Franchise Weekend – Bad Boys II (2003) Movie Review

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl (Screenplay) Marianne Wibberley, Cormac Wibberley, Ron Shelton (Story)

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Jordi Molla, Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare, Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Shannon

Plot: Two loose-cannon narcotics cops investigate the flow of Ecstasy into Florida from a Cuban drug cartel.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bigger, Badder, Ballsier

Story: Bad Boys 2 starts as Marcus (Lawrence) and Mike (Smith) are undercover with their latest job, with Marcus getting shot in the ass, with Marcus recovering, Mike has secretly started to date Marcus’s sister Syd (Union) a fellow officer from New York.

When Mike and Marcus find themselves in the middle of Syd case in Miami, they want to help out, which sees them trying to take down Cuban drug lord Hector Juan Carlos Tapia, known as Johnny (Molla) who has bought a new deadly drug to the streets.

Thoughts on Bad Boys 2

Characters – Marcus is suffering with middle-life crisis problems, he recently got hurt on duty, which has seen him milk the sympathy, he is worried about his sister on her case and will do anything to protect her, while always getting worried about Mike’s actions. Mike is still the smooth loose cannon, he has started dating Marcus’s sister in secret waiting for the chance to tell him, he is still caring about his car more than anything else, usually killing more of the suspects than he needs too. Hector is the Cuban drug lord who is making his major play to take over Miami, he will not take perfection from his men. Syd is the sister of Marcus, she has been working on a case in Miami, giving her a chance to spend more time with Mike, while proving herself as a top-level cop to her brother.

PerformancesWill Smith and Martin Lawrence do both continue to show their chemistry, though the characters do seem to have changed and become more exaggerated with Will Smith being more like the player persona his blockbusters have made, while Martin Lawrence does seem to bring us more of a whiny figure. Jordi Molla fills the generic villain without needing to do much more than say threating lines, while Gabrielle Union bought a different dimension to the film.

StoryThe story here follows the two narcotics detectives as they get involved with trying to take down the latest drug lord who has been working with Marcus’s undercover sister, bringing the fight to a new personal level for the two men. The story might well follow the same basic idea of the first film, it does make everything feel a lot bigger and making everything more personal only helps, the bigger the characters the two men have is noticeable here too. This one doesn’t really leave too much to the imagination but is sure a hell of a fun watch for the simplistic side to the story.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action in the film is much bigger than the first film, we have car chases, explosion and massive shoot outs, which become the set pieces. The comedy is all about how the two are always bickering, which does get laughs through the film, while we do dive into the world of drugs once again.

SettingsThe film does keep the Miami setting for the most part, while giving us an ending in Cuba for the final action set piece.


Scene of the Movie – The Cuba chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do focus more on the action over the story, unlike the first film.

Final Thoughts This is a bigger and bolder action film that has massive set pieces, which is a great watch, with great chemistry between the leads.

Overall: Entertaining blitz.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – J – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2017)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Itaru Era (Screenplay) Hirohiko Araki (Manga)

Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nana Komatsu, Masaki Okada, Mackenyu, Kenji Mizuhashi

 

Plot: A teen gifted with supernatural power discovers the truth behind his cursed and bizarre bloodline, and the evil that lurks within his town.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wildly Imaginative

 

Story: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure starts with high school student Koichi Hirose (Kamiki) getting to learn the new surroundings which contains the mysterious slick cool Josuke ‘JoJo’ Higashikata (Yamazaki) who has the ability to defeat enemies with his unique abilities.

When JoJo learns about his bloodline with the appearance of a distant relative, he learns of a bigger battle going on, one that JoJo will finally learn the true powers that he possesses.

 

Thoughts on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

 

Characters – Josuke or JoJo for short is the high school student everyone wants to be friends with, the one that sticks up for the bully victims and has his own unique look that makes him stand out, he does possess an ability that he doesn’t know the true power of, until a distant relative arrives to teach him what he is capable off. JoJo takes his first steps into this world where he can be involved in supernatural battles. Koichi Hirose is the new kid in the school, he helps us understand JoJo’s place in the school, while trying to come to grip with what is going on around him. Yukako is the friend that Koichi has made at the school, there is something mysterious about her, though it remains a mystery even to Koichi. Keicho is the man with the strongest ability causing trouble around Japan, he has targeted JoJo after learning about his powers.

PerformancesKento Yamazaki in the leading role is an entertaining watch, he makes his character look the slick cool figure he needs to while showing a much more grounded figure behind that persona. Masaki Okada does make for a strong villain that fits this over the top world we have entered. The rest of the cast let the main two stars steal the show without looking out of place in the film.

StoryThe Story here follows a teenager that learns about his powers to use a ‘Stand’ which will give him additional strength when it comes to battling his enemies and here he must face his own biggest enemy in the world. This story is adapted from a manga, so you need to accept the over the top style the film is creating, it does have the themes of fitting in, loss and understand how to fight your own enemies running through the story. we get plenty of interesting ideas here which will see how the power can be misused and how it can be used for good. This does feel like a story that you do need to have some back story before stepping into though which can hold back the highest level of enjoyment from it.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes us into a world where people can have the power to have ‘Stands’ which will fight for them to prove themselves in battle, each vision is different which does make this feel interesting as the fantasy side of the film comes through with this too.

SettingsThe film is set in one of the most popular cities in Japan, it shows how a fantasy war could be going on behind anybody’s back without them knowing.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong throughout, they bring to life the Stands which have their own unique look in every scene or fight.


Scene of the Movie –
That is your Stand?

That Moment That Annoyed Me This isn’t helpful for a gateway to the world we are entering.

Final ThoughtsThis is a highly ambitious live action version of a popular manga, the problem comes with it being difficult to walk into if you haven’t seen anything beforehand.

 

Overall: Ambitious fan service.

Rating

 

 

The Tell Tale Heart (2020) Short Movie Review

Director: McClain Lindquist

Writer: McClain Lindquist (Screenplay) Edgar Allan Poe (Story)

Starring: Sonny Grimsley, James C Morris, Mikah Olsen, Teren Turner

Plot: Adapted from Edgar Allen Poe’s original text, this Original psychological thriller Story has been re-imagined in this mind-bending, pulse-pounding, bloody-disgusting short film.


Tagline – Descend Into Madness

Runtime: 22 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Excellent Twist on a Classic Tale

Story: The Tell Tale Heart starts as Detective Tucker (Turner) and Officer Sharpe (Olsen) arrive at the mansion, greeted by the Narrator (Grimsley) who is being questions about the noises that occurred in the mansion the night before, as he tries to explain the noise, he dives into his own story that drove him to want to get rid of his master the Old Man (Morris) and his evil eye.

Thoughts on The Tell Tale Heart

Final Thoughts Edgar Allan Poe gave us some of the greatest short stories, The Tell Tale Heart is one of the most famous, With this version we do mix modern investigation of what might have happened with the classic narration to show the descent into madness the narrator goes through due to his guilt coming through. We have four characters that are flushed out to feel realistic and to let the actors give us strong performances throughout. The camerawork and settings help increase the descent of the Narrator too, which makes this one of the strongest versions of Poe’s work.

Overall: Must Watch Poe adaptation.