In Theaters This Week (2/17/2017): The Wall, A Cure for Wellness, Fist Fight

Fist Fight

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  February 17th is a four-day weekend for a lot of people in the States for Presidents Day (insert your own joke about the current one here), and there are three underwhelming choices to greet it.  Essentially, if you missed John Wick or Lego Batman (I’M GETTING TO THE REVIEW), that’s your best bet if you plan to head to the movies this weekend. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (2/17/2017): The Wall, A Cure for Wellness, Fist Fight

My Favorite Scene: House of Flying Daggers (2004) “Bamboo Fight”

Before we talk about the absurdity that is The Wall (the Matt Damon fighting monsters on The Great Wall of China film that is opening this weekend), it’s best if we remember the film’s director, Zhang Yimou, for directing two of the most beautiful films of the last 25 years.  I talked about 2002’s Hero awhile ago (click here for that), and I think it and 2004’s House of Flying Daggers are the equal of, if not better than, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Continue reading My Favorite Scene: House of Flying Daggers (2004) “Bamboo Fight”

For Honor – Complete Achievement List (Xbox One, PC – 2017)

I’m going to be totally honest…..I have no idea what’s going on with For Honor.  I’ve watched it develop since E3 and the entire idea seems to be, “What if knights, samurais, and vikings just started whomping on each other?”  Could be a lot more complex.  Maybe there’s an angsty viking who just wants to prove to his samurai dad and knight mom that he’s just as darn good as the rest of the….no there’s not, but you probably get to whack each other with period appropriate weaponry.  Ubisoft’s For Honor is an Xbox/Windows 10 exclusive and is out today.  Cheevos below courtesy, as always, from the peerless, the wondrous, the needy gamer’s sanctum online: xboxachievements.com. Continue reading For Honor – Complete Achievement List (Xbox One, PC – 2017)

John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies

John Hurt

John Hurt may not be an instantly recognizable name to casual film fans, but everyone who has seen a fair number of movies has seen his work.  He was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series.  He was The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s wonderful and too-short-lived eponymous series.  He was nominated twice for Academy Awards in 1977 for Midnight Express, and for what is probably his most indelible performance, that of the title character in 1980’s The Elephant Man.  He was also the unfortunate victim in one of the most famous scenes in film history: the “chest burster” dinner scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien.  He brought gravitas and dignity to every project he participated in, and I always was instantly more interested in a film when his name appeared in the credits.  Hurt has an astounding 204 credits as an actor over the course of his career, rarely as the leading man.  As a result, some of the best films he was in; he was barely onscreen for more than a handful of a moments.  I would be lying if I said I’ve seen even a quarter of his filmography, but any movie he appeared in was better for his presence, and these are my ten best of those.

john-hurt-anne-bancroft-in-una-scena-di-the-elephant-man-60493
Continue reading John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies

Movie Review: John Wick Chapter 2 “A Ballet of Blood”

Keanu Reeves, John Wick Chapter 2

I think the best compliment you can give a sequel is not only is it a better film than the one it follows, but it makes that original film better in retrospect.  I was not an enormous fan of John Wick when it came out (you can read my underwhelmed review here, which I would now probably bump up several points).  I think it was a combination of it being one of those cult movies that gets overhyped  by the time it gets to you and you can no longer be pleasantly surprised along with some thematic material in John’s origin that whacks certain personal buttons with me (btw, we’ll try to stay spoiler free on Chapter 2, but if you read on, I’m assuming you saw the first film).  John Wick Chapter 2 takes everything that worked in the first film, amps it to 11, and ends up being a much better movie that earns both its own existence and the inevitable Chapter 3 to come. Continue reading Movie Review: John Wick Chapter 2 “A Ballet of Blood”

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