Toy Story 4
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I see this Euro sci-fi-action brought Guy Pearce shifting into action-man mode.
Action specialist and co-writer/producer Luc Besson has fashioned another slick thriller - with a twist of sci-fi - to rank alongside this Transporter franchise; while a buff Pearce does his best in a role more suited to Jason Statham. Fans of John Carpenter's Escape from New York will immediately recognise the premise although it's safe to say that Snow is no Snake Plissken!
Maggie Grace is as good as ever as the damsel in distress and the supporting actors do a bang up job as well. Guess what this is one of three Grace-Besson films including Taken sequels.
Magnificent! Excitement! Funny! As the first Walt Disney Animation Studios movie to draw directly from Marvel Comics' rich history, Big Hero 6 is a thrillingly bright and energetic superhero team origin adventure, brimming with all the high-velocity aerobatic action scenes and neat sci-fi trimmings we've come to expect from any live-action Marvel Studios product.
The film's Marvelesque 'catch the mystery villain' central plot doesn't kick in until halfway through, prompting a tech-driven supergroup formation so speedy it makes Stark Industries (Iron Man series) look positively medieval. And while fun-for-the-kids in a Scooby-Doo-meets-Power-Rangers kinda way, it's not nearly as universally affecting as what lies at the story's distinctly more-Disney heart: the relationship between 14-year-old whizzkid Hiro (Ryan Potter) and his inherited "healthcare companion", Baymax (Scott Adsit).
It's in the burgeoning, Iron Giant-style friendship between Baymax and Hiro that we find Big Hero 6's most humorous and heartwarming moments, especially during the early stages of the film, as the guileless inflatable sidekick with the limitless medical knowledge proves entertainingly incongruous to high-stakes adventure.
Later, Hiro forms the titular group, drawn from his science-nerd chums, pimping and weaponising their own inventions. Baymax is squished into bright-scarlet battle armour and like Neo before him, he learns kung fu in an instant. While there's huge entertainment in the action scenes that follow, you can't help feeling that something's become a little bit lost in the mix.
Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, though, revel in their incidentally multicultural setting and the border-blurring hybrid city San Fransokyo is a joyous blend of neon-washed alleyways and Miyazaki-referencing sky turbines, whirring high above the city's streets. There is also, wedged somewhere in there, a welcome message about the value of not-for-profit scientific research... Even if it does concern laser-blades, monster suits, nanotechnology and big, friendly balloon-bots.
Sam Taylor-Johnson's film of E.L. James's Twilight fan fiction-turned-phenomenon is dreadful to be laughable nor so brilliant to be powerful.
Instead, they get a sparky first third, a rote obsessive love story, anodyne kinkiness, contentious sexual politics, slivers of skillful filmmaking and a promising turn from Dakota Johnson (daughter of actress Melanie Griffiths and actor Don Johnson).
The set-up is a simple one: bookish Anastasia steele (Johnson) meets Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), a business tycoon hiding a troubled past, a lust for BDSM and a penchant for playing really miserable tunes on the piano. He lavishes his wealth on her hoping she'll sign a contract to become his "submissive". She yearns for a more typical movie-and-a-dinner-type relationship but tests her 'hard' and 'soft' limits anyway.
As the emotions get more intense and we begin to learn the motivations underpinning Grey's need for dominance, the film gets bogged down in repetitive, earnest romantic drama.
Dornan as Grey is no hero, and Johnson was so understated it was like she wasn't even there at all. she gives Anastasia both a strength and sense of humour.
Sprawling, relentlessly entertaining thriller of South Korea's Ocean Elevens, with it's star studded ensemble cast from South Korea and Hong Kong combining forces for the most parts in what would be a casino and jewel caper. It was a real treat and a wild ride to have the usual plot developments of the genre, with the betrayals and conflicting motivations all clashing together, and delivered with pin point perfection.
The story is pretty decent overall... nothing fancy or overly challenging. The first half of the film primarily brings everybody together to work on the plan to steal the diamond, while revealing their past histories and present interpersonal relationships. The second half ultimately brings all their story lines and individual objectives to a head under a heavy dose of fairly impressive action scenes.
My favorite actress by far Kim Hye-soo or Gianna Jun. Gianna played Catwoman type of character. Kim Hye-soo is a better actress and she knows how to play up the sexy cat burglar character, without being annoying.
What a bicycle chase in this action film I ever seen. The greatest challenge of Premium Rush is that its heroes are the sort of people whose deaths drivers and pedestrians alike quietly, guiltily plot as they disobey every rule of the road and run through red lights as if they were merely a suggestion. They are bicycle couriers, young people to whom speed limits are a challenge and pedestrians something to be mown down for points.
Yet you do warm to them. Or more specifically, you warm to Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays Wilee, a rider who doesn't believe in brakes and has been trusted with delivering a package that contains something of great importance and secrecy. Wilee's name should give you a good idea of the tone of the film. At one point someone even asks, "Wilee? Like the coyote?" Yes, like Looney Tunes. This all plays like a cartoon: incredibly simple on plot, even if it does try to make it seem more complex by jumping around the flashbacks; extremely fast-paced; and with characters who are all very definitely good guys or bad guys.
Wilee, of course, is not actually the coyote; he is the Road Runner. The coyote to Wilee's... weird blue bird is Michael Shannon as Bobby, a man trying to intercept the package in order to get himself out of a very sticky and probably very fatal situation. Bobby is the sort of dedicated, enthusiastically evil villain you'd typically find tying damsels to train tracks. Shannon squeezes everything out of it, hitting a good seven on the Wheel-O-Crazy (Nicholas Cage in anything since about 2005 being the perfect 10). In almost any other movie it would be too much, but here it's just right. It is a joy to despise him.
David Koepp moves everything thrillingly. About 90 per cent of scenes take place in excess of the speed limit, weaving perilously through Manhattan's notoriously lawless streets. There are huge holes in its logic, but to poke around in these holes would be to overthink something that demands none. However, having kept everything so light, Koepp makes an odd choice in the ending. It's out of step with the tone of everything that's gone before; not enough to spoil it, but still needlessly vicious. When the ride finally comes to a halt, nobody wants it to be with a jolting crash.