Day 349: The Replacement Killers (1998)

3165965Last week we took a break when it came to having an Ass Whoopin Wednesdays film because we were busy watching another film for our 365 movies in 36 days challenge blog. So this week, we decided to pick a film Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) that we’ve always wanted to watch in The Replacement Killers. John Lee (Yun-Fat) is one of the best assassins that money can buy. After a drug lord’s (Kenneth Tsang) son gets killed, John is tasked with doing a revenge job for him, but John’s conscience gets in the way and he fails to do the job. Knowing that he failed to do it, he will seek the help of a documents forger (Mira Sorvino) to get papers to go back to China. The only problem is that the drug lord has already hired replacement killers to not only finish the job, but to take you out as well. The film also stars Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Det. Zedkov, Jürgen Prochnow (Das Boot) as Michael Kogan, Til Schweiger (Inglorious Basterds) as Ryker, Danny Trejo (The Devil’s Rejects) as Collins, Clifton Collins Jr. (Triple 9) as Loco, Carlos Gomez (Desperado) as Hunt, Patrick Kilpatrick (Last Man Standing) as Pryce, and the film was directed by Antoine Fuqua (The Magnificent Seven). To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

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Day 113: Brothers (2009)

maxresdefault (3)For today’s film, I chose one that for some strange reason I had only seen bits and pieces of it because something always pulled me away from it. The film that I chose for today is called Brothers and it stars Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) as brothers Sam and Tommy. They are two brothers who took distinctly different paths in life with Sam (Maguire) being a marine and Tommy (Gyllenhaal) always being someone in trouble. While in Afghanistan, Sam and another Marine (Patrick John Flueger) are captured by the Taliban. The two are presumed dead and to comfort his family, Tommy will step in to take care of Sam’s family. While Sam’s wife Grace (Natalie Portman) is hesitant at first, she allows Tommy to spend time with the girls and to fix things around the house. That is until, she finds out that Sam was saved and is still alive, but Sam has a lot of demons inside that he is battling and things become unnerving at home. The film also stars Sam Shepard (Swordfish) as Hank Cahill, Mare Winningham (Turner & Hooch) as Elsie Cahill, Bailee Madison (Just Go With It) as Isabelle, Taylor Geare (Dream House) as Maggie, Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek) as Major Cavazos, Carey Mulligan (Drive) as Cassie Willis, and the film was directed by Jim Sheridan (In The Name Of The Father).

image68I have to be honest in saying that I used to try and avoid watching Tobey Maguire films only because I wasn’t a huge fan of the last two Spider-Man films he was in. So, I have to admit to everyone right now that this was definitely one of his best performances. There is so much passion in the role and there is one scene that he makes me a believer that he is a soldier fighting inner demons. In my opinion, it was just so convincing that I felt bad for him even though I know it’s just a movie. Jake Gyllenhaal I recently started becoming a huge fan of his and he doesn’t disappoint me in this film and Natalie Portman does a terrific job as well. The film really reminds you that if you’ve never been in the military and been to war then you will never know what these guys have been through. You are always just on the outside looking in and you feel as helpless as Sam’s family in this film. The scenes in Afghanistan aren’t as bad as they could’ve made it out to be, but there are some scenes that may be hard to handle. It’s hard to pick an MVP in this film because not only did Gyllenhaal, Maguire, and Portman do well, but there kids in the movie did an amazing job being kids that are having a hard time adjusting to this different version of their dad. While it may not be the greatest movie ever made, I really enjoyed watching this film. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 57: Triple 9 (2016)

