Sunday, June 24, 2018

Tag: Naomie Harris

Rampage (2018)

Title: Rampage
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Brad Peyton
Written by: Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal, and Adam Sztykiel
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, P.J. Byrne, Marley Shelton, Breanne Hill, Jack Quaid, Matt Gerald, Jason Liles, Demetrius Grosse, and Will Yun Lee
Release Date: 4/13/2018
Running Time: 107 minutes

Official Site
IMDb
Buy on Amazon

What did you think of this film?
In 1993, a breakthrough new technology, known as CRISPR, gave scientists a path to treat incurable diseases through genetic editing.

In 2016, due to its potential for misuse, the U.S. Intelligence Community designated genetic editing a “Weapon of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.”

Dwayne Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size.

To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Was seeing Rampage in IMAX, 3D or 4D worth the cost?

Special thanks to Michael, and Frank for this submission


Collateral Beauty (2016)

Title: Collateral Beauty
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: David Frankel
Written by: Allan Loeb
Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Jacob Latimore and Helen Mirren
Release Date: 12/16/2016
Running Time: 97 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
When a successful New York advertising executive suffers a great tragedy he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No


Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

OurKindOfTraitorPoster

Title: Our Kind of Traitor
Rating: R
Directed by: Susanna White
Written by: Hossein Amini
Based on the novel by: John le Carré
Starring: Carlos Acosta, Radivoje Bukvic, Stellan Skarsgård, Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris
Release Date: 7/1/2016
Running Time: 107 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

While on holiday in Marrakech, an ordinary English couple, Perry and Gail, befriend a flamboyant and charismatic Russian, Dima, who unbeknownst to them is a kingpin money launderer for the Russian mafia.

When Dima asks for their help to deliver classified information to the British Secret Services, Perry and Gail get caught in a dangerous world of international espionage and dirty politics.

The couple is propelled on a perilous journey through Paris and Bern, a safe house in the French Alps, to the murky corners of the City of London and an alliance with the British Government via a ruthless and determined MI6 agent.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Memoriam: In grateful memory of Simon Channing Williams


Spectre Review – 2 out of 5 Stars

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Four spy movies have come out this year that ranged from excellent to okay. Starting in February, we got the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service (A-), Spy (B), The Man from U.N.C.L.E (B+) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (B). These are all movies that are highly entertaining and in some way clearly influenced by past Bond films. I mention these movies because one of my biggest regrets this year was how I treated these movies in relation to my high anticipation for the latest 007 movie Spectre. Okay, Rogue Nation was fun but its premise is a clear rip off of the criminal organization in the James Bond films. Trust me, by the time Spectre comes around, nobody will even be talking about Mission Impossible.

After the events of Skyfall, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is going after Spectre, a secret Illuminati like organization that is responsible for everything evil in the world. The group is run by Ernest Stavo Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), a man mysteriously hell bent on destroying the things that are around Bond. All while this is happening, his spy agency is becoming dangerously close to being terminated in the name of supporting a worldwide organization that would track the online records of every country.

To understand how much of a flavorless let down this movie was, you have to understand how much I loved Skyfall. I was never really on board with Craig bond movies until this film. This film managed to take all of the elements that people loved about the franchise and they were able to present us with something that was nostalgic and innovative at the same time. On the 50th anniversary of Dr. No, Skyfall gave us an unforgettable villain, excellent back stories, breath taking action scenes, intelligent writing and absolutely striking cinematography from Roger Deakins. Director Sam Mendes wasn’t afraid to take risks and go even bigger than the franchise had ever gone before. For my money, this is still one of the best action movies we’ve seen so far this century.

Now that you know that, this is how Spectre was built. Take bits and pieces of the past few Bond movies, hold all of the humor and joy that made those aspects entertaining, take out any of the originality that the previous Craig Bond films included and give it a half assed ending that’s supposed to present itself like this was everything that it has been leading up to for the past 6 or so years. Oh wait, forgive me, I’ve forgotten the most important thing. Above all else, remember to stretch the movie out to an ungodly 2 hours and 30 minutes.

This movie is the definition of the sophomore slump. Skyfall was a huge hit that everyone loved and it seems that MGM basically told Mendes that he could do anything that he wanted for the next film. In reaction to that, he has taken everything people loved about Skyfall and milked it for all it’s worth. The big story, the funny elements, the villain who has a past with 007, he took all of these things and he did them again but this time with the sincerity and the soul of a greatest hits compilation. Yeah, you’re technically getting everything you wanted from Bond but it all seems too unsubstantial and presented with no love.

