Posts Tagged ‘Dave Bautista’
Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 is the finale to the Marvel’s Celluloidical Ubiquity’s best trilogy. It’s one of the few from a writer/director, and one with the most directorial personality, but it’s also very accessible to less dedicated viewers of comic book movies. It exists off in space, pretty separate from the other Marvel business, other than building off of things that happened to the characters in the two biggest MCU crossover movies, which are quickly summarized for our convenience.
Honestly the story is pretty simple. A weird powerful dude apparently called Adam Warlock (Will Poulter, SON OF RAMBOW) flies in from space and tries to abduct the talking raccoon Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper, THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN), instead putting him in a coma; when his friends try to resuscitate him they figure out from code in his cyborg parts that Orgocorp, the company that enhanced him from regular raccoon into Rocket, was trying to reclaim him as “proprietary property,” and now his body will shut down if they don’t get some security code. So the Guardians get help from former member Gamora (Zoe Saldaña, THE TERMINAL) to break into the company’s headquarters, and then to get information in a place called Counter-Earth (an experimental re-creation of an American suburb populated with animal-human hybrids) to save their friend and battle his cruel creator, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji, JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2). Along the way, of course, there are complications, battles, many running gags and bits, and (new to this volume) some very grim but also sweet flashbacks about Rocket’s origins and his friendship in captivity with very innocent cyborg otter, walrus and rabbit lab animals. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Chukwudi Iwuji, Dave Bautista, Elizabeth Debicki, Heidi Moneymaker, James Gunn, Judy Greer, Karen Gillan, Maria Bakalova, Marvel Comics, Nathan Fillion, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Vin Diesel, Will Poulter, Zoe Saldana
Posted in Reviews, Comic strips/Super heroes, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 24 Comments »
Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
I’ve been waiting for Zack Snyder’s ARMY OF THE DEAD since it was first announced in 2007, at which point he’d only directed DAWN OF THE DEAD and 300. Snyder would’ve produced and they had commercial director Matthijs van Heijningen (who later did the THE THING premaquel) set to direct. My understanding of the premise was that Las Vegas was walled off to contain a zombie outbreak, a team of mercenaries were hired to go in for a heist, and the hero was really trying to rescue his daughter who was stuck in there.
14 years later it exists in what could only be an entirely different form, since it’s directed by Snyder himself, rewritten by a guy who was 13 years old when it was announced, starring a guy who was a WWE wrestler and hadn’t even been in a David DeFalco movie yet, made with technology that didn’t exist, distributed on a service that didn’t exist. As always, Snyder is unpredictable. I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be happier with his 4 hour redux of JUSTICE LEAGUE than the zombie movie I’d already been waiting several years for when he did MAN OF STEEL. But here we are.
ARMY OF THE DEAD did not live up to my hopes, so I will share many complaints about it. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it – it’s an entertaining movie, especially for straight-to-Netflix. I recommend watching it if you’re into this sort of thing and won’t pull your hair out that it’s either surprisingly sloppy or prioritizes setting up anime spin-offs and fan theory speculation over telling a good story. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Ana de la Reguera, Dave Bautista, Hiroyuki Sanada, Joby Harold, Matthias Schweighofer, Omari Hardwick, Raul Castilla, Richard Cetrone, Shay Hatten, Tig Notaro, Zack Snyder, zombies
Posted in Action, Horror, Reviews | 118 Comments »
Wednesday, May 13th, 2020
Two years ago there were two intriguing looking movies about hotels from pretty good writer/directors named Drew. I didn’t get around to seeing either, and they seemed to have unusual premises that were hard to explain in the trailers, so I have always been confused about what they were about and which one was which. When I saw HOTEL ARTEMIS was on Amazon Prime and clicked on it I had my fingers crossed that it was the one with Dave Bautista. And it was.
It takes place over one Wednesday night in L.A., summer of 2028, in what I gotta say are bad times at the Hotel Artemis. There are huge riots in the streets, which a crew of robbers in very stylish skeleton masks are trying to use to cover their getaway, but they get spotted by cops. Sherman (Sterling K. Brown, THE RHYTHM SECTION), his younger brother Lev (Brian Tyree Henry, WIDOWS) and a guy named Buke (Kenneth Choi, TIMECOP 2: THE BERLIN DECISION, STREET KINGS, Judge Ito to Brown’s Christopher Darden in The People vs. O.J. Simpson) manage to get away, but with injuries, so there’s only one place they can go. (See the title of the movie for specifics.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brian Tyree Henry, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista, Drew Pearce, Eric Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Jenny Slate, Jodie Foster, Sofia Boutella, Sterling K. Brown, Wade Allen, Zachary Quinto
Posted in Crime, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 18 Comments »
Thursday, April 16th, 2020
I’m not sure why we’d ever be ranking the least likely trilogies of our cinematic era, but if the topic comes up, I’ll be sure to mention the ESCAPE PLAN saga. Here – let’s recap:
It all began with a legit theatrical release from the director of 1408. This was in 2013, after EXPENDABLES 1 and 2, in a period when Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were making solid old-man-action vehicles that just weren’t catching on (BULLET TO THE HEAD, SABOTAGE, THE LAST STAND). ESCAPE PLAN is only my third favorite of those, but it’s a solid sort-of throwback action movie, it was fun to see Sly and Arnold together in something less winky than an Expendables, and it was especially cool to see Schwarzenegger kind of being a character actor, being funny and a little crazy as a sidekick instead of the hero. Plus it had a weirdly overqualified cast of Jim Caviezel, Sam Neill, Vincent D’Onofrio and Amy Ryan (plus Vinnie Jones and 50 Cent). (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: 50 Cent, Daniel Bernhardt, Dave Bautista, Devon Sawa, Harry Shum Jr., Jaime King, Jeff Chase, John Herzfeld, Malese Jow, Max Zhang, Miles Chapman, Russell Wong, Sylvester Stallone
Posted in Action, Reviews | 2 Comments »
Monday, April 15th, 2019
MASTER Z: THE IP MAN LEGACY is the new film directed by Yuen Woo-Ping, a spinoff of IP MAN 3, which he was the choreographer for. It will make sense even if you haven’t seen that or the rest of the IP MAN series, though you should see them anyway, because they’re great. Donnie Yen is a producer of this one, but doesn’t appear other than in brief black and white flashes to establish the backstory.