999There are films out there that just grab you the minute you see a movie poster or a trailer. There are films out there that just strike a certain chord in your brain the right way that makes you interested like The Town and other films that have to do with bank heists. Today’s film, Triple 9 was definitely one of those that mad me want to see it. Triple 9 is about a gang that has former cops and dirty cops on its team that perform heists. After a heist is successful, these gang which is made up of the ringleader Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor), ex-cop Gabe Welch (Aaron Paul), dirty cops Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie) and Franco Rodriguez (Clifton Collins Jr.) are put to the test one more time. They have to plan the murder of a cop in order to pull off the biggest heist they have ever performed. The film also stars Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) as Chris Allen, Woody Harrelson (Rampart) as Jeffrey Allen, Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) as Russel Welch, Gal Gadot (Superman Vs Batman: Dawn Of Justice) as Elena Vlaslov, Kate Winslet (Labor Day) as Irina Vlaslov, Teresa Palmer (Take Me Home Tonight) as Michelle Allen, Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) as Sweat Pea, and the film was directed by John Hillcoat (Lawless).

999 2Now I know you are wondering if the film lived up to the trailer or the movie poster? My simple answer to that question is an obvious yes, but how did it live up to it? First off, hats off to all the actors in the film because they did an amazing job as far as that department is concerned. It’s hard for me to choose one person as the MVP especially out of the four guys on the team plus Affleck and Harrelson. Although, I had a hard time buying Kate Winslet as a Russian Jewish Mobster especially with the accent, I am willing to look past it because the film was gritty and it was exactly what I wanted. They inserted the twists in the film just at the right spots so that you didn’t get bored with the film and they were plenty of scenes where you don’t see the particular action coming. If I had to compare this film with any other film out there, I would choose The Town just not as amazing as that one, but it’s up there. It’s basically The Town without bank robbers and with cops instead. The heists sequences are actually where the fun lays in this film because it’s an adrenaline rush as you sit wondering whether they can pull it off or not. One piece of criticism that I do have for the film is that it could have explained their relationships a little more and there are some scenes that could have been cut out. The only spoiler I can give you is that Norman Reedus (his character is bad ass) fans will leave disappointed. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out in theaters all across America now.

Day 17: Transcendence (2014)

Transcendence Movie Johnny DeppWhen I saw on my guide that Transcendence was going to be on the television, I took the opportunity to check this film out. With an estimated budget of 100 Million, the film was kind of a box office failure in 2014. Nevertheless, the film stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as Dr. Will Caster, the utmost authority on Artificial Intelligence who is trying to create the ultimate A.I.. Little does Dr. Caster know that there are people that are against what he is doing and they go as far as poisoning him with radiation on a bullet that he was shot with. Looking to continue his research, Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and longtime friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) will ultimately load Will’s consciousness into the computer to create the ultimate A.I. before he dies. What they don’t realize is that there action takes on dangerous implications. The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Joseph Tagger, Cillian Murphy (In Time) as Agent Buchanan, Kate Mara (The Fantastic Four) as Bree, Cole Hauser (Dazed And Confused) as Colonel Stevens, Clifton Collins Jr. (The Stoned Age) as Martin, Josh Stewart (The Collector) as Paul, Cory Hardrict (American Sniper) as Joel Edmund, and the film was directed by Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight).

Transcendence-Morgan-Freeman-Rebecca-Hall-Johnny-Depp-and-Cillian-Murphy-crpAs I said in the above paragraph, the movie was a complete flop as it only made about 23 million dollars in the box office. I remember the film being in and out of the theaters in no time so I avoided seeing the film. I had seen bits and pieces of it, but never the full film fro start to finish. I can certainly see why it was never successful, but that’s not to say that the film was completely bad. It like most films, had it’s ups and downs with Depp being Depp which equals awesome, but at times it was rather boring. The trailers made you believe or think that as an A.I. he was able to destroy things, but that really isn’t the case. He rather regenerates things and makes them better and has his minions destroy things for him. The film is just more commentary on how social media and computers have taken over our lives and how someday it may come to this when we are launched back into the stone age or at least the 1970’s when there were no cell phones or computers. Rebecca Hall, who I loved in The Town, does a pretty good job being the wife who is blinded by the love of her husband and Paul Bettany who is the friend that eventually sees the error of his ways. Yes, we’ve seen that all before in other Sci-F drama films. Check out the film at your own risk, but I’m telling you that it wasn’t bad. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.