There has been a lot of news recently about this being Craig’s final movie and you can honestly tell that he’s tired of playing Bond. All of the charisma and energy he has had in the previous Bond movies feels lost and he doesn’t seem to be having any fun with the part anymore. All of the attempts the movie makes to make him seem funny or charming don’t work and they make the movie occasionally awkward. Craig way always best when he was a playing grittier and darker Bond and it feels like after Skyfall, we’ve seen every aspect of this Bond that we can. There’s nothing new that Craig can add to this character and he mostly seems to just be going through the motions like everyone else who worked on this movie.

The love interests are also one of the poorer elements of this movie. One of the amazing things Skyfall did was how little it forced James Bond to be in a relationship. He has a brief amount of time with a girl in the first half but in the later parts of the movie, it becomes a lot more focused on finally dissecting what it is that James Bond is a symbol and as a person. In this movie, we’re back to forcing James Bond to be a relationship with someone. Léa Seydoux plays the daughter of a dead crime boss who is helping Bond get to Blofeld. She’s a great actress (hell, she’s already been in a Mission Impossible movie before) but her character represents some of the worst elements of the Bond girl. Bond is disgusting older than her, she isn’t given any development and finally, despite disliking Bond at first and not spending much time with him, she still falls in love with him. It’s unrealistic and it doesn’t help that Seydoux and Craig have horrible chemistry with each other because of their ages and Craig’s inability to escape being cinematic dead weight here. Their romance honestly reminds me a bit of those old Moore films where he would be in his 50’s and he would be paired with someone in their 20’s, I honestly thought we were over doing that.

Early this year I complained about how The Syndicate from Rogue Nation was a cheaper, more forced version of the old Spectre and now the new Spectre is an even more forced and useless version of the old Spectre. This movies shady criminal organization is even more poorly explained and generic because we basically only get to see Spectre as a whole for one small scene and then for the rest of it it’s just Blofeld doing average, mediocre villain stuff. At least The Syndicate was in some way explained by its characters but Spectre feels like something they added just to be there without really thinking it out, ironic considering that it’s the title of their movie. Rogue Nation is also a lot more light hearted whereas Spectre seems to be taking everything way too seriously; this makes the story much easier to forgive in the former.

Blofeld is especially disappointing since he’s being played by Waltz, a terrific actor. In the original Bond movies, Blofeld was clever, mysterious and always able to get away. Here, they basically cash in and give him a half-baked, under explained back story and a villain arc that is predictable, abrupt and disappointing. It doesn’t help that they also have Waltz playing the exact same character he’s played in almost every movie since Inglorious Bastards.

The thing that kills Spectre isn’t that it’s poorly written and clichéd in everything from the villain to the romance to the main characters but it’s the fact that despite all of this, they try to pass this off as being the final, epic conclusion to James Bond’s arc. The way they conclude this movie is that this is the end of Daniel Craig’s Bond and this is what it’s all been leading to since Casino Royale. Spectre is the reason Bond’s always been unhappy and if you’ve been watching these movies carefully, you can see how Blofeld has been carefully setting everything up because of his past with James Bond. Léa Seydoux was the woman who was the perfect match for him and everything in this franchise has been leading up to him meeting her and falling in love with her like Batman and Catwomen in The Dark Knight Rises or Hermione and Ron in The Deathly Hallows. Léa Seydoux is the final Bond Girl and this isn’t just some cheap, half assed scheme they thought of at the last second because they needed an end to Bond’s arc.

I don’t usually try to curse on this website but the sweeping conclusion to this movie is complete and utter bullsh*t and you’re kidding yourself if you legitimately believe that this is something the writers didn’t just pull out of there ass because they had to. I get it, Skyfall took everything out of you and you’re failing to come up with something new. Whatever, you can still make a simple, mildly entertaining Bond movie out of that like Quantum of Solace. One of the worst things you can do is to take that mediocrity and actively destroy the franchise for no reason simply because you had to do something different. It is offensive the level of things they put into this movie that they expect the audience to go along with.