In the tradition of UNDISPUTED II and III, MASTER Z takes the antagonist from the previous film and makes him the hero. Max Zhang (the main henchman from KILL ZONE 2) returns as Cheung Tin Chi, which I guess must sometimes be translated as Zheung, otherwise I have no idea why this is called MASTER Z. He was a younger teacher who defeated the great Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip Man in a public challenge, became legendary himself, but got too big for his britches and was ultimately defeated in a private challenge. Now he’s left martial arts – including turning down what could be well paying gigs as an enforcer – and runs a small grocery store. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Dave Bautista, Kevin Cheng, Liu Yan, Max Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, Tony Jaa, Wing Chun, Yu Xing, Yuen Woo-Ping
Posted in Action, Martial Arts, Reviews | 20 Comments »
Monday, September 17th, 2018
If VOD is where we must go to see rugged heroes run through solidly entertaining classical action formulas then I guess that’s what we’ll do. In FINAL SCORE, Dave Bautista (WRONG SIDE OF TOWN) proves that he can handily carry a wholly unoriginal vehicle that knows how to properly operate the machinery of the DIE-HARD-on-a-____ template. To be more specific, this time it’s the SUDDEN DEATH template – DIE-HARD-in-a-hockey-arena-but-in-a-soccer-stadium.
Bautista plays American ex-Marine Michael Knox, who comes to London to bring his teenage “niece” – actually the daughter of a war buddy whose death he blames himself for – to the soccer match. (Yes, he keeps not calling it football, but don’t worry, there’s a part where a guy gets punched out for that very offense.) Unfortunately Uncle Mike and Danni (Lara Peake, HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES)’s outing coincides with a plot by separatists from the ex-Soviet nation of Sukovia (on the eastern border of Sokovia, I believe) trying to find a former rebel leader in hiding and then blow up the stadium. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alexandra Dinu, Amit Shah, Dave Bautista, Die Hard on a ____, Martyn Ford, Pierce Brosnan, Ray Stevenson, Scott Mann
Posted in Action, Reviews | 14 Comments »
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
When I heard they were making an ESCAPE PLAN 2 I couldn’t believe it. If you read my review of the first one you can see that right at the beginning I worried it might be “the last gasp for straight ahead R-rated theatrically released movies from the ’80s action icons.” I was a major proponent of the Old Man Schwarzenegger and Stallone movies and disappointed that they kept flopping. I even saw MAGGIE in a theater somehow (there were three other people there, if I remember right) and I suspect I’ve recommended BULLET TO THE HEAD to more people than any other human being. I liked that one better, but that’s okay – ESCAPE PLAN was a solid genre piece with standard Stallone and Schwarzenegger getting to be funny and some goofiness and weirdness for flavoring. Not the best or worst thing either of these icons have done. A pretty good one. I want to keep seeing old fashioned action star vehicles like that, but these days the world is treating them like VHS. Or maybe Betamax. Or America Online CD-ROMs.
So I was grateful for whatever miracle of international co-financing gave us the possibility of an ESCAPE PLAN franchise. And okay, so it’s too bad Arnold isn’t in this one, but Dave Bautista (WRONG SIDE OF TOWN)? I’ll take Dave Bautista. And then wait a minute, they’re not releasing it in theaters? I guess I could understand it. Still could be good.
