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Posts Tagged ‘Jason Bourne’

Today’s review(s) are for the extended / sub-titled version of “The Millenium Series“. “Millenium” is a six-part television series made in Sweden based on the novels written by Stieg Larsson.  The six parts were combined into three “movies”, each movie consisting of two parts from the series with each part running about 90 minutes for a total of about nine(9) hours.  The English version was released under the name: “Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition”.  I watched the sub-titled version, not the one with the dubbed English.
The three “movies” have the corresponding names to the first three novels in the book series.  I understand the book series was originally intended to run to ten books, but the author (Larsson) died unexpectedly.  The “movie” titles are: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“; “The Girl Who Played with Fire“; and, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest“.
The two main characters in all three of the movies are Lisbeth Salander – played by Noomi Rapace, and Mikael Blomkvist – played by Michael Nyqvist. Salander is a twenty-something Goth hacker who works as a “researcher” for a Swedish security firm.  Basically, she’s a private-eye with computer skills.  Blomkvist is “famous” journalist and part owner of a do-gooder “investigative” magazine called “Millennium”.
The first movie (“Dragon Tatto“) has Blomkvist setup to take the fall for a false libel charge.  In between his conviction and his lockup he is hired by a wealthy Swedish capitalist who wants Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his niece several decades ago.  He is getting old and just wants to know what happened to her before he dies.
Anyway, Blomkvist enlists Salander’s help and they solve the mystery and Salander saves Blomkvist’s life in the process.  Closing the quality circle, they also prove the libel charge was a setup and the rich guy commits suicide to avoid going to prison himself.
The second movie (“Played with Fire“), has Millennium investigating sex trade in Sweden for the publication of an expose implicating some government (and police) officials.  The reporter and his girl friend are murdered, as is Lisbeth’s “guardian” and Lisbeth is implicated in the deaths of all three.
This time, Blomkvist comes to Lisbeth’s rescue gathering evidence she is innocent.  Basically, some of the men involved in the sex trade are also involved with (and being protected by) the government officials.  The main “bad-guy” turns out to be a Russian spy who flipped to get Swedish government protection.  In turn, the government looked-the-other-way for over three decades of criminal behavior (drugs, sex trafficking, and gun running).  The bad-guy also turns out to be Lisbeth’s father.  In the end, both Lisbeth and her dad are captured by the police.
The third movie (“Hornets’ Nest“), has Lisbeth on trial for the attempted murder of her father and the possible murder of the other three (the journalist, girl friend, and guardian) from the second movie.  The “government” agents seek to kill Lisbeth and her father to silence them both.  They succeed in killing the dad, but not Lisbeth.
Ultimately, Blomkvist convinces some of the police and another secret group in the Swedish “Constitutional Protection Division” of Lisbeth’s innocence and together they gather the evidence to arrest all the baddies.  There is also another issue which gets wrapped up at the end of the movie.
Final recommendation: High to Very highly recommended with the qualification that all three are rated “R” and there are extremely violent and sexual (nudity) scenes in the first and second movie.  This is not a movie series for prudes or for anyone squeamish about nudity, rape, abuse of authority or violence (depicted) against women.  The “redeeming” factor, if you need that kind of thing, is that all of the bad guys get theirs in the end.  Although some are only shown arrested and disgraced, most have “untimely” deaths.
One cultural note: this is my first exposure to a Swedish production (TV or movie) and, other than the fact that I do not care for sub-titles, I found it a very entertaining production which reminded me of the first Jason Bourne movie in how the movie “looked” – not quite TV, not quite movie; just a funky realism look.  The “only” other “Swedish” thing I remember seeing has been the “Wallander” police series.  That series was shot in Sweden, but was actually a BBC production and started Kenneth Branagh in the title role – so I don’t think that counts as “Swedish”.
I have had this version for several weeks and just never got around to watching it.  I then got an offer from Vudu to buy the “English Dubbed” version for $10.  I didn’t even know the version I had wasn’t already dubbed.  I watched the first movie (parts 1 and 2 of the 6-part series) and decided to pick up the dubbed version as well.  I don’t speak Swedish, but I noticed what appeared to be discrepancies between what the actors were saying and what I was reading – at least some of the words sounded a LOT like other English words to me.  Since I’ve invested the extra money, I’ll watch the dubbed versions, but I’ve no idea when (or if) I’ll get around to reviewing them.
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On This Day In:
2018 Four Loves
Favorite Westerns
2017 Faith In Science
2016 What The World Calls
2015 Say What?
2014 Start Today
2013 Fly!!
2012 Greater Love
2011 Before

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Atomic Blonde (2017)  —  movie review
Today’s movie examines what happens when marry the weak storyline of a James Bond spy movie with the visuals / fights of a Jason Bourne movie and throw in the violence / violence of a John Wick movie – all of which is based on a “graphic novel” (aka: comic book).  And, of course, the “twist” is the main character is a female.  Charlize Theron is Lorraine Broughton (the lead British spy); James McAvoy (the young Professor X in the X-men movies) is David Percival (the Berlin station head / British agent), Eddie Marsan is Spyglass (the East German agent with information), John Goodman is Emmett Kurzfeld (the CIA agent), Toby Jones (the Hydra guy in the Avengers movies) is Eric Gray (Broughton’s boss), and Sofia Boutella (the bodyguard with killer legs from the Kingsman movie) is Delphine Lasalle a French agent.
So, it’s 1979 and the Berlin Wall is about to fall.  A list of all agents (French, British, German, etc.) is about to be sold to the highest bidder.  MI6 sends their best agent (Broughton / Theron) to get the job done – whatever the job needs to be.  Blah, blah, blah, lots of violence, blah, blah, blah, more fights / violence, blah, blah, a hint of lesbian sex, blah, blah, blah, more violence and a spy twist at the end.
Is it any good?  If you like the Daniel Craig / Bond’s or the Damon / Bourne or the Reeves / Wick movies, you will almost certainly enjoy this movie.  I do / have and I did.  Is it serious cinema?  It’s a comic book adaptation and suffers from all of the excessive survival issues of this action / spy / drama genre.  No one, male or female could survive all of this over the top fighting and still function.  Given that, the movie works. It is entertaining for its “kick-some-butt” target demographic / audience.  And Theron surprised me as being able to carry off the role.  She is great and she definitely makes the movie in the same way Craig-Damon-Reeves carry their respective franchises.
Final recommendation: strong.  This will not be a movie to everyone’s taste.  There is little to no humor, it is dark and violent, but it is consistent within the universe of its genre (graphic novel).  Although Theron’s character does her fair share of butt-kicking, if male on female violence bothers you, you will not enjoy this movie.  The movie is rated “R” for violence, language and brief nudity.
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On This Day In:
2017 This Explains A Lot
2016 Me Too
2015 A Proper Price
2014 Well Hard
2013 Because I Can
Eloquence, n.
2012 Why Bother?
2011 Peculiar Notions

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Manners maketh man.
   —  William of Wykeham
Motto of Winchester College and New College, Oxford
Kingsman: The Secret Service – movie review
Last week I had the great pleasure to watch a wonderfully entertaining coming of age / spy movie that harkened back to “The Karate Kid”  and the early days of 007 – James Bond (humor and sophistication) with a healthy dash of Jason Bourne (cars and fights) thrown in for good measure.  Without giving away too much of the movie, an older, experienced espionage agent recruits an off-the-street knock-about with (wait for it) a good heart.  Of course, the kid is also a bored genius and former junior national-class gymnast.  Blah, blah, blah.  Lots of life lessons, fights, car chases, and more fights later, you’re left thinking: “Wow!  That was a great movie!
Now, of course I don’t mean it’s going to get nominated for any Oscar’s or anything like that…  It’s just a very entertaining action movie.  Colin Firth is surprisingly good as Mr. Miyagi – I mean as Galahad / Harry Hart.  I don’t recall ever seeing him in this kind of action role before.  Kudos for stretching the envelope.  Taron Egerton plays Gary “Eggsy” Unwin – the kid.  Samuel L. Jackson plays the evil genius bent on taking over the world – Valentine.   And, Sofia Boutella delivers a cutting-edge performance as the evil henchman (okay, henchperson) Gazelle.   Seriously, Jackson plays the role of a lifetime as one of the James Bond way-over-the-top villains from the early (Sean Connery) and middle period (Roger Moore days).  The film even nods to the classic Bond send up – Casino Royale (with David Niven playing 007) – with poofing heads instead of hickups.
Lastly, the film has a great song.  EVERY great Bond film has a great song.  (You can hear it below performed by Take That.)  So, final recommendation: Very High Recommendation!  Action, humor, special effects.  This one has it all.  One note: this movie has a sexual “joke” at the end of the movie.  It will be offensive to some (many?) and is not appropriate for youth – hence the “R” rating.  In the words of Merlin: “Oh. Oh my word!
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On This Day In:
2014 Brains First
2013 Not Listening Anymore
2012 At Your Marks!
2011 We Are Not Alone
Underlying Rationality
2010 Is the Obama Administration Failing?
In Other Words…
Quite Please!
In A Hostage Situation…
Are We Done Yet?
In Order…
Flip-flopping…
Proof of Choice…
On “Leading” A Democracy To War…
Actually, It’s All About Me…

 

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Strictly speaking, this is not a movie review blog site.  I do, however, from time to time, post brief reviews of movies I’ve watched.  Lately, I’ve been too lazy to do that, so for the next few posts, I’ll be trying to catch up.  This may take a few weeks, so I’ll understand if you’re not really interested and decide to come back next month…  (Now that you’ve been warned…)
This review for the latest in the “Jason Bourne” sagas: “The Bourne Legacy” and stars Jeremy Renner – the superhero formerly known as Hawkeye in the Avengers movie.  The romantic interest is played by Rachel Weisz.
If you are a follower of this blog, you know I’m quite the Matt Damon fan and Matt played Jason Bourne in the first three movies of this series.  I gather there was a financial dispute, because an actor is rarely too busy to re-star in their signature role.  I know there is always talk about schedule conflict and fear of type-casting, but trust me, it’s always about the money.
Anyway, this movie isn’t a normal sequel, nor is it the typical Hollywood re-boot of the series.  Rather, this movie is a tangent.  It has just enough scenes and characters borrowed from the prior movies to explain the existence of the latest super-spy and then it goes directly to the tried and true “Bourne” format.  In case you’re not familiar: memories, hand to hand fighting, blow something up, chase, repeat until end of two hours or most of the bad guys are dead.  There are always some left over for the next sequel…
Does it work?  Yeah, pretty much.  Lots of action, shooting, blowing stuff up, chases, fighting, blood, etc.  It’s workable as a science-fiction and as a spy-shoot ’em up.  It lacks the originality of the original movie, but heck, so did the first two sequels, and I like them too.
Final recommendation: not highly recommended, but still a very entertaining action / spy / thriller movie.  Worth viewing.  Moderate recommendation.
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On This Day In:
2013 God’s Protection
2012 Happy Easter!!
Edge, Class, Clash, And Flight
The Value Of Bureaucracies
2011 Logic Cuts

 

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