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Posts Tagged ‘Jai Courtney’

Terminator: Genisys – movie review
Today’s review is for a movie I watched at home (borrowed) because I didn’t want to pay money to accidentally convey the idea I support Arnold Schwarzenegger by seeing it at the local movieplex.  Arnold was never a very good actor, but that is not why “we” supported him.  Arnold was a larger than life figure from the body building world and I suppose I (we) wanted him to be great in acting, too.  While he has been in a number of movies which I have enjoyed, T1 and T2, Twins, True Lies and Last Action Hero, to name a few, most have been absolute drudge.  Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I didn’t pay good money to see them at the box office.  It just means sometimes I’ll support something or someone for other than obvious reasons.  And don’t get me started on Arnold’s politics…
T5 (Genisys) answers the eternal question: Can a bad movie still be entertaining?  And the answer is a qualified yes.   First, the rundown: Emilia Clarke plays Sarah Connor.  I’m not immediately familiar with her other work, but she is a serviceable / heroic Sarah.  She is not as attractive as Linda Hamilton in T1 or as bad ass as Linda in T2, but she’s okay in a girl next door  – kicks ass kind of way.  Jason Clarke plays John Connor – aka, “the savior of humanity” – with a twist.  He’s okay, too.  Better as a villain than I thought he’d be.  Jai Courtney plays Kyle Reese – John’s dad.  I  have liked Jai in a lot of what I’ve seen, but I didn’t care for him in this role.  He just looked too buffed and heavy to be from a starving humanity in the future.  Maybe it’s just me, but I preferred the leaner and hungrier look of Michael Biehn in T1.  And, of course, there’s Arnold playing multiple versions of Terminators – none of them convincingly.
So, if I wasn’t thrilled by the actors, why did I enjoy the movie?  Basically, because I like action movies, and I’m old, so I enjoy sequels and reboots which take time to nod back to the original movie(s).  And this movie does (have frequent nods). In spades.  What more can you ask for but chases, fights and things that go boom?
Well, if I can’t have a plot that makes sense (nope), how about individual scenes (still nope).  Okay, how about sequences that are realistic (nope and sensing a trend).  Okay, if I can’t have any of that, then you better give me good pacing (pretty good) and great special effects (yes, but nothing new).
So, the bottom line is it IS an okay / entertaining movie as long as you don’t think about it during or immediately after viewing.  Give yourself a few days and then try to evaluate it for effect and without the details.  (Kinda like what I’m doing now…)   Bottom line: moderate recommendation.  If you’re a “T” fan, you’ll be happy to see it.  If you’re an Arnold fan, I don’t know…  Maybe you’ll be happy he’s trying to act again or maybe you’ll just be struck by how OLD he looks.  I won’t mind if there’s a sequel (if Arnold’s not in it), but I won’t pay money to see it.
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On This Day In:
2015 In Time
2014 Robust Interconnectivity
2013 What Have We Here?
2012 Tributaries And Eddies
An Honest Politician
2011 Penultimate

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The Divergent Series – movies review
As of this writing, “The Divergent Series” are two movies based on the trilogy of young-adult adventure books by the same name.  The released movies are: “Divergent” (2014) and “Insurgent” (2015).  There are two more movies projected to complete the book trilogy.  The next two movies are due out in 2016 and 2017.  I have not read the books, so I can’t comment on how accurately the films follow the books.
The basic story is that humanity has almost destroyed itself and in an effort to preserve the species has built a giant wall around the city of Chicago.  Within the walled city, the people have divided themselves along five basic character types: Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (courage), Erudite (intelligence), Candor (truth) and Amity (peace).   There are technically two additional “factions”: the factionless (those who don’t accept the faction system or who can’t pass the initiation phase of the chosen group) and the divergent (those who can fit in more than one group).  The factionless are ostracized and the divergent are to be killed.  The Erudite are seeking to take full control of the city and initially try to use drugs on the Dauntless to control them and force them to slaughter the Abnegation who the Erudite consider to be their main threat.
The main characters are:   Beatrice “Tris” Prior (divergent) played by Shailene Woodley, Tobias “Four” Eaton (dauntless) played by Theo James, Caleb Prior (erudite, brother of Tris) played by Ansel Elgort, Christina (dauntless, female friend of Tris) played by Zoë Kravitz, Peter Hayes (dauntless, minor bad guy) played by Miles Teller, Jeanine Matthews (erudite, main bad guy) Kate Winslet, and Eric Coulter (dauntless, main “muscle” bad guy) played by Jai Courtney.
Most of the first movie is devoted to Tris finding out what a divergent is and that she is one of them.  Raised an abnegation, Tris chooses to be dauntless.  The struggle between her heritage and her training is what fully develops her divergence.  So…, intro story development, blah-blah-blah, action, “you’re going to be a bass-ass”, blah-blah-blah, seize the flag in a carney, blah-blah-blah, minor attempt to have a romance, then more blah and action (stop the dauntless and save the abnegation).  And… cliff hanger for second movie.
Most of the second movie is devoted to romance (Tris and Four) and Tris finding out she’s not just divergent, she is THE divergent – who is meant to save the world.  So, of course she leads a revolution.  And… cliff hanger for the third movie.  Oh yeah, I left out all of the let’s deal with our parent issues – after all this is a “coming of age” / “young-adult genre”.
Do the movies work and are they any good?  So-so and yes.    The story lines are pretty good.  The acting is okay.  The special effects and action sequences are excellent and remind me of “Matrix” and “Inception“.  That’s pretty good company!   Yes, they are both predictable, but most movies are.  If you like action movies, strong (young) female heroic leads, this series is for you.  Final recommendation:  moderate to strong recommendation – entertaining action movie series that’s a bit too predictable.
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On This Day In:
2014 In My Own Vanity
2013 Filled With Words
2012 Lectio Auget Existentiae Meae
2011 Lied Lately?
2010 Born To Work At Faux News
Lost Again (Uh, Make That Still)
Qui Genus Humanum Ingenio Superavit
They’re Back… (Part 1)

