Posts Tagged ‘Keanu Reeves

05
Aug
17

Pirates of the Caribbean 5, John Wick 2

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The fifth film in the franchise tells a bit of an origin story, showing how Jack Sparrow became Jack Sparrow. He double-crossed (of course) a ruthless privateer when he was a young man, and simultaneously became captain of his first ship. Decades later, the privateer, Captain Salazar, returns from beyond the grave to exact his revenge.

This outing was a step up from the previous one, Pirates of the Caribbean: I Can’t Even Remember What It Was About. It was essentially a rehash of the first movie, featuring young male and female leads who are in search of a fantasy McGuffin, and reluctantly enlist Jack Sparrow’s help in order to get it. While it is a rehash, it doesn’t contain the same effortless storytelling, and elements of whimsy and adventure the first film had. Let’s face it, the first film in the series is a modern classic, and they haven’t been able to recapture that.

This film wasn’t a complete waste. While most of the jokes were lame and forced, some of them absolutely worked. There was still a sense of high-seas adventure, although held back a bit by an over-reliance on CGI. Instead of letting two ships duke it out in a naval battle, they had to throw in stupid bullshit like the mast coming to life and attacking Jack Sparrow (ugh, why?). Back on the positive side, the finale was pretty inventive, and I loved the Black Pearl dropping anchor as it skirted the edge of the ocean.

Johnny Depp is still watchable as Jack Sparrow, and there was fun to be had in this film. Overall, though, the franchise is completely out of steam. It wasn’t exactly a memorable film, but it wasn’t complete garbage. Disney should do the smart thing and end the series on a decent note. But they probably won’t, and will make another one.

Verdict: Average

John Wick 2

 

Taking place immediately after the first film ended, John Wick 2 shows Keanu Reeves getting deeper into trouble in the world of assassins he tried to leave behind. An old ally of his returned and cashed in a favor Reeves owed him. Then, the ally double-crossed Reeves, making him the target of every assassin on the planet. The action scenes were incredibly inventive, flashy, and a whole lot of fun. The only thing that didn’t work for me was Reeve’s bullet-proof suit, which made him nigh-indestructible. Other than that, I liked everything about this movie. I especially enjoyed the hall-of-mirrors finale, and kept on wondering how they filmed it without ever showing the crew. All in all this was a worthy sequel in a cool-as-hell franchise.

Verdict: Awesome

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19
Sep
15

John Wick, This is Where I Leave You

John Wick

Keanu Reeves has been languishing for a long time. Ever since the Matrix trilogy wrapped up over a decade ago, he hasn’t been in much. And what he has been in hasn’t been very good. That all changed when he starred in John Wick. This is a true return to form for Reeves. John Wick is a fantastic, fun film that plays to Reeves’ strengths. Here, he plays the strong silent type who kicks copious amounts of ass. The story has been done a million times before. He’s a former assassin who got out of the business, but revenge pulls him back in. The way John Wick distinguishes itself from the pack is in the action sequences. The shooting and the fighting are like a ballet. They are extremely (perhaps beautifully) well choreographed. They manage to do things I’ve never seen in an action film before. Reeves is like a god of combat who dispatches countless nameless hooligans on his quest for vengeance. Plus, headshots, so many headshots. I was impressed by the visual style and the cinematography. Reeves delivers a good, restrained performance. This was an inventive action film, and it was nice to see Reeves in something good again.

Verdict: Awesome

This is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You is a dramedy of the worst kind. It is rarely funny and it is barely dramatic. The general thrust is that the head of a dysfunctional family has died, and he requests that his family spend a week together to mourn him. His ulterior motive was to get the family to become closer. Basically, this doesn’t happen. Everyone has their heads stuck up their own asses to a preposterous level. Nobody can keep their lives or their relationships together. Everyone flies off the handle at any perceived slight. Everyone is detestable, and there are no characters to root for. In the end, they kind-of, sort-of make amends, but not really. The entire thing was an exercise in futility. Given the tremendous cast they assembled, the whole thing was a big letdown. They should have focused more on the comedy aspect, and maybe then the movie would have been watchable.

Verdict: Shitty

12
Apr
15

Man of Tai Chi

The struggle is real.

Keanu Reeves directed this 2013 martial arts film starring himself and stuntman Tiger Chen. When reviewing martial arts films, you often cannot judge them on the same merits as dramas, comedies, or other kinds of movies. First and foremost is the action, and everything else is secondary. I can forgive a lot of missteps in martial arts movies as long as the action holds up. Of course, it’s not all about the action, but I try not to let those other things color my review too much. With that being said, Man of Tai Chi is a really bad movie.
Man of Tai Chi is the first movie directed by Reeves. He also stars as the villain. He doesn’t really have a lot of screentime, but when he does show up, every second he is on screen is cringe worthy. He lowers his voice an octave and growls all his lines. Most of his lines consist of very short phrases such as “Finish him” or “You owe me a life” and yet with such limited dialogue, he still can’t deliver the lines believably. He also bizarrely cackles directly into the camera in one jarring scene.

Continue reading ‘Man of Tai Chi’

15
Jan
11

Tron

I’m not sure what the point of this movie was other than to make Disney a lot of money. Tron, the cult 1982 film, didn’t require a sequel. There was no burning need to continue the story of software-engineer Kevin Flynn. Back in its day it made a modest profit and then the public at large forgot about it. In 1982 Hollywood wasn’t as sequel crazy as it is today. Oh sure, they made sequels to stuff like Dirty Harry movies, Star Wars movies, and a shitload of James Bond movies. But today we have shit like Green Lantern getting a green-light for a trilogy before the first movie even finished production. Only the Hollywood of today would make a sequel to the putrid pile of shit that was the remake of Clash of the Titans. So that’s why a modest money-maker like the original Tron didn’t get a sequel. It was fun, people liked it, but then they moved on. There wasn’t this obsessive need to keep beating the dead horse of sequels just because Hollywood thinks it’s easier than coming up with original ideas.

28 years later, we have Tron: Legacy. How exactly did this happen? I have no idea. No one does. It seems like the idea for a Tron sequel came out of the blue. It’s not as if the general public was clamoring for another Tron movie for the last 20 years. Seemingly at random, Disney started to pimp out TR2N promos three years ago. Whose bright idea was this? Nobody’s. This actually confirms a theory I’ve had for quite some time: no humans run Disney. There is just this old IBM computer that still takes 8-inch floppy disks that generates random ideas and scrounges for old shit to remake. Why else would we be getting Pirates of the Caribbean 4? Either that or Hollywood is so starved for ideas they are really digging into the past to find anything to remake/sequalize. I guess that’s why we now have a Green Hornet movie. After all, if you can find a 30-75 year old property that didn’t completely bomb, why not make a sequel to it?! Half the movie-going public isn’t even old enough to remember how much the first one sucked! By that logic, I guess we can expect a sequel to The Beastmaster any day now.

Like any terrible blogger, I decided that I needed to see the new Tron movie. But I barely remembered the old one. All I could recall of it was some guys throwing frisbees at each other, motorcycles that sprout deadly solid lines behind them, and everyone wearing these blue and red light-up leotards. Unfortunately, what I could not recall was if the movie had been any good. I decided to ask my parents, and they remembered just as much about it as I did. I asked a few other people who were adults when the original movie premiered, and pretty much everyone remembered the same stuff. Nobody could actually recollect what the plot was or if it hadn’t been executed well or ineptly. So, I figured my next best move was to watch the original. I queued it up on Netflix… Continue reading ‘Tron’




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