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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”

Trailer Time: John Wick Chapter Two Trailer #2 (2017) *Man Loves His Dog; S’all.”

I was not a huge fan of the first John Wick (or THE WORLD’S ANGRIEST PET OWNER).  People hyped it to me as an amazing action movie, and I just thought it was kind of boilerplate, and with any Keanu Reeves movie, you need to have a whole lot of stuff happening so he doesn’t have time to try to, God forbid, act.  It’s kind of like jangling your keys in front of a Golden Retriever so he gets all excited and forgets to drool.  That’s how you win with a Keanu movie.  I did give it a second try, and was less harsh on it.  I can see it as a guilty pleasure action movie. It did extremely well at the box office and revived Reeves dormant career, so there’s obviously now John Wick Chapter 2 (cause it’s so literary).  For more details reed Coming Soon’s take below and check out the trailer and poster for the February 2017 release. Continue reading Trailer Time: John Wick Chapter Two Trailer #2 (2017) *Man Loves His Dog; S’all.”

Trailer Time: John Wick Chapter Two Trailer #1 (2017) *Stay Away From His Dog!!!*

I was not a huge fan of the first John Wick (or THE WORLD’S ANGRIEST PET OWNER).  People hyped it to me as an amazing action movie, and I just thought it was kind of boilerplate, and with any Keanu Reeves movie, you need to have a whole lot of stuff happening so he doesn’t have time to try to, God forbid, act.  It’s kind of like jangling your keys in front of a Golden Retriever so he gets all excited and forgets to drool.  That’s how you win with a Keanu movie.  I did give it a second try, and was less harsh on it.  I can see it as a guilty pleasure action movie. It did extremely well at the box office and revived Reeves dormant career, so there’s obviously now John Wick Chapter 2 (cause it’s so literary).  For more details reed Coming Soon’s take below and check out the trailer and poster for the February 2017 release. Continue reading Trailer Time: John Wick Chapter Two Trailer #1 (2017) *Stay Away From His Dog!!!*

Now You See Me Blu Ray Release Date and Details

Now You See Me, Louis Leterrier, Jessie Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Marc Ruffalo, Zac Ephron, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson

 

Killing Time’s favorite film of the year so far, Now You See Me, will be headed to Blu Ray/DVD/UV on September 3rd with a mess of extras including an extended cut of the film.  I doubt I’d like that better since the relentless pacing is one of the things that make the movie so much fun, but then again, Louis Letterier is the director that cut the 30 minutes out of The Incredible Hulk that would have made it a freaking powerhouse instead of an ok film.  Why is there no director’s cut of that?  GIMME!  The press release on specs from Summit Entertainment below:

Summit Entertainment has announced that their recent ensemble hit, Now You See Me, is going to arrive on home video in a variety of formats including as a Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD, Digital Copy and Digital UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View on September 3. The film will also be available for Digital Download August 30th, four days prior to the Blu-ray and DVD release.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Extended Director’s Cut of the film featuring 16 minutes of never-before-seen footage. Directed by Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans), Now You See Me stars Academy Award nominees Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) alongside Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby) and Dave Franco (Warm Bodies) as the magicians known as “The Four Horsemen.” The film also stars Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) and Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules), plus Mark Ruffalo (Marvel’s The Avengers) and Mélanie Laurent (Beginners) as the law-enforcement team hot on their tails. The screenplay is by Ed Solomon and Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt, with a story by Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt.

The Four Horsemen, a magic super-group led by the charismatic J. Daniel Atlas (Eisenberg), perform a pair of high-tech, high-profile magic shows. First amazing audiences by remotely robbing a Paris bank while in Las Vegas, and then exposing a white-collar criminal and funneling his millions into the audience members’ bank accounts, baffling the authorities. FBI Special Agent Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) is determined to make the magicians pay for their crimes—and to stop them before they pull off what promises to be an even more audacious heist. But he’s forced to partner with Alma (Laurent), an Interpol detective about whom he is instantly suspicious. Out of desperation, he turns to a famed magic debunker, who claims the Paris bank trick was actually a meticulously planned illusion. Dylan and Alma begin to wonder if the Horsemen have an outside point person. If so, finding him (or her) would be the key to ending the magicians’ crime spree. But who could it be? Or…could it really be…magic?

The Blu-ray Combo Pack, along with the extended director’s cut with sixteen minutes of never-before-seen footage, includes an audio commentary, two “making of” featurettes and deleted scenes. The DVD bonus materials include an audio commentary and a “making of” featurette. The Now You See Me Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

Full special features are listed as follows:

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
• Extended Director’s Cut Featuring 16 Minutes of Never-Before-Seen Footage
• Audio Commentary with Producer Bobby Cohen and Director Louis Leterrier (Theatrical Cut Only)
• “Now You See Me Revealed” featurette
• “A Brief History of Magic” featurette
• Deleted Scenes

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
• Audio Commentary with Producer Bobby Cohen and Director Louis Leterrier
• “A Brief History of Magic” featurette

Movie Review: Now You See Me (2013)

2013 has been a baffling year for me at the movies.  Films with a lot of potential that I was hoping would blow me away, have not.  I’ve found myself almost dreading going to movies because I’m pretty convinced at this point that we have ourselves a 2011-ish movie quality drought.  So, imagine my surprise, after being let down on some level by Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness, that my favorite movie – the best movie – I’ve seen this year so far has been Now You See Me.

It has a 50 Metacritic rating and 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I almost didn’t bother to see it, despite being excited by the trailer and an amazingly stellar cast.  Now You See Me is the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a long, long time.  I can’t be the only person who feels that way because it keeps hanging around in the box office top 10 and passed $100 million domestically.

Think Ocean’s 11 meets The Prestige.  Now You See Me is a relentlessly paced thriller/mystery that never stops delivering a funny, smart and ingeniously complex story from beginning to end.  Four individual street magicians are brought together and given a plan to execute.  To tell you what that plan is or the reason for it, would be to spoil the trick.  The movie has you in the role of the audience or, in this case, the FBI/Interpol team trying to catch the team of magicians, dubbed “The Four Horsemen”, after their first public appearance results in a multi-million Euro bank robbery.  From there, the chase is on and the ‘why’ behind it all slowly becomes clear until a grand finale.

The ensemble cast of superb actors only serve to make the action and misdirection more enjoyable and just….fun.   Remember when movies could be fun?  I’d almost forgotten given what this year’s been like.  The only criticism I can levy against it is that it’s not a particularly deep film and there’s not much character development, but there really isn’t a need for it or time given the breakneck speed of the tricks and turns of the chase.  Now You See Me executed what it set out to do better than any film of 2013 so far.  If you can still catch it, I couldn’t recommend it more.
9.25/10

Now You See Me, Louis Leterrier, Jessie Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Marc Ruffalo, Zac Ephron, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson