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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Ritchson’

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024

THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is the new Guy Ritchie picture, and that title sounds like some Matthew Vaughn KINGSMAN type fantasy-secret-agency shit, but it’s a real thing, based on a true story. They say that at the beginning of the movie but I thought, “Yeah, uh huh, ‘true story,’ thanks Guy Ritchie,” so I was surprised when at the end they showed pictures of the real people. Oh shit, you were serious?

Yeah, of course it’s heavily fictionalized, but not as much as I’d assumed. The main characters are at least named after specific real people who really were on a WWII-era British special ops mission called Operation Postmaster, in which an undercover agent from the Special Operations Executive (SOE) threw a party on the Spanish island of Fernando Po to distract German officers and Spanish merchants while commandos snuck into neutral territory and stole the ships they used to deliver supplies to the Axis powers. (read the rest of this shit…)

Dark Web: Cicada 3301

Monday, August 14th, 2023

I know I’d seen the cover for the 2021 film DARK WEB: CICADA 3301 before. I assumed it was some generic shitty hacker thriller, so I paid it no mind. But when I was working on my review of FAST X I noticed it on the filmography of Alan Ritchson – he’s not only in it as an actor, but he directed and co-wrote it. That’s right, Reacher himself, from the TV show Reacher. I had to know what kind of a movie Reacher would direct, so I watched it.

It’s not a great movie, but it’s an interesting one. The cover really doesn’t capture the feel of the thing, which is very smart alecky, though more of a thriller with a sense of humor than an all-out comedy. The marketing team might’ve been counting on people knowing what the title referred to, which I did not. It sounds like the corniest name ever if you don’t know “Cicada 3301” is a mysterious internet puzzle thing that’s famous as far as mysterious internet puzzles things go. I guess these very difficult puzzles were posted between 2012 and 2014, claiming to be designed to find “highly intelligent individuals” for some unknown purpose, and only 2 of the 3 have ever been solved. Wikipedia says that “the puzzles focused heavily on data security, cryptography, steganography, and internet anonymity,” whatever that means. Rumors grew that they were a recruiting tool for an intelligence agency, a hacker group, or a secret society. This movie imagines one explanation and follows some characters trying to solve the puzzles. (read the rest of this shit…)

Fast X

Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Hard to believe, but I’ve been watching these FAST & FURIOUS movies for more than 20 years now. The first two on video, the rest highly anticipated theatrical events. At first they were these goofy lowbrow trendsploitation movies I got a kick out of, but I had to defend their right to exist from the Ain’t It Cool talkbackers. With FAST FIVE they became a hugely popular action saga that even mainstream critics respected for a couple years. The series definitely peaked during that period, and I don’t expect them to ever get that perfect balance back, but they still have their own delightful brand of preposterous action excess mixed with macho grease monkey soap opera that brings me great joy, and there’s no other movie series past or present that offers anything quite like it. So they’re back to being this dumb thing I enjoy while my Twitter feed is full of posts much like the talkbacks from back in the aughts. Why do they still make these, who are these for, Vin Diesel has an ego. Same old shit as time marches on a quarter mile at a time.

FAST X (which we all seem to have agreed to pronounce the same way we pronounce JASON X) doesn’t have as much to live up to as F9 did two years ago. It’s not my return to theaters after Covid-19 vaccination, and it’s not the series’ best director Justin Lin finally returning to the fold. In fact, it’s his departure – somehow Diesel (allegedly) managed to be such a pain in the ass that Lin quit as director. They’d managed four full movies together, but only a week filming this one. (read the rest of this shit…)