they never really got to know him.

GRADE: A

STRANGE DAYS (1995)

Strange-Days-1

Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow
Written by James Cameron & Jay Cocks
Cinematography: Matthew F. Leonetti
Editor: Howard E. Smith & James Cameron 


Cast: Ralph Finnes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, Glenn Plummer, Brigitte Bako, Richard Edson, William Finchter, Josef Sommer, Nicky Katt, Michael Jace, Todd Graff 


A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a conspiracy in Los Angeles in 1999.

Continue reading “STRANGE DAYS (1995)”

ALENA (2005)

alena-jpg

 

Directed By: Daniel Di Grado
Written By: Daniel Di Grado, Kerstin Gezelius & Alexander Onofri
Based on the Graphic Novel By: Kim W. Andersson
Cinematography By: Simon Olsson
Editor: Linda Jildmalm 


Cast: Amalia Holm, Molly Nutley, Felice Jankell, Rebecka Nyman, Fanny Klefelt 


When Alena arrives at her new elite boarding school, Filippa and the other girls start to harass her. But Alena’s best friend Josefin won’t let her take anymore beating. If she won’t strike back, Josefin will do it for her. Hard.

Continue reading “ALENA (2005)”

THE ROOMMATE (2011)

THEROOMMATE

 

Directed By: Christian E. Christiansen
Written By: Sonny Malhi, Nick Bylsma, Chris Bylsma & Richard Robertson
Cinematography By: Phil Parmet
Editor: Randy Bricker 


 Cast: Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Aly Michalka , Cam Gigandet, Daneel Ackles, Frances Fisher, Billy Zane, Nina Dobrev, Kat Graham, Matt Lanter

Fresh from Des Moines, Iowa, Sara Matthews has just landed in Los Angeles as a college freshman studying fashion design. She meets handsome Stephen, party-lover Tracy, and roommate Rebecca. Rebecca is nice, sweet and ready to share everything with Sara. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. But Tracy is convinced that there’s something seriously wrong with Rebecca and bad things start happening to everyone close to Sara. If Sara is to have a normal college experience, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of what’s up with Rebecca and quickly get out of her clutches.

Continue reading “THE ROOMMATE (2011)”

OPEN WINDOWS (2014)

OPENWINDOWS

Written & Directed By: Nacho Vigalondo
Cinematography By: Jon D. Dominguez
Editor: Bernat Vilaplana

Cast: Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey, Neil Maskell

An actress named Jill refuses to have dinner with Nick, a fan who won a date with her in an Internet contest. In return, a guy named Chord, posing as Jill’s campaign manager, helps Nick to follow in the footsteps of the actress from his own computer. Nick starts a game in which he realizes that he is only a puppet into the maniacal plans devised by Chord, to hunt down the star

Continue reading “OPEN WINDOWS (2014)”

ESCAPE PLAN (2013)

ESCAPEPLAN

Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom
Written By: Miles Chapman & Arnell Jesko
Story By: Miles Chapman
Cinematography By: Brendan Galvin
Editor: Elliot Greenberg 


Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Amy Ryan, Jim Caviezel, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Farin Tahar, Sam Neill, Graham Beckel, Matt Gerald

Ray Breslin is the world’s foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He’s framed and incarcerated in a master prison he designed himself. He needs to escape and find the person who put him behind bars.

Continue reading “ESCAPE PLAN (2013)”

SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL (2020)

WONDERLAND_10_15_2018-00310.arw

Directed By: Peter Berg
Written By: Sean O’Keefe & Brian Helgeland
Based On Characters Created By: Robert Parker
Based On The Novel By: Ace Atkins
Cinematography: Tobias A. Schliessler
Editor: Michael L. Sale 


Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Iliza Shlesinger, Michael Gaston, Marc Maron, Bokeem Woodbine, Colleen Camp, Post Malone, James Dumont 


When two Boston police officers are murdered, ex-cop Spenser teams up with his no-nonsense roommate, Hawk, to take down criminals.

Continue reading “SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL (2020)”