John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum (2019)

Director: Chad Stahelski

Writer: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, Marc Abrams (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Ian McShane, Jason Mantzoukas, Said Taghmaoui, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Mark Dacascos

 

Plot: Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.


Tagline – If you want peace, prepare for war

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutally Brilliant

 

Story: John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum starts right where the last film ended, John Wick (Reeves) has one hour before the bounty on his head becomes live reluctantly by Winston (McShane), John searches for a way to escape which sees him turning to old connections including The Director (Huston) and Sofia (Berry).

With John searching for safety or redemption, The Adjudicator (Dillon) is set to punish the people that helped John commit the kill in the previous film, with her chosen assassin Zero (Dacascos) proving to be one of the toughest enemies John has ever faced.

 

Thoughts on John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum

 

Characters – John Wick is the world known assassin that broke the codes put in place, this sees him become the target this time with everybody wanting to hunt him down and cash in on his bounty. John does have connections which will see him stay ahead of the problems before he needs to make his own stand against the table. Sofia is from John’s past, she is the manager of another hotel who will help John because of what he did for her in the past, she is just as deadly of an assassin working hand in hand with her dogs, she is a character we want to see more of even if it is her own movie. Winston is the manager of the hotel in New York, he has run the place for 40 years and is reluctant to put the hit out on John, his delay will see him facing consequences of his action, but he is calm and always has a plan. Bowery King is a character we met last film, he has the ears of on the streets, left needing to honour the decision to go for the hit on John, he will also need to face actions for his decision to help John. Zero is the new assassin chosen to lead the battle against anybody that has help John, he has waited for this chance to get his hands on John to prove himself in combat. The Adjudicator has arrived to clean up the mess which led to John being able to kill inside the walls of the hotel, she is sent to punish anyone that helped John with the kill. Charon is the loyal member of the hotel that welcomes the guests and gets to step up when needed. The Director is one of the people John turns too, she does have a connection to his past which will be key to his escape.

PerformancesKeanu Reeves is fantastic once again in this role, he has made this character truly iconic in the action genre, with the effortless ability to step into the countless fight sequences. Halle Berry enters the franchise and gets one of the most memorable sequences, only wanting to see more from her character. Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and Lance Riddick continue to excel in the supporting roles, while Anjelica Huston adds to this list with ease. Mark Dacascos is a wonderful fighting villain, he even gets moments of comedy that don’t feel forced in anyway. Asia Kate Dillon is arguable the least known star in this film, she brings the a-game to shining in this role which shows authority and calmness through the film.

StoryThe story does pick up right where the last one left, showing us what happens next to John Wick when he becomes the target for all the fellow assassins in the world. This does continue to build the world that we have seen growing, showing how people can operate within the world. the story does follow John Wick facing endless amounts of enemies, connect to former contacts hoping they will honour their loyalty over the code, hoping to find a way to end the waves of enemies heading his way. The story does show how other characters have been affected by the actions in the previous film too, while also bringing in new characters with ease.

Action This is one of the purest, most brutal action films you will ever see, the fight sequences are breath-taking and you will see each and every blow giving out.

SettingsThe film uses the settings wonderfully, be it the New York, the hotel and even outside the city where John must visit for help.

Special EffectsThe effects are brutal as you end up seeing the wounds inflicted through the film, some even might make you wince that little bit.


Scene of the Movie –
John & Sofia double team fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me John getting a taxi in New York at half five and being confused about the traffic.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the greatest third instalments in any action film, it is a must watch for fans of the originals and makes the trilogy feel complete.

 

Overall: Must Watch Action Film.

Rating

 

 

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Hellboy (2019)

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Andrew Cosby (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic)

Starring: David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Penelope Mitchell, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim

 

Plot: Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.


Tagline – Save the World for the Hell of It

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Goriest Comic Movie Ever

 

Story: Hellboy starts as we learn about the history of Nimue the Blood Queen (Jovovich) an ancient sorceress who clashed with King Arthur, leading to her being dismembered and scattered across the land. Move into the modern day and Hellboy (Harbour) is the reluctant hero taking on the paranormal under the influence of his father Professor Broom (McShane).

The latest case sees Hellboy reconnecting with an old friend Alice (Lane) who he once saved from evil forces, a British paranormal agent Major Ben Daimio (Kim) as they must race against time to stop Nimue returning to finally spread the disease on humans, so the creatures from the dark can rise up, Hellboy must figure out which side of this war he wants to fight on.

 

Thoughts on Hellboy

 

Characters – Hellboy is a demon from hell that came to Earth as a baby, which saw him raised to protect humans from the paranormal, multiple people want him dead, he is meant to bring about the end of mankind, yet he keeps fighting for the human race. He uses one liners to react (most of these miss though) and his does have an identity crisis because of Nimue appearance which could show him his own power, this story does give Hellboy a personal arc he must learn to control just how he sees his powers. Nimue is an ancient sorceress that was at war with the human race, betrayed, left trapped in boxes until she is freed. She has come back for revenge and this time she sees what could turn the table in her favour, Hellboy. She knows how to use beings to get what she wants and wile never getting into a physical fight, she will use her powers to inflict great pain. Alice is a friend to Hellboy, she once was saved and her own psychic powers and connections to the dead will prove to be a useful asset to have around. Major Ben Daimio is from the British side of the paranormal investigation, he doesn’t want to work with Hellboy, he is by the books, even if he does have his own secret. Professor Broom is the man that took Hellboy in to teach and use to fight back against the evil in the world.

