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July 30th, 2018 by Cherry

Image result for equalizerI have to say that I remember really enjoying the Equalizer (2014) back when I saw it not that I didn’t complain but it was fun to see Denzel play an action hero. I have a major weakness for anti-heroes and Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) fit the bill. He was superhuman but without the cape and bats. He was Batman on steroids and I loved that he reminded me of my dad. McCall was an avenging angel taking revenge on men brutalizing a young white woman.

Now McCall was far from perfect since the punishment didn’t always fit the crime. Robbing a Home Depot doesn’t deserve the death penalty but it was nice to see a black man as the vigilante instead of the bad guy who gets comeuppence of a punishment at the end of a gun or baseball bat or whatever he could reach. Antoine Fuqua took the anti-hero action movie trope and bent it to his will from the slow walk away, explosions, carefully choreographed action scenes and great one liners.

Image result for equalizer 2 reviewBut it’s four years later and I expected it to be bigger, badder and more equalizer. Instead it was a action spy movie with a super slow buildup that had a few surprises. It kept my attention but I didn’t walk out of the theatre thinking I’d love to see this again. I knew from the first smirk who was behind the murder of McCall’s BFF (et to Brutus) from the many commercials that gave away WAY too much!

It felt like everyone wanted some extra money in the bank and decided a sequel was a great idea but decided to half ass it with a meandering script and a ‘you can’t go home again’ backstory to ‘explain’. Also why does he pretty much only rescue white women from sexual violence? Black women get raped too and I gave the ‘save a white girl’ trope in the first movie but they just had to go back again and make a white woman the innocent victim who he HAS to play the knight in shining armor? They could have easily cast a black woman or a woman of color in the role and it would have been an interesting aside since a black woman accusing white men of rape being believe that they would rape her would have been an interesting storyline. I mean he’s a Lyft driver who mostly picks up non-POC I can say as one black woman all I use are ride share apps since cabs never want to pick me up. The Holocaust survivor’s (Orson Bean) fight for a family painting with a twist ending was so out of place I mean like startling out of place from the friendship to how he helped. Urghh did I mention that he saved TWO white girls? One (Rhys Olivia Cote) was from her ‘evil’ Turkish father (Adam Karst) gotta love the casual anti-Islamaphobia and the white worship that of COURSE he’d marry a white blond woman (Tamara Hickey) than get mad and abduct the child but yahoo Independent Bookshop???

Washington is a great actor surrounded by a cast that turn in a solid if by the numbers performance but I expected more. I wanted him to ‘save a black girl/woman’. I would have really liked more of an exploration of his life in the apt building and the friends (Sakina Jeffrey) he made. I really didn’t care for the gangbanger story (Ashton Sanders) since I’ve seen that before and done much better. Oh and that apt in NYC was HUGE more money than a Lyft driver could afford especially with the upgrades! The storm scene was really hard to see so it was kind of muddled. I wish they had spent a little money to make it look cleaner and closed up on his hand movements. Plus more hand to hand combat if you’re a badass former spy I expect you to fight better but I guess he’s getting old .

Now I don’t want to say that the movie didn’t have a few good quips and startling moments but not enough to justify the end that I would have liked to have more of a punch. Instead the film ends suddenly like running into a brick wall that you didn’t expect on a foggy day. It would have been better to avoid the face splat and spending my money to support a black lead actor and director who couldn’t be bothered to cast a black woman in a substantial role. McCall saved three white women, saved a white man, rescued a black kid and revenged the death of another white woman but I guess black women are again invisible to anti-hero McCall and Antoine Fuqua.

Watching the film I can’t help but wonder if they think this will be a Mission Impossible or Jason Bourne action series where they can churn out sequels or even pass off to a new hot actor. Well bless their hearts cause this is the last Equalizer movie ticket I’ll buy and will look side eye at Antoine AND Denzel’s next movie.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Richard Wenk
Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman
Release Date: July 20, 2018

Posted in Film, Los Angeles, Movie, Review Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 6th, 2018 by Cherry

Danny Trejo is juggling a lot with his foodie empire in SoCal and of course being the action hero we all love. Happily he’s taking time off from the kitchen and made a new sci-fi action movie Cartel 2045 that will be released on digital platforms this May!

It’s right up my geek alley with giant robots, an evil drug empire and of course Danny chewing scenery, taking names and well kicking ass! Chris Le (Director) is the man behind the lens and has Danny Trejo (Machete, The Devil’s Rejects) co-starring with Alexander P. Heartman (‘’Power Rangers Samurai”), Brad Schmidt (“House of Lies”), and Blake Webb (“Colony”), Cartel 2045 premieres on VOD May 1 from Uncork’d Entertainment. Check out the trailer below and get ready for Danny in charge of giant robots.

