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Hit Man (2023)

Hit Man (2023)

 


6/10


Starring

Glen Powell

Adria Arjona

Austin Amelio

Retta

 

Directed by Richard Linklater

 

I have to be honest, this film has some nice twists I did not see coming. How the lead Gary (Glen Powell) got involved with one of his cases, and how the involvement led to an actual murder, is worth seeing. Then, how all these got twisted so much that you just wonder how the hell do these two think this is a healthy relationship is above me. The whole film is not bursting with so much financial budget, everything is kept as minimal as possible. The actors on the other hand stepped up to cover up this lapse.

The film is based off a book of the same name by Skip Hollandsworth. The story is about a professor who works with the police to help catch criminals who want to hire a hitman. The film builds on the fact that, there isn’t really anyone about ready to kill someone for money. What he does with the police is catch people who think they are hiring a hitman.

Gary is working with a team, when the undercover police officer hitman was suspended for his behaviour outside of work. From here, you start to have some nice respect for the screenplay crafted by both Glen Powell and Richard Linklater. When Gary was asked to fill in for the suspended officer, his acting nervous and trying to be a tough guy, can be felt by you, the viewer. He, a civilian, being asked to fill in for another office, I do not think is possible, as the ramification based on lawsuits will outweigh the conviction of a crime should anything go wrong. But this is a film, so anything goes.

In his face job undercover, he started nervous, then after a while he got into the role and was able to get the other person to pay for a hit to be done. Which was enough evidence to arrest the man.

Gary decided to make sure that, whatever he does, he will do it very well. He decided to dress up in his new temporary role. Trying to be the character that the person who just booked for a hitman wants. This made him get the gig permanently, as his rate of catching the bad guys was high.

Then he met someone who he was supposed to help incriminate, and their meeting placed him at ease, and he instead helped them from getting arrested and pointed them in the direction of getting a good life.

From here on, the film dived head first into deep romantic fantasy and refused to even come up for air until the very end.

Nice film to watch on Netflix, all you need to do is to suspend the idea of possibilities and enjoy the fantasy.

The Holdovers (2023)

The Holdovers (2023)


 
8/10

 


Starring

Paul Giamatti

Da'Vine Joy Randolph

Dominic Sessa

 

Directed by Alexander Payne

 

No pandering can be found in the plot, just a little slice of life glazed with the needed comedic tonic so that it goes down well when you sit through the amazing masterpiece of this comedic drama, The Holdovers. I enjoyed how the acting in this movie is so well done by the actors, that it draws you into their lives, and you wish you could reach into the screen and hug them.

The story is well written to make you feel you got the plot figured out as the movie develops, then it takes a turn. A helicopter arrives, and we are left with the three leads. The plot pulls you into the story of three different people, but then balances the plot to make sure you get enough fun and drama from their stories and their struggles. It did not wave Hollywood magic wand in the end where everyone gets the ending, we all wish. It ends and lets you decide how you think it is going to play out for each of the characters.

This movie’s key power is not just the story, but the acting is also magnificent, and Paul Giamatti is having the best time of his life being an actor, doing all the movies he wants and how he wants.

Set in the 70s, the movie is about the life of three people woven together in a private boarding school. Giamatti’s character Paul was a strict teacher and not liked by the students or teachers in the school. During the Christmas break, he was left to care for five students whose parents could not accommodate them during the holidays. With him to care for these students was Mary, the cafeteria manager, and a bereaved mother, whom Paul was fond of.

The three characters whose lives were wound up together were Paul, Mary, and Tully. Tully was told to stay back in school, because his mother wanted to go on honeymoon with her second husband.

Together the three found a way to bond over their differences, their different challenges, and unfortunate situations as they spent the Christmas and New Year break together.

The movie got five nominations in the 96th Academy Awards, and it was listed in the top ten movies of the year 2023 by the American Film Institute. You will enjoy this movie very much, and it will not give you the sense that you can guess how it will end from the way it starts. At the very end, after all the bonding, you can put two and two together what the characters will now do and what not, but the joy in the ride to getting to this point is worth the journey of seeing this movie.

The Fall Guy (2024)

The Fall Guy (2024)

 


7/10


Starring

Ryan Gosling

Emily Blunt

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Hannah Waddingham

 

Directed by David Leitch

 

It has been a while since I saw a movie that had nothing to do with anything political or anything pop-culture or trying to stay woke. This movie is just pure action/comedy with the exact dose of romance to make sure the movie is not an all-out macho show. If you are looking for something to make sense of, or to find a single ounce of realism in this movie, then I am sorry you are sitting in the wrong cinema sit. This movie was made for enjoyment and enjoyment only. From nowhere the main character can fight, he can withstand some injury and the effect of drugs to make sure the plans of the “bad guys” fall apart.

The movie boasts of amazing explosions, stunts, scenery and acting that will make you feel like you are back in the 90s watching the action movies of those days.

The movie plot is about Colt (Ryan Gosling) who is a stuntman and has made a name for himself behind the scenes as a good stunt actor, working behind Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a very rich and famous actor. The movie he is currently working on with his camerawoman girlfriend (Jody played by Emily Blunt) had an accident which led to Colt getting severely injured.

