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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Godfather Part II Review

The Godfather Part II is a 1974 crime drama written/directed by Fracis Ford Coppola and co-written by Mario Puzo. The film is a sequel to the 1972 classic and was the only the only sequel to receive the Oscar for Best Picture until Return of the King won the same award in 2003.

Story
Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) continues to run the Corleone crime family after his father's death. Surrounded on all sides by enemies and unsure of who to trust, he formulates a plan to eliminate his enemies and anybody who gets in the way of his success. In addition, we get flashbacks showing the early life of Don Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) and his rise to powerful crime boss.

Godfather Part II has roughly the same structure as the first Godfather movie; start the film with a celebratory event to show the difference between the life of family and The Family, an assassination attempt sparks a battle of wits, conspiracy and bloodshed and Michael is trying to survive and excel through all of it. It see…

John Wick: Chapter 2 Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a 2017 action film written by Derek Kolstad and directed by Chad Stahelski. The film is the sequel to the highly successful 2014 sleeper hit John Wick and is the second in a planned trilogy of films based around the character.

Story
Only about a day after the events of the first film John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is trying to settle back into his recently disturbed retirement. However, since he voluntarily came out of retirement this means that Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) an Italian mobster, is able to call in a blood oath favor that John owes him. After initially refusing, John ultimately agrees if only to fulfill the contract so he can kill Santino. After he completes the contract, Santino, attempting to tie up loose ends, puts a bounty on John's head which sends every other assassin in New York after him.

The set up, though not as clean or straight forward as the setup for the first film, is a good setup for an action film and a natural progress…

Logan Review

Logan is a 2017 superhero Western drama written by James Mangold/Scott Frank/Michael Green and directed by James Mangold. The film is actor Hugh Jackman's final film as the titular character, which he has been playing for nearly two decades across multiple films. It's also the first Wolverine film to receive an R rating, which was explicitly used in the film's marketing.

Story
In the year 2029, Logan, now an extremely bitter old man, is taking care of a degenerating Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) across the US/Mexican border. When a woman pays him to take Laura (Dafne Keen), a young girl, across the country to the Canadian border, Logan reluctantly excepts, especially when he finds out she has more in common with him than he would've thought.

The premise doesn't require you to know a whole lot about the X-Men film universe, since most of the characters from the previous films don't even make an appearance, but it certainly does help to know some things about t…

Argo Review

Argo is a 2012 spy drama written by Chris Terrio and directed by/starring Ben Affleck. The film was successful at the 2013 Academy Awards, earning Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture of the year.

Story Based on the true story of a CIA operation during the Iranian hostage crisis, it centers around Tony Mendez, an exfiltration specialist tasked with rescuing a group of six American embassy workers currently hiding in the Iranian Canadian embassy. In order to do this he hatches an unorthodox plan: using a fake movie as a cover to get the Americans out. Once he gets to Iran they disguise themselves as the film crew scouting for a film location. They just need to make sure they don't get caught.
The main characters are all just fine for the most part. The six escapees are all just kind of the same person: terrified and unsure of how this'll all go. However, that's what makes them relatable; since they're being kept as the everyman we know how they must fee…

Swiss Army Man Review

Swiss Army Man is a 2016 dramedy written and directed by Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan. The film has become infamous for being one of the most bizarre movies made in years. Audience members at the Sundance film festival famously left the theater because it was too strange.

Story
Hank is stranded on an island and about to commit suicide when he spots a washed up body on the beach. He takes the corpse and discovers that it can do many unexplained, magical things, like farting to propel itself across the ocean. The corpse eventually regains some consciousness and begins speaking to Hank, referring to himself as Manny, asking him about life and civilization. As Hank carries Manny along for the surprising amount of practical applications he has, Hank explains things to him about life and society.

The setup is admittedly strange, but delightfully original. It's not too often you get a fresh, new idea out of Hollywood and it's just too bad that hardly anybody went to see this one.

The…

Role Model Lines: Gender Relations in Pop Culture

This being International Women's Day I've been thinking about something that seems to come up a lot when feminists talk about popular culture: relatability. The issue has always been that women and girls supposedly don't have enough role models they can look up to. While I do believe that there is a discussion to be had about the ratio of representation and how women are represented both physically and in terms of personality that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about this strange assumption that's popped up over the past few years: in order for somebody to sympathize with or look up to a character they HAVE to be of the same sex. this hypothesis is one I don't think I'll ever understand in a 21st century context. It would've held weight in the early to mid 20th century, when societal norms and gender roles were portrayed on screen and the general populace looked to film and television to tell them how to behave. This created a gender …

Oldboy Review

Oldboyis a 2003 South Korean thriller/noir-mystery written by Hwang Jo-yoon/ Im Joon-hyeong/ Park Chan-wook and directed by Park Chan-wook. An adaptation of a Japanese graphic novel of the same name, the film has garnered a cult following for its strange, shocking story and gut wrenching plot twists.
Story One night while extremely drunk, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is kidnapped off the streets and locked in a secure hotel room without being told why or who put him there. All he's given is a television so that he can be informed that he's been framed for the murder of his wife. Over the next fifteen years, he trains himself to kill whoever put him here when he finally escapes. However, he's released and given an ultimatum: if he can figure out why this was done to him within the next five days, the man who did it will kill himself. If he doesn't solve it the villain will kill Mi-do (Kang Hye-jung), a young woman who's been helping him and that he's become attracted …