PerformancesDavid Harbour stepping into the shoes of Ron Perlman, was always going to need to do something very special, he does everything he can which works for the darker side of the character, but he doesn’t hit the comedy Perlman could. Milla Jovovich always works in her own way for an evil figure, she isn’t truly challenged, but doesn’t seem to do much wrong. Ian McShane again suffers from stepping into big shoes, he does enough however to make this feel like his own version of the character. Sasha Lane brings the attitude to her character well, while Daniel Dae Kim could be the best performer in the film.

StoryThe story follows Hellboy as he must learn who is truly is when it comes to battle to stop the biggest threat yet, Nimue a sorceress that wants to wipe out humanity. The first thing that must be discussed when talking about the story, is the style, it does feel like we are watching a comic book unfold. When we dive more into the story it does fall into the story technique of, we must go here to do that, we must go there to do this, which soon becomes repetitive. However, what we lack in storytelling style, we do get in other areas which includes the pure bloodshed levels thrown into this story. there is an angle in the story which basically sees Hellboy being tempted into becoming the evil he was always meant to be, which is nice and does play into the anti-hero idea of Hellboy. The story works for the basics being told without needing to be anything complicated, we do fill in most back stories which could annoy people with the number of flashbacks.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in this movie is huge, be it Hellboy fighting giants, a giant pig or the creatures coming to inflict pain on the humans. This does play into the fantasy and we learn how Hellboy could be dragged into other locations to meet a friend or foe. The horror comes from the number of bodies that pile up, we never hold back when it comes to seeing the wounds being inflicted or the aftermath.

SettingsThe film does use the idea London will be the main destruction area, which is fine, we need a big city for reference, when we see certain other locations we do hit the weird secret locations that could only come from the mind of a comic book author.

Special EffectsThe effects are going to be one of the bigger talking points, we do have a major weak moment which will most likely be mocked, but this is one of the best practical effects movies you will see, the wounds, the injuries, the blood shed are brutal to watch and must be praised.


Scene of the Movie –
London creatures.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The trailer gives away Daimio’s secret skill.

Final ThoughtsThis can easily be called the goriest comic book movie ever, it does have a basic story though, which could hold back its greatness, we do go in a direction far enough away from the original two, which does help make this feel like its own movie.

 

Overall: Blood shed galore.

Rating

 

 

Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015)

Director: Khurram H Alavi, Ayman Jamal

Writer: Khurram H Alavi, Ayman Jamal, Alexander Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, Yassin Kamel (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ian McShane, China Anne McClain, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Michael Gross

 

Plot: A thousand years ago, one boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home. Thrown into a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change. Inspired by true events, this is a story of a real hero who earned his remembrance in time and history.


Tagline – A Legend Breaks Free!

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important Moment from History

 

Story: Bilal: A New Breed of Hero starts a thousand years ago, Bilal and his sister Ghufaira are taken into slavery by the evil ruler Umayya, facing a life in chains the two must do what they can to survive.

Bilal growing up to be one of the most respected slaves, will stand up for his own kind make friends Saad along the way. Bilal learns his place in the world as the man that would lead his people to freedom and away from the slavery world they are being forced to live in, a journey that will test him to his limits.

 

Thoughts on Bilal: A New Breed of Hero

 

Characters – Bilal was once a free child, but raised as a slave, now a man he is starting to lose hope of ever being free until he meets one of the other men that had escaped the world and learns that he could be the one to lead the rest of the slaves to freedom. Umayya is the evil ruler that controls with an iron fist whipping anyone that goes against him or his people. Ghufaira is the sister to Bilal that has been pushed to her own limits that he must protect. Saad is the one man that Bilal can trust, they met as teenagers in a small altercation only to gain mutual respect for each other.

StoryThe story here shows one of the very first men to rise up against his slave owners to fight for their freedoms, now this could easily be compared to Moses story without the supernatural elements involved for an easy reference point, but this is its own story. it shows how one man Bilal wouldn’t stand by and take the abuse that was being thrown his way and would join forces with people that could make a difference. The pace of the story is a little bit slow at times, though this does help us understand the struggle being faced at times. We learn how heroes were born and how a nation would need to stand up for themselves to become free.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is a special treat when we see it because we see the few training montages, though the final epically big battle is one of the best in animated film history. The adventure shows us just how hard Bilal’s journey would be to get the freedom he desires.

SettingsThe film puts us in a middle Eastern country, it is set before they were named with names we know, it shows us just how away from the world the people could be from peace one moment to war the next.