He fell into a dark hole and abandoned the stunt world and Jody, for eighteen months.

While now working as a valet, he gets a call that Jody has gotten a big break, and she is directing her first film and has asked for him to be in it. He hadn’t spoken to Jody since the accident eighteen months ago, and the idea that she wanted to work with him made him take the job.

He gets to set and discovers that Jody is not aware that he is on set, neither did she ask for him, the Producer Gail (Hannah Waddingham), who called him, had lied to him to get him to come to the movie production set. She lets him know that the lead actor Tom has gone missing and without him, Jody will not be able to finish the film. She convinces Colt that he has known and worked with Tom for a long time, so he has a better chance of finding Tom than anyone. Also, it is in the best interest of Jody to keep this under wraps so that the studio does not know and shutdown the movie production.

Colt agreed to help, so that Jody does not lose her big break. Helping to find Tom drags Colt into a big dark hole which ended up getting him involved in a murder he did not know about and has him on the run.

Amazing movie, and it is sad that the movie did not stay long in the theatres for many to go and see, but it is now available to stream.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024)

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024)

 


7/10


Starring

Henry Cavill

Eiza González

Alan Ritchson

Alex Pettyfer

Hero Fiennes Tiffin

Babs Olusanmokun

Henry Golding

Cary Elwes

 

Directed by Guy Ritchie

 

I for one, I am happy and fortunate to not have lived through the second world war. The tragedy and unbelievable things that happened during the war are things that make up many of the movies and film character heroes we see on the screen today.

Even though war and fighting still go on today with even more unspeakable things being done, it is still a fortune that I have not directly witnessed those also (only from TV and the internet), and sad that such things still go on.

This film tells the tale of Gus March-Phillipps and his team, who were sent on a mission which part in helping Europe defeat Hitler. It is based off Churchill's Secret Warriors: The Explosive True Story of the Special Forces Desperadoes of WWII.

The way Guy Ritchie crafted this film is what makes me love it. There is an intensity which comes from the team trying to achieve something that seems impossible, and the fear of what will happen to anyone of them. I made it a key to distance myself from the story, so I can be entertained by not knowing what could happen, or which character is real and which were made up and it was worth it in the end. The film’s well-crafted dialogue made it easy to follow what was going on. Visually entertaining is also how they used the scenes, to tell many other stories and character development, as the dialogues went along.

The plot is about how the British intelligence were able to get the Americans to join them during World War II. The German U-boat was keeping the Americans from being able to get to Europe, so the British came up with a plan to sink the U-boats so that the Americans can sail to their aid. The U-boats are being supplied their resources from a region which is neutral to the war, so the British cannot go there and bomb the whole region. To stop the U-boats from operating normally, they decided to send a team to go and blow up the U-boat supply ship, thereby rendering the U-boat useless. The team was led by Gus March-Phillipps, and since they were going to perform this act on a neutral soil, they cannot be linked with the British government, they are on their own. We get to see them come up with plans and see some of these plans fail and having to come up with alternate plans to be able to achieve their task. The political game also in play during this, is also shown, and we see that many things, even the success of the war hung on this team getting their job done.

With a moderate budget it is odd that this film is not racking in millions in the box office, I know the film will end up on the streaming services soon, and I encourage you to go watch it, it is worth seeing.

It is easy for me to say, that Winston Churchill must have been very busy during this war, because there were many other things he had to oversee from the many movies and books we have seen or read about the war. Also, the Germans from all the movies and books we have seen about World War II, must have been technologically advanced and well grounded to win this war, if not for the many actions (including this one) around the world to stop them.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024)

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024)




6/10


Starring

Paul Rudd

Carrie Coon

Finn Wolfhard

Mckenna Grace

Kumail Nanjiani

 

Directed by Gil Kenan

 

It felt like this movie was rushed out, even though the last Ghostbuster movie was three years ago. Then it was a thrill to see a CGI of the late Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler). The film did a wonderful job when it came to comedy and science. The all round guckingness of the cast members and the coming together of the crew to save the day, with the addition of the family of the Spenglers was a nice job. Still, it felt like we just got over the first one and here is another.

As you would expect, the acting was cool, it was a wonderful job the cast did in the movie, but this new addition introduced more characters into the mix, and at times it felt crowded. There were too many people involved in stopping this bad guy that it just did not feel right.

The movie digressed a lot from the matter at hand and the matter at hand was a creature called Garraka from thousands of years ago, who was trapped in an orb and kept there to save the world from his anger. Now this creature is no ordinary ghost, the proton packs do not work on this creature, so trying to stop it will require certain skills from the descendant of the people who caught him thousands of years ago.

The movie starts with these new four (Gary, Callie Spengler with her two children Trevor and Phoebe) going about busting ghosts. If you are a fan of the Ghostbusters, you know in doing this, they are also making a mess of the city of New York, and everyone is not happy about it, especially the mayor.

Turns out, Phoebe Spengler was too young to be running around busting ghosts and needed to be benched, which did not go well with her. She was forced to make friends with a ghost in her loneliness.

