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Posts Tagged ‘Til Schweiger’

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…)

The Courier (2012)

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

For those who came in late: Yesterday I wanted to watch a movie from Palestine, and I picked OMAR (2013), a very good Oscar nominee that deals with the Israel-Palestine conflict in the form of a dramatic thriller. Afterwards I read about director Hany Abu-Assad and learned that he’d also done the similarly themed, also Oscar-nominated PARADISE NOW (2005), and I think I’m gonna watch that soon. But I also found out that the one movie he did in between those was the 2012 DTV action movie THE COURIER starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan. So… I’m sorry. I had to get to that first. I was too excited not to.

Morgan (WATCHMEN, THE RESIDENT) stars as The Courier. Similar to the Transporter, but with less emphasis on which car he’s driving, he’s the guy who it’s known is the absolute best at delivering a case of unknown contents to some nefarious character without asking questions. I think this was too early for there to be an app to use when you need to hire someone for that, so he really just gets jobs by word of mouth. Good for him. He lives in an old print shop with the name “Ed Smith” on the sign (one of Parker’s aliases, incidentally), and his friend calls him Eddie, but I don’t know him like that, so I call him The Courier, like the credits do. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Three Musketeers (2011)

Monday, February 15th, 2021

Well, I could’ve sworn it was a little more recent than this, but Paul World Series Anderson’s THREE MUSKETEERS came out in 2011 – two RESIDENT EVIL chapters ago, plus a POMPEII and a MONSTER HUNTER. I don’t remember if I just didn’t get to it or if I was immune to the charms of the Andersonography at that moment in time, but whatever the reason, I fuckin blew it. I can imagine the warm feeling I would’ve had watching an early afternoon show in a huge, mostly empty theater at Pacific Place. And I bet the 3D would’ve been amazing.

But at home on 2D blu-ray ten years later was good too. Maybe I should be thankful I saved it for a time when this specific type of escapism is more precious. Like that 2001 movie THE MUSKETEER that I reviewed recently, it’s loosely based on the Dumas novel and completely unembarrassed to pimp it out with modern cinematic trends and PWSA fixations, including but not limited to speed-ramping, acrobatic fight choreography and cool steam-punk weapons and vehicles. It takes the silliness much further than THE MUSKETEER, and has a much bigger budget – the climax involves two armed blimps engaged in a pirate ship battle in the sky – and I thought it was a whole lot of fun. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Replacement Killers

Monday, September 7th, 2020

I try not to be too set in my ways, which is a good reason to rewatch a movie years later and see if you respond differently than the first time around. So something told me it was time to revisit something from those heady days when the emerging international popularity of Hong Kong action cinema fired peak John Woo and Chow Yun Fat out of a cannon aimed at the heart of Hollywood. I’m not sure what kind of a cannon shot them so that Woo landed in 1993 and Chow not until 1998, but life is a mystery. Anyway, they exploded and in the case of Chow, we were mostly disappointed and then happy that he didn’t stick around that long, because Hollywood clearly didn’t know what they were doing with him.

THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS was significant not only as Chow’s first Hollywood/English language movie, but the directorial debut of Antoine Fuqua, who became a much bigger deal when 2001’s TRAINING DAY won Denzel Washington an Oscar. That kind of gave him the air of an Important Filmmaker for a little bit, but I think now he’s settled in as the type of director who makes OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN and THE EQUALIZER 1 and 2, which is more like the expected trajectory for the director of this one. He came from directing music videos, most famously “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio, but also “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” by Prince.

Chow plays “John Lee,” who’s pretty much a remix of his character in THE KILLER. He’s an assassin who owes one more hit to L.A. Triad boss Terence Wei (Kenneth Tsang, A BETTER TOMORROW 1 and 2, THE KILLER, SUPERCOP, RUSH HOUR 2). But he’s sent to the home of LAPD Detective Stan Zedkov (Michael Rooker, CLIFFHANGER) and sees the man’s wife and son through the sniper scope and decides he can’t do it. (In a corny touch, Zedkov doesn’t see him but looks right into the scope as if sensing him.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Atomic Blonde

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Our Lady of the Swaddledog, Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, stars in her first post-Furiosa ass-kicking movie, and holy shit it’s from JOHN WICK co-director David Leitch and the 87Eleven action team. ATOMIC BLONDE, based on a 2012 graphic novel called The Coldest City, is a twisty Cold War spy thriller set in Berlin right before the wall came down. Theron plays Elaine Broughton, a beaten and bruised MI6 agent recounting a disastrous mission to obtain “The List,” a document listing all the spies active in the Soviet Union (similar to the NOC List in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE), and to kill whoever stole it.

Broughton has the qualities we look for in a larger-than-life movie spy: three steps ahead, improvisational when necessary, hyper-fashionable, sexy. When less experienced French agent Delphine Lasalle (THE MUMMY herself, Sofia Boutella) follows her, Broughton immediately makes her and beds her. The movie could get away with treating this like a conquest, but instead they start helping each other – spies with benefits – and you get to like Delphine.

The same cannot be said for David Percival (James McAvoy, THE POOL), the goofy, shifty contact who shows her around but might be the Russian double agent known as Satchel. (read the rest of this shit…)

Driven

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

tn_driven
chapter 2

2001posterreleased April 27, 2001

DRIVEN is a weird footnote in the overlapping filmographies of Sylvester Stallone and Renny Harlin. It’s no CLIFFHANGER, and it’s not trying to be. If anything maybe it wants to be the ROCKY V of Formula 1 race car driving. Or whatever type of race cars they’re driving in this one. They’re not NASCAR I can tell.

Okay, stop the presses, I just looked it up (it turns out I’m on the internet right now). I guess Formula 1 is very secretive like the Masons so Stallone couldn’t get enough info on them and switched the movie to be about “ChampCar” racing. I guess that’s why they didn’t make a big deal of what type of racing it was in the movie, ’cause nobody was gonna get excited about something called “ChampCar.”
(read the rest of this shit…)