But pretty recently I saw another trailer and I noticed wait a minute, this is kind of weird, they say STALLONE and they say BAUTISTA but it kind of looks like it’s mostly about this character played by a Chinese actor whose name they don’t even say. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Chen Tang, Dave Bautista, Huang Xiaoming, Jaime King, John Herzfeld, Newton Brothers, prison escape, Steven C. Miller, Sylvester Stallone, Titus Welliver, Wes Chatham
Posted in Action, Reviews | 35 Comments »
Monday, April 30th, 2018
(Honestly it would be hard to spoil everything major that happens in this movie, because it’s hard to keep track of it all. But this review is loose and reckless with SPOILERS)
I learned in 2012 when THE AVENGERS came out to never underestimate Marvel. So on the third AVENGERS movie, INFINITY WAR, I figured they could pull it off – they could combine most of the main characters developed over 17 previous movies (people from the IRON MAN movies, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, the CAPTAIN AMERICA movies, the THOR movies, the AVENGERS movies, the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies, DOCTOR STRANGE, SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING and BLACK PANTHER) into one big super hero monster mash. But back when I had first learned that lesson, when they introduced the purple CGI space monster villain Thanos after the credits, I gotta admit I was still skeptical. I didn’t know how they were gonna make that guy cool.
They did it. To me he’s their best villain outside of Killmonger. It’s a cliche to say that comic book characters are the Greek gods of the modern age, but Thanos (Josh Brolin, JONAH HEX) is the villain that most lives up to that description. In fact, one minor problem I had with the movie is that he seems so convincingly powerful I wondered what the hell the Avengers and the Guardians thought they were doing repeatedly going after him. Like, come on Star Lord (Chris Pratt, ZERO DARK THIRTY), why are you pointing a laser gun at this guy and acting like that’s gonna do anything? Are you stupid? (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Anthony Mackie, Anthony Russo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, Elizabeth Olsen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Brolin, Letitia Wright, Mark Ruffalo, Marvel Comics, Robert Downey Jr., Sam Hargrave, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana
Posted in Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews | 104 Comments »
Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
BUSHWICK is an oh-shit-what-if movie. It uses the intimate perspective of one handheld camera – mostly following one character in ROPE-style long takes edited to look like one shot – to show what it would feel like to suddenly find your neighborhood under attack. It doesn’t have the limitations of found footage, but it reminds me of CLOVERFIELD in the way it plunges us into the chaos, not really knowing what’s going on, running through hoping not to get killed, seeing and hearing mayhem going on down the street, or on the next block down. People running, screaming, cars screeching by peppering buildings with gun shots, snipers on the roofs, explosions in the distance.
There’s no science fiction here. This is a guerrilla attack. Ski-masked gunmen, other people shooting back, the factions unclear at first. The reason for the attack has been widely discussed – it was the first thing I read about the movie, and part of why I was excited about it – but since it plays as a big reveal I’ll save it for the back end of the review.
The movie follows Lucy (Brittany Snow, PROM NIGHT remake), a white girl coming to the titleistical New York neighborhood to visit her grandmother. But she and her boyfriend Jose (Arturo Castro, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK) emerge from the subway and find themselves in a literal war zone, and he is the first casualty. Treated as an outsider in the mostly black neighborhood, Lucy is quickly grabbed by two not-well-meaning locals and dragged into a house (some rare DEATH WISH bullshit in an otherwise pro-urban movie). But then Stupe (Dave Bautista, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN), the guy who actually lives in the house, comes in to grab his things, sees them and kills them. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Aesop Rock, Angelic Zambrana, Brittany Snow, Cary Murnion, Dave Bautista, Graham Reznick, Jonathan Milott, Nick Damici
Posted in Action, Reviews | 48 Comments »
Thursday, October 12th, 2017
I don’t know about you, but for me it’s hard to imagine a better sequel to BLADE RUNNER than BLADE RUNNER 2049, especially after seeing Ridley Scott’s two interesting but sloppy prequels to ALIEN. Here Scott acts as producer, wisely handing the reins over to Denis Villeneuve (PRISONERS, ENEMY, SICARIO, ARRIVAL), so we get the gorgeous visuals and elliptical philosophizing, but with a stronger narrative and more coherent ideas than Scott prefers these days. It couldn’t exist without building on the 1982 film’s world and style and feel, of course, so I’m not saying it’s better, but to me this detective lead and the mystery he’s solving are much more absorbing than the earlier version.
Not that it’s trying to be accessible. Doesn’t seem too long to me, but it’s 2 hours and 43 minutes, or one DAWN OF THE DEAD plus a sitcom including commercials plus 6 more minutes. It’s mostly slow and quiet, though Benjamin Wallfisch (IT) and Hans Zimmer (BROKEN ARROW)’s Vangelis-inspired score sometimes builds to a tempest, and a few great action beats spring up among its handfuls of violence. What excites me most, though, are the simple atmospheric touches, like the gentle burble of a pot of garlic boiling on the stove as fugitive replicant Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN) is ambushed by an intruder sitting quietly in the dark, confronting him calmly.
It’s K (Ryan Gosling, ONLY GOD FORGIVES), an LAPD detective who is (opening scene spoiler) himself a “skin job,” but working to track down all remaining replicants that aren’t programmed to die. His powers of observation on this case lead him to a shocking discovery that “breaks the world” according to his boss Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright, BEOWULF), so she assigns him to cover it up. To maintain order. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Ana de Armas, Benjamin Wallfisch, Dave Bautista, Denis Villeneuve, Hampton Fancher, Hans Zimmer, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, Ridley Scott, Robin Wright, robots, Roger Deakins, Ryan Gosling
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 153 Comments »