Action superstar Danny Trejo is out to make a killing in Chris Le’s thrilling sci-fi action film Cartel 2045, exploding onto digital platforms this May!

One last mission. Retrieve the asset. Go Back to Your Family.

The year is 2045, the continuing drug war has caused havoc between The United States and Mexico. Gear Side International, a robotics engineering company on the brink of bankruptcy, sells off their technology to the Cartel on the black market. With the advanced military robotics technology in the wrong hands the cartel uses it to their advantage; replacing their enforcers, hit men, and soldiers.

From director Chris Le, and starring screen sensation Danny Trejo (Machete, The Devil’s Rejects) with Alexander P. Heartman (‘’Power Rangers Samurai”), Brad Schmidt (“House of Lies”), and Blake Webb (“Colony”), Cartel 2045 premieres on VOD May 1 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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December 20th, 2017 by Cherry

I think that Downsizing is movie with too many parts. At first glance I thought it was going to be a fluffy light holiday comedy but instead it was kind of serious with overpopulation, how to silence dissenting voices, working while broke, the disappearing middle class and segregation (that was by accident). This movie would have been SOO good if they had focused on Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau) who’s a Vietnamese descendent shrunken by the government for speaking against power. Really all of the people shrunken not by choice but by force to silence them and used by the ‘residents’ as cheap labor but still looked down upon. In case you wonder how people got shrunk for ‘free’ to be slave labor they are political prisoners from countries the export goods made by cheap labor. This was a story given short shrift in the film but that I found fascinating since it’s a mini area why didn’t they make them decent livable low rent housing? Do the communities not have to keep building up to code? This inquiring mind really wanted that answer if they wanted this to be a ‘serious film’ about over population and destroying the earth. If they didn’t want to expand on the people downsized against their will treated as sharecroppers and instead wanted to be funny. Could we not spend more time with Dusan Mircovic (Christoph Waltz) and Konrad (Udo Kier) who stole every scene they were in as shady eastern European importers of luxury deals. When Konrad casually slipped that he had a title but his ex-wife had the money but he still kept his boat it was a hoot. Or that Dusan was living the life as downsized while his wife was still big with a joyful smirk. They were a delight and I did not realize how funny Christoph was but really wanted to see more of him. I’m not saying Downsize is bad it just wasn’t able to balance the humor and ‘afterschool’ serious subject matter as well as it could have. It’s one of those films that could have been lots of fun and thought provoking but made bad casting choices and the decision to focus on the most boring character made the movie lose steam. If only they could release the movie with Paul’s head exploding so that we could enjoy the supporting cast and explore this Lilliputian world without Gulliver.

 

SPOILERS

I’m not sure why they advertised Kristen Wiig as the co-star when she’s barely in the movie! Also what a lost opportunity for major comedy to explain why she left! She changed her mind halfway through the shaving? So were women awake during the process but manbabys can’t handle it so they are knocked out? Wouldn’t have been more interesting if she was getting undressed with other women in the floor when all of a sudden a loud popping/bomb noise than flashing emergency lights, voice over the intercom code red and a crash cart rushes past the door. All the women waiting look at each other than Audrey (Kristen Wiig) looks at a black woman who slowly reaches for her bag before they exchange a ‘I’m getting the freck out of here’ look as they both grab their bags and run out like bats out of hell. It would have taken a few minutes but so visually funny for 4 or 5 women run out past the lobby in various states of undress!

Now can we talk about Paul (Matt Damon) the white everyman Hollywood always wants to shove down our throats???? He’s a wasted space who in every scene sticks out like a sore thumb. He isn’t able to be the right kind of funny for the role and well his character was an annoying weak mess. Paul literally took the wonder and fun out of every scene he’s in and he’s in EVERY DAMN scene! He’s a lazy Betsy whine that could totally have easily gotten recertified for a better job but is to wishy washy to do anything but resent other people’s upscale lifestyle. He’s the ‘I’m a nice guy’ now fall on my dick that every woman refuses to deal with IRL but knows cause they are ALWAYS hanging around waiting for a moment of weakness or drunk regret to finally get the woman they say is a ‘friend’ but really thinks they’ve been ‘friendzoned’ cause they are sooo nice. No your damned creepy and we know what you want but hope you go away. In downsizing he NEVER goes away instead finds a new woman to tell him what to do since he’s a blank boring bland canvas.

Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.

Release dateDecember 22, 2017 (USA)

DirectorAlexander Payne

Music composed byRolfe Kent

ScreenplayAlexander PayneJim Taylor

ProducersAlexander PayneJim TaylorMark JohnsonMegan EllisonJimmy Burke

 

Posted in Movie Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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