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This review is for the fifth edition of the “Die Hard” series, titled: “A Good Day To Die Hard“, which should have been sub-titled: “How my son and I shot-up and blew-up large pieces of Russia and lived to talk about it.”  Full disclosure: I am a Bruce Willis fan and I am the owner of the four previous movies in this series – so, I am completely un-biased.  Yeah, right!
Just to bring everyone up to date: one and two – wife in danger, kill bad-guys, blow stuff up; three – NYC in danger, hang around with some random black guy (co-star Samuel L. Jackson), kill bad-guys, blow stuff up; four – daughter in danger (and country, too) – kill bad-guys, blow stuff up.  Which brings us to this episode (5): son (Jai Courtney) in danger…  I’ll let you guess the rest.
Assuming you have little or no knowledge of the frailty of the human body or can set aside all reason – this is a terrific movie which follows the format to the “T”.  In this case, you know what you’re getting when you buy your ticket and Bruce delivers.  AND I am well known for being able to set aside all reason when watching this series.  Final recommendation:  Highly Recommended!
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On This Day In:
2013 Honest Doubt
2012 Choice
2011 Ownership Of Thought

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Today’s review is for the detective / mystery / action movie: “Jack Reacher“, starring Tom Cruise.  Now, in all fairness, I like Tom Cruise, but I am not a big fan, so my views on this film are slanted towards “no dog in the fight”.  This wasn’t a movie I was looking forward to seeing in the theater, but when it became available on DVD, I decided to check it out.  Actually, I borrowed it from my brother.
The movie starts out as a “who-dun-it” and then quickly devolves into an action movie with set pieces to showcase Tom.  There is a particularly good street fight, which seems to be lifted out of “The Last Samurai” – which is my favorite Tom Cruise movie and which I’ve watched a couple dozen times.  Anyway, the next fight scene is in a home and is (I suppose) more of a comedy than a realistic fight.  Anyway, just before the ending, Tom has a big fight with the main ass-kicking villain (as opposed to the brainy villain).  The fight is okay, but not particularly believable.  For one thing, Tom is like 5′ 6” and the bad-guy (Jai Courtney) is 6′ 1”.  Of course with good camera angles you can make Tom look taller, but not so much and not so well here.
Incidentally, and I didn’t know this at the time of the viewing, the character “Jack Reacher” is from a series of novels and he is supposed to be around 6′ 5” and a force of nature.  Tom has charisma, but a “force of nature”?  Again, not so much.  Needless to say, the fans of the novels were not too keen to see Tom selected for the lead role.
Having said all this, I liked this movie.  It has a great little role for Robert Duvall (one of my favorite actors), and Tom does actually carry the role off rather well.  If I hadn’t done the background read about the novel and then thought about Tom Cruise in the role, I might even think more of it.  Anyway, it works as both a detective story and as an action movie.
Final recommendation:  moderate to highly recommended.
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On This Day In:
2013 Who’s Side?
2012 Why I Joined The Army And Not The Navy…
2011 Is It Your Turn Yet?
Just Trippin’

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