Wednesday, August 10th, 2022
David Leitch’s BULLET TRAIN has plenty going for it. It has a strong ensemble of actors playing colorful characters, like a quippy modernized Murder on the Orient Express, except in this one everybody’s trying to murder each other and/or escape, it’s not so much of a whodunit. It’s a fun idea, it looks good, the action scenes are really well executed, with the actors really putting in the work, as we’ve come to expect from 87North (formerly 87Eleven) productions.
But to me the movie is a disappointment. For the last year or two I knew it was the big 87North movie with the crazy-good cast headed up by Brad Pitt fighting each other on a train, and I just took it for granted it was gonna be top of the line. On the surface it is – it’s colorful, has a sense of style, and mostly avoids that everything-is-green-screen feeling of so many modern movies. It even has a good soundtrack of (until Rare Earth on the end credits) non-obvious songs, from Shuggie Otis to Pussy Riot to a really strong use of “Holding Out For a Hero.” Strong because it’s not the original Bonnie Tyler version from FOOTLOOSE, but a Japanese cover made by Miki Asakura in 1984 as the theme for a show called School Wars (now remixed with some MORTAL KOMBAT-y dance music flourishes). (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: 87North, Aaaron Taylor-Johnson, Andrew Koji, Bad Bunny, Brad Pitt, Brian Tyree Henry, David Leitch, Elisabet Ronaldsdottir, Greg Rementer, Hiroyuki Sanada, Joey King, Jonathan Sela, Karen Fukuhara, Kirk A. Jenkins, Kotaro Isaka, Logan Lerman, Sandra Bullock, trains, Zak Olkewicz, Zazie Beetz
Posted in Action, Comedy/Laffs, Reviews | 13 Comments »
Tuesday, January 4th, 2022
I had been pretty excited for SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS, but I was skeptical about director Robert Schwentke (R.I.P.D.) so when it came out and everybody said the action scenes were unwatchable I put off seeing it. I don’t know if the tempering of expectations helped, but catching up with it on video I found it was pretty much the enjoyable studio b-movie I had been hoping for.
Maybe there’s a better word for that, but it’s a category I appreciate: mainstream studio theatrical releases with huge budgets compared to the DTV stuff we love, but without any expectations of either being giant hits or critical successes. Unpretentious, crassly commercial movies, sometimes seemingly out of touch with what is considered cool at the moment, all generally seen as lowbrow also-rans, whether or not their creators had higher aspirations. Stuff like non-FAST Vin Diesel movies, most of the video game and/or Milla Jovovich movies, fantasy sword guy movies, Rob Cohen and P.W.S. Anderson movies. I know not to hold them to my normally stringent artistic standards and just hope for a satisfying mix of pretty cool, kinda stupid, hopefully excessive in some goofy way, maybe in some ways better than most people were gonna give them credit for. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Andrew Koji, Anna Waterhouse, based on a toy, Bojan Bazelli, Eri Ishida, Evan Spiliotopoulos, Haruka Abe, Hasbro, Henry Golding, Iko Uwais, Joe Shrapnel, Kenji Tanigaki, Peter Mensah, Robert Schwentke, Samara Weaving, Steven Allerick, Takehiro Hira, Ursula Corbero
Posted in Action, Martial Arts, Reviews | 32 Comments »