If that killed Spectre, the final nail in the coffin is the pacing. In Skyfall, there was so much going on that it had to be 2 hours and 30 minutes. Spectre on the other hand is a movie that is only 2 hours and 30 minutes because having a longer running time makes them look cooler and it makes there film appear more “epic”. There are too many scenes here that are either unnecessary or go on forever and it’s clear they only made this movie super long because a longer running time infers that this is going to be a large and gigantic conclusion when in reality the movie could probably be easily told in about 90 minutes or so. This is the most arrogant example of a movie being long for the sake of being long since The Lone Ranger. And believe me; you do not want to put in a category of any sort with The Lone Ranger.

It’s almost a Greek Tragedy how there were all of these movies in 2015 clearly inspired by James Bond that did things from those movies in fresh and exciting ways. Kingsman, Spy, Rogue Nation and The Man from U.N.C.L.E all made great arguments for the legacy of Bond and the fun and charm that come from those sorts of movies. It’s just funny in a warped way that in a year of terrific spy blockbusters, the worst one came from the franchise that inspired them all. Spectre is long, half cooked, passionless and patronizing to the fans of the series. It has the occasional action scene and as a whole it’s a well-made movie but substance wise, this is the weakest of the Craig films to date. It says something about how little people care about the Craig movies at this point that more people are speculating who will be the next Bond than discussing the actual Bond film in theaters right now.

Rating:(2/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 11/6/2015

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear and Jesper Christensen

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Screenplay by: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth

Based on Characters Created by: Ian Fleming

Spectre (2015)

SpectrePoster10

Title: Spectre (aka. Spectre: The IMAX Experience)
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Written by: John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, David Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris
Release Date: 11/6/2015
Running Time: 148 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Note: At the very end of the credits we see the words “JAMES BOND WILL RETURN”.

Was seeing Spectre in IMAX worth the cost?

Southpaw Review – 2 out of 5 Stars

SouthpawPoster
Predictable is a term I happen to use a lot on this website. I think it’s a complaint I can use for the majority of mainstream films from the romantic comedy to the found footage horror movie. It’s worth mentioning to these movies credit though that when I use this phrase I usually don’t literally mean that the entire film from start to finish was totally predictable. Most of these movies I have that criticism for at least have one or two things they add that make them at least a tad original. It’s rare that a find an actual movie where I am able to call every single plot point before it happens. The latest boxing drama Southpaw has the distinction of being one of those rare occasions. Aside from an as expected fantastic performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, every aspect of the movie is contrived and uninspired. The movie tries to get the audience to cry and feel moved but it ends up trying to such a hollow, ridiculous degree to do this that there were some scenes where I couldn’t help but laugh at how pathetic and lazy it all felt.

If you got a quarter for every part of this synopsis that seems clichéd, you’d probably have enough money to just rent The Fighter instead. All I have to say is the name of the main character for you to know what type of film this will be. The name of our hero is Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal). The movie makes absolutely sure that you know this wasn’t some odd coincidence. It does make you wonder if the sportscasters cracked up delivering such golden lines as “Hope is back” and “Hope wins”. Anyways, Billy Hope is greatest fighter in the U.S. and he gets the support he needs from his also orphaned wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) as well as his daughter Leila (Oona Laurence). On the verge of retiring, his wife is accidently shot and killed during a fight between Billy and his rival Miguel (Miguel Gomez). A downward spiral leads to him losing everything including his daughter after she gets taken away by child protective services. To get his daughter and go back on to the right path, he receives training from a washed up fighter (Forest Whitaker) so that he can go up against Miguel for his dead wife.

This is one of those movies where the logic is that everything has to be dark and gritty every second for it to be taken seriously. Not a single joke is cracked in the film and every conversation and every action that takes place in the film feels there just to bully the audience into having a reaction. The movie is just scene after scene of the writer betting himself that he can’t put the main character into a worse situation. Do you think it’s his low when his wife dies? Nope. Do you think it’s his low when he’s taking cocaine and threatening to kill his best friend? Nope. Do you think it’s his low when he loses his house? Nope. It’s come to a point where the movie transforms its protagonist into a prop that other characters can hit around in the name of eliciting something out of audience members. Maybe a few of these moments would feel moving or unforgettable if it was thrown in with character development or an interesting story but it’s just scene after scene of these manipulative moments and it ends up feeling more ridiculous than edgy. 12 Years a Slave and Prisoners are two very dark dramas that I love but these films still make room for wit, complex themes, fascinating characters and compelling stories. These movies understand that for dark aspects like slavery or child abduction to mean something, you have to revolve these things around something that is relatable and sympathetic. Southpaw only understands the dark visceral scenes in these films and then it decides to play that stuff on repeat for two hours instead of featuring any of the other stuff that made those films so great.

