We are exactly nine days away from the release of the fifth film in the Bourne saga entitled Jason Bourne. Once again we are taking the time to watch all of the films in the saga for Ass Whoopin Wednesdays and we have The Bourne Legacy which is the first film not to feature Matt Damon. You see the government is now dealing with the after effects of the last film and they call upon Col Eric Byer, USAF, Ret. (Edward Norton) who decides to eliminate any asset that there is out there. The only problem for him is that one asset that goes by the name of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) refuses to be a victim of that decision so he goes looking for answers and gets help from a doctor (Rachel Weisz) who was also deemed expendable. The film also stars Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy) as Ezra Kramer, Donna Murphy (Spider-Man 2) as Dita Mandy, Stacy Keach (American History X) as Adm Mark Turso USN Ret., Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) as Outcome # 3, Zeljko Ivanek (Donnie Brasco) as Dr. Donald Foite, Corey Stoll (This Is Where I Leave You) as Zev Vandel, Michael Chernus (Orange Is The New Black) as Arthur Ingram, and the film was directed by Tony Gilroy (Duplicity). To see the rest of the review and read the stats, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
Spoiler Alert: I just wanted to take the time to warn you that the article may contain some spoilers. Read on if you dare, but you’ve been warned. The purge is an annual event that was set up by the New Founding Fathers Of America to help the country every year on the same day for 12 hours. Anything you can imagine for those 12 hours is absolutely legal, but only for those 12 hours. The NFFA believe that it helps cleanse America of the unwanted members of society, while their are others that believe it lines up the pockets of the rich while eliminating the poor and under privileged. In The Purge: Election Year, there is one that dares to challenge this belief. Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) was a victim of the purge and she is daring to challenge the system by running for president. The only problem is that she is gaining ground and the NFFA are looking to eliminate her on the night of the purge to guarantee that she doesn’t win. Now it’ up to Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) to try and protect her before they get to her. The film also stars Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump) as Joe, Joseph Julian Soria (Max) as Marcos, Betty Gabriel (Experimenter) as Laney Rucker, Terry Serpico (Donnie Brasco) as Earl Danzinger, Edwin Hodge (The Purge) as Dante Bishop, Kyle Secor (Sleeping With The Enemy) as Minister Edwidge Owens, Ethan Phillips (Benson) as Chief Couper, and the film was directed by James DeMonaco (The Purge: Anarchy).
As far as all The Purge movies are concerned, this is definitely not the best in the series, but it continued what The Purge: Anarchy had did with the action. One of my biggest complaints is that I wanted to see more of the weird Purges that happen around the city because there looked like there was some cool ones like the guillotine. In the film, you get a bunch of close calls like the group is about to go through some hell, but someone is there to stop it. Now, I am not saying that there isn’t some bad ass action because there is that for sure in the film. One of my favorite scenes involves newcomer Brittany Mirabile (she’s the picture in this paragraph) who is proving to be a raging psycho who just wants to steal her candy bar. Things are looking bleak for our senator and co., but then out of nowhere they are hit by a van and they get shot up to hell. I definitely loved the last sequence with the minister inside the church with the NFFA as they are getting ready for the ultimate purge. The scene is perfect in my opinion because it exemplifies how crazy society has gotten with the idea of the purge (or tradition) and the lengths they are willing to go to protect it. It also shows how an ideal can turn people into monsters and how it easy it is to mask it as progress. They timed this film perfectly considering this is election year. Things are not going as well in this reality as they are not going so well in the film. People are clamoring for a change, but we have to be careful as to what kind of change. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade because the costumes are great, but the overall film isn’t better than the rest.
In the mid to late 1990’s, the thing to do in Hollywood was to bring back the lost art of Disaster Movies that people loved from the 70’s (Airport, The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, etc.). In 1997, 20TH Century Fox released the film Volcano which starred Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (LAC OEM) boss Mike Roark. Everything seems normal in Los Angeles except for the fact that people are outraged at a new subway line going in. That is until a couple of workers end up dying from severe burns. While Mike starts to investigate what happened, a volcano begins to erupt underneath Los Angeles and now Mike has to figure out how to save the city before it’s too late. The film also stars Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Dr. Amy Barnes, Gaby Hoffmann (Uncle Buck) as Kelly Roark, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as Emmit Reese, Jacqueline Kim (Brokedown Palace) as Dr. Jaye Calder, Keith David (Men At Work) as Police LT. Ed Fox, John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Norman Calder, Michael Rispoli (Pain & Gain) as Gator Harris, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Stan Olber, and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard).
First of all, I want to start off by saying that Tommy Lee Jones is an amazing actor who commands the screen no matter what role he is playing. Second of all, this is a disaster film after all which means that the special effects are going to be off the chains for these kinds of films and it was. The explosions were cool and the lava running through the city was cool. How far fetched or possible is a volcano under Los Angeles, I am not 100% sure as to how accurate that would be. With the fault lines and all the subway systems they have, it would be a scary notion if it could happen. To spice things up for the film, they trow in some racial tension because we know that was running rampant in LA at the time. You have a guy looking out for his section of town, gets the handcuffs put on him until the cop decides not to be racist anymore. Then you have a little kid who is being carried by a black police officer who looks out and says, “look at their faces, they all look the same.” A nice gesture saying that we are all human and that we should all help each other, but a sentimental part I seriously could have done without. The movie is about Volcano’s, not Rodney King or Rampart. Nevertheless, you know exactly what you are getting with these films and it’s enjoyable enough to watch. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
Back in the late 1990’s, there was a scandal in the Los Angeles Police Department’s CRASH (a task force set up to fight street gangs) department. They believed that there was a lot of corruption in that department and the Rampart division of the LAPD. This film, Rampart, takes place during that time as it follows police officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson). Officer Brown is the kind of guy who follows his own brand of justice in life whether it be on the streets where he does things his way or at home with his dysfunctional family. After a beating incident, things begin to fall apart for Brown as he looks to keep his family together as well as his career as he fights to keep his job. The film also stars Bree Olson (21 Jump Street) as Helen, Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) as Barbara, Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Catherine, Jon Bernthal (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Dan Morone, Ben Foster (Alpha Dog) as General, Steve Buscemi (Fargo) as Bill Blago, Robin Wright (The Princess Bride) as Linda, Ned Beatty (The Toy) as Hartshorn, Ice Cube (Ride Along) as Kyle Timkins, Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Joan Confrey, and the film was directed by Oren Moverman (Love & Mercy).
I realized as I started to watch the film that I did a double shot of Woody Harrelson for this challenge and I’m glad I did. This film is not only visually stunning, but it’s gritty and it’s dark. You literally see the a man descend from the beginning of the film all the way to the end. What I mean by that is that Woody starts off the film being this tough guy who does things his own way on the streets. He is cocky about it and believes in what he is doing until everything around him starts to fall apart. The more the film goes on, the darker the fall into madness for Woody’s character. There are a lot of scenes in the film which stunningly portray his character as this misanthrope, misogynistic, womanizing man who has no care in the world for how people feel. This film is great for character study and it kind of shows where LA was at in the late 1990’s. Every person from Bree Olson to Ben Foster do an amazing job acting wise that you can’t help, but love this film. Woody’s transformation is unbelievable as well as he just looks sick for most of the film and he gets worse as time goes on in the film. The only thing that I question is the man’s home life as he lives with his ex-wife and his current wife and he has a child with each one. Oh and I almost forgot, they are sisters too. If you’re into films like this one then you should definitely check it out. The film is available on Netflix and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.