AnimationThe animation in the film is beautiful, it does feel more lifelike than other animations which helps as we are learning a story about people, it has large scale scenes which look flawless when it comes to showing us the battles going on.


Scene of the Movie –
The battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The time jump mostly feels confusing even though the characters are aging through these moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautifully shot animation that tells the story of a real hero that you will never have heard of.

 

Overall: Animation Fans Watch This One.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – H – The Hollow Point (2016)

Director: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Writer: Nils Lyew (Screenplay)

Starring: Lynn Collins, Ian McShane, Patrick Wilson, John Leguizamo, James Belushi, Heather Beers, Michael Flynn

 

Plot: A new sheriff of a small town along the U.S. & Mexico border investigates a drug cartel deal that went horribly wrong.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Hollow Point starts in a border town that has two cousins ammunition smuggling across to Mexico, but when one gets killed by Sheriff Leland (McShane) and the other goes missing, the returning sheriff Wallace (Wilson) must investigate what they were up to.

When Wallace is attacked by Atticus (Leguizamo) his everyday life is change and now he must work with Leland to stop the cartel trafficking going on through their town.

 

Thoughts on The Hollow Point

 

Characters – Wallace has returned to his old town to become the Sheriff, where he must rebuild the burnt bridges with the town’s people but most importantly he must stop the smuggling going on through his town. Marla is the old flame of Wallace’s, he has a connection to the missing cousins but lives a life of wonder as she has always waited for Wallace to take her away. Leland is the other sheriff in town, he has always found himself getting close to the line which has gotten him in trouble before, but now we see he has always been on the right side of the law. Atticus is the man responsible for the body count, he will kill anyone that gets in his way and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

PerformancePatrick Wilson does seem to be a go to man for leading roles in edgy films and he is good in these role, Ian McShane is good as the older sheriff who will take nonsense from anyone, while John Leguizamo is great as the deadly villain of the film. Lynn Collins is the weak link of the film as she just seems to lack the impact the character needs.

StoryThe story follows two sheriffs needing to protect their town from the cartel wanting to clean up loose ends when a deal goes wrong. This story is a by the book type of story, it doesn’t offer twists but it doesn’t hold back with shock value when it comes to certain things that happen. This is loosely based on the crime which are happening on the border too.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime is all about what has been happening along the borders in America, we have a smuggling gone wrong that needs investigating while the two sheriffs clean up the mess the town could face.

SettingsThe settings show us the small town that could become trapped by a cartel wanting them to do their dirty work with the smuggling, it shows it could be any town along the border too.

Scene of the Movie – Atticus introduction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Marla seems like a wasted side character just to have a female character in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an extremely watchable crime thriller that doesn’t hold back with the shocks being given to us, but it does follow a formula that we have seen before in the core of the story.

 

Overall: Crime thriller well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Case 39 (2009)

Director: Christian Alvart

Writer: Ray Wright (Screenplay)

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper, Callum Keith Rennie

 

Plot: A social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror

 

Story: Case 39 starts as we see the workload of social worker Emily Jenkins (Zellweger), the latest case to fall on her desk is Case 39 about young girl Lilith Sullivan (Ferland) who is being abused by her parents but nothing can be proven. Emily get Detective Barron (McShane) to help investigate but when Lilith’s parents try to kill her, she is removed from the home.

When Lilith moves in with Emily during the case hearing, we start to learn what could have been the problem with Lilith as strange things start to happen around the people Emily cares about, is this Lilith causing the problems or something more sinister.

 

Thoughts on Case 39

 

Characters/PerformanceEmily Jenkins is the social worker that always does the best for the children through any of the cases she gets, she sees the latest case with Lilith and takes her in as the only one she can trust but soon her life start unravelling and Emily must question her good nature to stop people dying. Lilith is the young girl that Emily believes is being abused by her family, she starts of looking innocent but soon becomes strange through the film and she could in fact be evil. Detective Barron is the person Emily always turns to, to solve any problems in the cases she has, he is loyal to her and willing to help solve any wrong doings.

Performance wise, Renee Zellweger is good in this lead role showing us horror can work with the right leading lady. Jodelle Ferland made a reputation playing the creepy little girl around this time and she is the star of the show here. Ian McShane is good in the supporting role too.

StoryThe story is a smart decision process because a social worker having the mentality to want to protect children having to question that because one could be evil poses a great set of moral questions throughout the film. That is the core of the story here we do have characters getting picked off by what could an evil child but it does keep us wondering how somebody would deal with the actual anti-Christ.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes in our characters being haunted by their nightmares that are being created by Lilith but the mystery behind why this is happening in the first place.

SettingsWe have everyday settings in this film that makes us feel like this could happen to anybody, this does help everything unfold.

Special EffectsThe effects do work when it comes to the kills going on through the film without it being all over the top CGI.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid horror that spends slightly too much time trying to add extra scares instead of focusing on what could be moral questions Emily should need to face.

 

Overall: Solid Horror that can be enjoyable for the horror fans.

Rating