It’s Friday, and that means that it is time once again for another Fast Five Film Reviews. This time there is four of us (myself, Jules, Brian, and Snowman) and no set genre, so there’ll be a range here from action to thriller and drama to comedy. Jules is up first with two films from this year starring some big name actors.
The Equalizer (2014)
Official Score: 2 ½ stars
Denzel Washington has two different kinds of characters that he is known for (although he does stretch outside the box occasionally) that being sweet, caring, mentors or complete hardasses. This movie supplies him with both roles at the same time. Robert McCall works at one of those big box hardware stores like Lowes/Home Deport, and spends his idle hours reading through “The 100 books you must read before you die” list and helping his fellow employees pass their G.E.D tests so they can land promotions etc. One night he befriends a young hooker (not professionally mind you) and takes pity on her situation. He takes it upon himself to visit her local pimp and his crew of guys to buy her freedom. The Pimp is uninterested in this proposition, and instead opts for the “getting my ass kicked/throat ripped out” portion of the Denzel menu. This leads to a slew of unintended consequences that will, of course, lead up to a final show down with Denzel and his entire HARDWARE STORE of goodies taking on a crew of generic mercenaries who do the job like Barry Horowitz taking on Bill Goldberg in his prime.This is basically yet another version of Taken, with a little retro music and an amusing performance by Washington. It was enjoyable while it lasted, but its memory will not stay with you very long.
Official Score: 1 ½ stars
Johnny Depp being Johny Depp can save a lot of what would otherwise be forgettable movies. In this overly long, and long winded trope of a film though he has finally met his match. Of all the movies I have seen this year few have pushed my “go to sleep” button as hard as Transcendence has. Depp plays a brilliant scientist who is in an elite group of fellow scientists who are busy designing super computers capable of self aware artificial intelligence. At the beginning of the movie many of his fellow scientists are murdered by an eco-terrorist group who want to stop the coming “technopoly”. Depp’s character is inflicted with a lethal disease that will kill his body, but before he checks out he puts all of his thoughts and personality into a computer program. The majority of the movie is basically Johnny Depp’s giant talking head on various screens trying to put the moves on his former fiancé Evelyn. The super Depp computer gets so powerful that the government and Morgan Freeman are called in to stop it before it takes over the world. It would have taken a super computer with a lot of available energy to have jolted me out of my doldrums for this boring nano-tech disaster…
Official Score: 4 ½ Stars
Powerful movie. A slave ship known as the Amistad is overthrown by it’s captive cargo in 1839. After landing in America, the slaves on board are arrested and a trial is held to try and decifer what happened. Making matters quite difficult is that the slaves don’t speak English, and, in turn, no one can understand them. Really a very good movie. A couple of slow spots that drag the score down slightly, but very much worth a watch. I only wish Morgan Freeman’s character had a more prominent role, as he could’ve added greatly to film.
Girl Most Likely (2012)
Official Score: 3 ½ Stars
Kristen Wiig stars as Imogene, a failed playwright living in New York City who thinks she is friends with some stuck up rich folks (she finds out otherwise). She fakes a suicide to try and get her then ex-boyfriend to come save her, but the only that resulted in is putting her in the care of her crazy mother (Annette Bening) and even crazier brother (Christopher Fitzgerald) back in New Jersey. Home isn’t quite as she remembered it. Her room is being rented out to a young man (Darren Criss) and her mother has a new live-in boyfriend (Matt Dillon) who is completely crazy and may or may not be a CIA agent. It’s a funny movie that for some reason has gotten a lot of hate. I don’t get it. It certainly isn’t the greatest comedy, but it’s still a good watch that packs plenty of laughs. All the main players did a good job.
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Official Score: 4 Stars
Chan and Tucker return for the third installment of this popular buddy cop trilogy. It has been 6 years, and Tucker’s character has returned to L.A. as a street cop while Chan is now a security agent for Counselor Han (from the first film). Counselor Han is shot during a speech condemning the Triads and attempting to shut them down. Now Chan and Tucker must travel to France, where it is believed that the particular member of the Triads is living and basing his illegal business. Tucker is on top of his game in this installment hitting rapid fire punch lines with perfect comic timing, and Chan is his usual amazing self doing insane stunts and banter with Tucker.