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Posts Tagged ‘Michiel Huisman’

Rebel Moon Part Two: The Scargiver

Thursday, April 25th, 2024

REBEL MOON PART TWO: THE SCARGIVER is, in most traditional senses, a better movie than REBEL MOON PART ONE: A CHILD OF FIRE. It’s more straight forward, less tangents, a little build and then a bunch of action. And I think it looks better, maybe because it’s mostly taking place on one planet (the titular moon of Veldt), so they were able to focus most of their energy on the design and style of that one location. The downside to this is that it feels a little more normal, less unhinged, more restrained. But narratively it’s the big pay off, the exciting part, so it’s hard to be disappointed.

The first movie, you remember, was loosely structured as the first half of SEVEN SAMURAI/MAGNIFICENT SEVEN/BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS. This humble farming village is going to be forced by the evil Imperium to give up all their grain, so secret-former-bad-guy-and-adopted-daughter-of-their-tyrannical-leader Kora (Sofia Boutella, STREETDANCE 2, CLIMAX) flew around and recruited a team of warriors to train the farmers how to defend themselves. They thought they headed off the threat by killing the fascist admiral Atticus Noble (the wonderfully strange looking Ed Skrein, THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK), but they quickly learn that he’s still alive (technologically resurrected in a cool, slimy opening sequence) so oh shit, it’s back on. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rebel Moon Part One: A Child of Fire

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

With part two releasing tomorrow, I have been spurned into action – I must complete my review of Zack Snyder’s REBEL MOON PART ONE: A CHILD OF FIRE. To summarize my Snyder history, I’m a fan. In the eras of SUCKER PUNCH, OWL 300 and MAN OF STEEL I seemed to like him more than the next guy, then I fell off as the true Zack Zealots and ZAnons began their ascent. But I still enjoy all of his movies on some level, and love some of them.

REBEL MOON PART ONE: A CHILD OF FIRE is, uh… the short version of the first half of his long-awaited take on the space opera genre. Squirted onto Netflix with extreme fanfare and modest response, it’s unclear when the promised director’s cut will ever be released. But even in this abbreviated form it manages to have plenty of the self indulgence that defines a Zack Snyder film – it’s what powers his rockets, and also what gets him too close to the sun. On first viewing I felt this leaned closer to the latter, that it was one of his worst, but that I still got a kick out of it. Then I watched it a second time yesterday and it was better than I remembered. I cannot tell a lie. I kinda dig it. Not every “new Star Wars” has to really be the new Star Wars. There’s room in my heart for a new CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. This is way more fun to watch than SPACE RAIDERS or KRULL or METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN or even SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE although that one’s kinda good.
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Kate

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

KATE is the straight-to-Netflix Mary Elizabeth Winstead action movie produced by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski’s company 87North (formerly 87Eleven). As you’d expect from that pedigree, it has excellent action scenes, with JOHN WICK fight coordinator Jonathan Eusebio acting as second unit director and stunt coordinator. He did BIRDS OF PREY too, so I gotta wonder if Winstead asked, “You got any more of those JOHN WICKs laying around?”

The screenplay is credited to Umair Aleem (whose only previous credit is EXTRACTION – no, not that one – the Bruce Willis/Kellan Lutz/Gina Carano one), and the story is admittedly more standard than a JOHN WICK or a NOBODY. Elite assassin wanting to retire, yes, but none of the fanciful stuff. Working with her handler Varrick (Woody Harrelson, DOC HOLLYWOOD), who trained her since she was orphaned, Winstead’s titular character adeptly infiltrates, beats up, parkours and rooftop snipes whoever they send her after (which seems to mean Yakuza bosses, since she seems to live and work out of Japan). The first hit we see is successful, but she has to kill the guy in front of his daughter, which upsets her so much she decides she’s retiring after wrapping up the job. The second one we see she misses, making it much more exciting because we get to see her leap and somersault across buildings to get a second shot and then improvise an escape, stealing some dude’s ridiculously pimped out pink and yellow ride for a SPEED RACER/2 FAST 2 FURIOUS neon-blur car chase. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Invitation

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

I’m real late to the dinner party (get it, because this is a movie about a dinner party), but THE INVITATION is a potent suspense thriller well-deserving of its reputation from film festivals and indie circuit release from Drafthouse Films. It’s tense and uncomfortable and it’s best not to know what sort of bad thing it’s leading up to, but don’t worry. You can sense its presence from early on.

Will (Logan Marshall-Green, who I did not recognize as the whiny boyfriend I hated so much in PROMETHEUS) and Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi, MILES AHEAD) are a couple invited to this other couple’s house out in the Hollywood Hills. It’s an awkward reunion for a close circle of friends who haven’t seen or heard from these party-givers in two years. There’s love and laughing and joking, but also weirdness with Eden (Tammy Blanchard, BLUE JASMINE)’s extra long hug of Will. And it starts to come out that not only are they exes, but their marriage ended because of a tragedy. They had a son who died in an accident right here at this house. (read the rest of this shit…)