His name isn’t the only thing about him that feels hacky. Rid of the nuance and intensity of Gyllenhaal’s performance, Billy Hope is about as unrelatable as protagonists go. As I mentioned above, Hope is a punching bag (pun totally intended) who’s just there to get beaten up by life so that the audience can cry. Besides these loud and jarring moments, we never see any charm or evolution in him as he moves on. The movie tells us that we’re supposed to be watching this big transition but the movie presented his change and his backstory with so little authenticity that it’s challenging to feel any sense to root for him in the final fight. Forrest Whitaker plays the stereotypical coach whose a washed up eccentric with a heart of gold and Rachel McAdams is the wise, angelic wife whose just there to die in the first quarter of the film. Miguel is nothing more than a one note 80’s style jock character who’s given nothing. You’ve seen these characters hundreds of times before and the movie gives you no reason to see this as anything bigger than that.

Hope’s daughter Leila takes the cake though for the most contrived character. I would call the films attempts to make her look like anything more than an object to emotionally manipulate the audience pathetic but they’re frankly non-existent. I dare you to find one scene in the film where she isn’t being used painfully obviously to cry or scream or basically be the films equivalent of blatantly punching you to get a feeling out of you. There is this scene in the film where Leila tells her father that she wishes he’d died instead of her mother just because he doesn’t want her to watch a fight he’s going to be doing. It’s such an out of place moment that perfectly captures the forced grittiness of the film and the shamefully emotionless manipulation done through the daughter that I couldn’t help but openly laugh in my theater. I can see how one of the moments with her could work if it was mixed with some points of humor or at least normality with the character but if every scene is her slapping her father or praying at her mom’s grave it all ends up feeling like this shameless joke. In a film of forced, uninspired aspects, the father-daughter relationship was by far the worst.

The film so far seems like the worst drama you could end up watching and you may be wondering why I’m not going any lower with the score. The easy answer to that is that for some inexplicable reason, a set of amazing actors took a look at this script and decided it would be a great idea. Jake Gyllenhaal has quickly proven himself to be one of the best actors working in cinema today. His part in Nightcrawler should be remembered for decades to come. For a bland as the character is, Gyllenhaal gives the part everything he can give it in one of the best performances of the year so far. He takes his nothing part and he breathes life into it and makes Billy Hope feel like a real person for a few moments. The scene where he is reacting to his wife’s death is a little devastating mostly because of how much passion he has. For what it’s worth, this movie at least proves that at this point Jake Gyllenhaal can add heart to even the worst films.

In a film where he also didn’t have to try very hard, Forest Whitaker is also really impressive and he manages to make the trainer to Billy Hope the most well rounded person in the film. I’ve seen Whitaker half ass it in some recent films so it’s pleasantly surprising to see him taking this weak part and making the most out of it rather than simply not giving anything when it’s an uninteresting part. Mostly due to their talent, the moments between Whitaker and Gyllenhaal are hands down the best moments in the film because they’re the scenes where the film feels the most sincere because they’re being carried by the talent of the actors.

As is, Southpaw is bad on almost every level in terms of how to write a screenplay. This film is scene after scene of stock, melodramatic moments that feel cheap and insincere. The movie is a joke otherwise saved by the talents of the actors on board and it should have no problem being quickly forgotten. I’m happy to say we have found this year’s first Oscar failure.

Rating:(2/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 7/24/2015

Rating: R

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent, Miguel Gomez and Naomie Harris

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Screenplay by: Kurt Sutter

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)*

MandelaLongWalkToFreedomPoster

TITLE: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

RELEASE DATE: 11/29/2013

RATING: PG-13

A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits

 

After Credits? No

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote DownVote Up (No Ratings Yet)


Ninja Assassin (2009)

TITLE: Ninja Assassin

RELEASE DATE: 11/25/2009

RATING: R

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No

NOTE: There are animations of Shuriken’s and Katana’s flying around during the first part of the credits as well as shadow Ninja’s.


28 Days Later (2002)

TITLE: 28 Days Later

RELEASE DATE: 6/27/2003

RATING: R

What did you think of this film?


Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No


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