On another note, the ghost tank in the firehouse is getting full, and they need to transfer the ghosts from there to a new, bigger tank. With all these happening, the orb in which Garraka was trapped was sold to Ray Stanz, who then took it to the company which Winston runs for them to extract the paranormal being in it. But when they tried, it caused so much chaos in the new lab, and almost caused the person working on it to lose a hand to frostbite.

But Garraka wanted out, and he is able to communicate with other ghosts from within the orb to help him get out, promising them anything they wanted.

As you will expect he got out, and we watch the team, now united with the old team and with the new set of casts, try to stop Garraka and put him back into the orb.

I can say, the movie was not bad, but it still felt like it was too soon, and we have had enough of Ghostbusting for a while.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)



 

5/10



Starring

Rebecca Hall

Brian Tyree Henry

Dan Stevens

Kaylee Hottle

 

Directed by Adam Wingard

 

There must have been two reasons for this film to be like this:

1)      Many people must have clamoured for a film with monsters fighting from start to finish.

2)      The rights to the franchises were going to end and Universal had to make a film to keep it.

This was not a good film. The film is so loose that you can actually watch this film with no sound, and you will still understand what was happening and not get lost. The reason for this is, monster fights were from the start to end, and since we already know that Godzilla and Kong are the good guys, anyone else fighting against them, will be the bad guys. So, with no sound, you could actually figure out what was going on. The was no point for sound anyway, no point for dialogue, because all that was basically being said was, Godzilla is gearing up for something, consuming radiation left right and center for something. Since the film cuts to Kong and then back to Godzilla, you can see what the something is, and know what Godzilla is gearing up to fight.

Set three years after the events of Godzilla vs Kong, Kong is seen going about Hollow Earth, discovering more of its domain. We see him come across large creatures like him, and he seems to dominate them all. He meets another ape like creature like him, smaller and from that meet, it became a fight as more ape like creatures like him, his size this time, emerge from the mist and try to kill him. He wins and the little one, which is now like his hostage, takes him to their lair. In the lair we see many more ape like creatures like Kong and the leader, an evil ape also tries to kill Kong. But when he was losing, he summoned a creature like Godzilla which he has control over against the creature's will. With the creature, he was able to cause Kong to drop the battle and run. We soon discover that the people living in Hollow Earth, have a prophecy about this evil ape. He wants to break into our own world and, using the creature he has control of, bring about the ice age.

It was these actions Godzilla was sensing that made him start to absorb all forms of radiation in preparation for the fight that is to come.

The film does have few and far in-between breathing space where the humans talk about waking another creature, which in fact is a Godzilla ally to balance the fight, but all that still can be figured from sight with no sound.

If you just want to see Monster fights with the only aim being to save humanity, then this is for you.

Monkey Man (2024)

Monkey Man (2024)



 

7/10


Starring

Dev Patel

 

Directed by Dev Patel

 

This is Dev Patel directorial debut, and he also co-wrote this film. This action thriller is your typical 80s revenge film plot, with some modern additional creativity of adding more than the intent for revenge, but a deep-rooted reason for it. The idea that one man can work his way with some luck and well-placed friends on the low end of the income ladder, can be far-fetched, but I like the way the film tries to make it possible, if you do not think too hard on it.

The film has a political tone, with some very graphic violent scenes, which may not go down well with the Indian community it is set in. The film shows how Third World countries are being degraded by corruption, discrimination, and poverty. How people under the guise of spiritual backing and leadership mindset take advantage of the system to gain power. It also shows how the corrupted officials, who are meant to keep things in check, further aid these people to become more influential and powerful.

I like how the film teases you with what seems like violence that will make you think, is this what people are saying is too violent? Then around thirty-seven minutes into the film, you will see some violence that will make you go, ohhh!!!

The film is about Kid/Bobby/Monkey Man (Dev Patel), who watched his mother and the people of his village massacred. He never forgot the face of the man who caused him to have such a difficult life without the love of his mother, and wants revenge. The film starts with Kid in a Monkey Man mask, getting beat up in an underground fighting ring. We soon learn that this was a rigged fight, which he does for money. The moment he had enough money, he began his plan for revenge. This plan included, getting a job with a woman who supplies girls and drugs for the high and mighty in the political sphere. Then after getting the job, grow in the ranks to become one of the servers in the VIP lounge. When he is in the VIP lounge, the first opportunity he gets, kill the man responsible for his mother’s death. Halfway into the film, he did all this, except killing the man did not go as planned and he failed. We are halfway into the film, and he is now on the run. The rest of the film is how he gets his life back on track and, as this is a revenge film, get back on focus to fulfil his lifelong desire for revenge.

The film had a very difficult time coming to light, because of the fear that it will not be well received by the Indian community. It is thanks to Jordan Peele and Universal Pictures, that we get the opportunity to see a film that was completed back in 2021. When Netflix acquired it back then, they changed their mind because of the fear of backlash. In the end, seeing the film has been a thrill. It is fun to see a film now, which even though has the 80s revenge idea, was done with some class and cultural root.

It may (or will) not end up being one of those blockbuster movies for everyone to go see, but I can assure you that, if you go watch this film, you will very well enjoy it.