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Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

Shadow’s Overall Rating: 8/10– Over-the-top violence and fun that is definitely worth a trip to the theaters and a slot on the DVD shelf.

Shadow’s Theater Rating: 10/10– So Much Fun!
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 8/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 73%, 6.7/10
Audience: 89%, 8.4/10

Plot in a Nutshell: A secret spy agency, The Kingsman, scramble to stop the plot of some evil rich dude while at the same time training new recruits to join their agency. And then add a large helping of VIOLENCE and an even larger helping of FUN!

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Spoiler Free Thoughts…

– With so many movies taking themselves way to seriously, it is good to run into a movie that realizes its only purpose is to entertain you. And this movie is exactly that. It was fun from the moment it started to the very end. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but in the good way. It IS over-the-top but it isn’t over-the-top silly. If that makes any sense. If you don’t like having fun, do not go see this movie.

– Also, if you do not like violence, do not go see this movie. Holy shit, this movie earned its R rating big time. There are a couple of scenes that will make you cringe a bit for sure. If you can’t handle people getting stabbed in the face, this is not your movie.

– The acting was great in this all around, even from the “kids” of the group which is great. Younger people acting can easily pass into that, “I hate this douschebag” territory but that never happened. You end up cheering for the main character Eggsy, which means he was built up properly. And Colin Firth was on top of his game and kicked a lot of ass as well.

– The villains of the movie continued this over the top theme. Jackon’s Mr. Valentine was incredibly odd, hilarious, and had a perfect, ridiculous evil plan that fit perfectly with a movie like this. He was essentially a Bond villain, and even his partner, the Asian with the knife legs Gazelle, was a perfect side kick. She was simply brutal and thankfully she wasn’t just a “henchmen” but actually seemed like a partner of sorts to the plans. Valentine was certainly the brains and she was certainly the muscle but it felt like a partnership, not a “rich guy hires bodyguard” relationship.

– The action scenes in this movie were BRUTAL. The church scene in particular… holy shit mane.

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Spoiler Filled Thoughts After the Jump…

Continue reading Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

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Olympus Has Fallen Review (Rating Only)

Shadow’s Overall Rating: — Your typical slightly above average action flick that you will watch but then not remember much about it a week later.

Shadow’s Initial Viewing Rating: 6/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 4/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 48%, 5.4/10
Audience: 67%, 7.4/10

Plot in a Nutshell: One of the most ridiculous scenarios happens that results in Korea? controlling the White House and a Secret Service agent has to go in get it back. Violently. Generically. Acting was solid all around though.

 

The Equilizer Review

Shadow’s Overall Rating: 6/10– Solid movie I just wanted a bit more action and this movie was more of a slow burn than anticipated.

Shadow’s Initial Rating: 7/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 5/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 61%, 5.7/10
Audience: 78%, 6.8/10

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Plot in a Nutshell: Someone crossed an ex-CIA/scary guy agent/mean Denzel which resulted in lots of murder/death/kill. Instead of leaving it alone, they continue to cross him resulting in even more murder/death/kill.

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Spoiler Free Thoughts…

– I thought this movie was going to be closer to Taken but it was definitely slower than that and therefore not as good in my opinion. I think with a touch more action it could have been at that level as Denzel’s character was a BOSS and a cross between the Taken guy and Rambo (you will know what I am talking about when you watch the movie).

– Denzel was awesome once again.

– What pissed me off a lot was the “pan away and see all the people Denzel killed but not show any of it.” It was a way to show him as a bad ass as he mowed through people… but they wouldn’t show it which was infuriating. Especially at the end I was like… WTF SHOW ME HES A BAD ASS DONT IMPLY PLEASE!!

– The home improvement store scene was an added bonus… was expecting pure gun and hand to hand action and instead it gave us some improvised Rambo stuff. Das it.

– Sadly though, I think the first action scene was the best in the movie.

 

A Look Back At My 10 Anticipated Movies of 2014

I thought it would be interesting to see if my pre-2014 expectations matched what was actually produced on screen.

Honorable Mention: Transformers 4, Ninja Turtles, Expendables 3
– Expendables was trash and it would have been off the list entirely if I heard it was PG13 before I made the list. Transformers was the same shit recycled and the 10 minutes of Dinobots didn’t make up for it. Ninja Turtles was GREAT in spots and STUPID AS HELL in other spots but it probably still earned the honorable mention spot.

#10: Hercules
– While not the movie I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it seems worthy to be on my list.

#9: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
– Swing and a miss here. I mentioned “something missing” about it in the lead up to the movie. The something missing was a coherent plot and a streamlined Spider-Man movie.

#8: Godzilla
– Hmmmm… didn’t quite live up to the hype. Sure, 10 minutes of the movie certainly did but the rest… nope, not at all.

#7: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
– Deserved its spot, probably deserved #6 in hindsight. Great movie… it being this low is a testament to the year, not the movie itself.

#6: 300: Rise of an Empire
– I keep forgetting this movie came out last year. While entertaining, #6 is way too high but it probably still sneaks in the top 10.

#5: The Raid 2
#4: X-Men: Days of Future Past
#3: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
#2: Guardians of the Galaxy
#1: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

– I pretty much nailed this. Sure, the order would change a touch but these were my favorite five movies this year.

Movies I Missed: There were a couple movies I missed, either because I wasn’t expected them to be worth a crap or they flew under the radar. Doubtful all of these would have made the top 10 but they should have at least been honorable mentions. Off the top of my head…

– John Wick
– Edge of Tomorrow
– The Lego Movie
– The Equilizer

3 Days to Kill Review (Rating Only)

Shadow’s Overall Rating: 3/10– BORING

Shadow’s Initial Rating: 3/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 0/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 29%, 4.5/10
Audience: 45%, 6.4/10

Plot in a Nutshell: The 3 Days to Kill is in reference to this main character (who I forgot the name) having to kill three days hanging out with his estranged daughter. Not 3 days to kill as many people as possible which would be cool as fuck. So… yeah…

The Expendables 3 Review

Shadow’s Overall Rating: 4/10– It lost all its charm, violence, and basically… fun. It was pretty much just boring.

Shadow’s Initial Rating: 4/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 4/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 32%, 4.8/10
Audience: 50%, 6.6/10

Plot in a Nutshell: Lots of guns, bullets, explosions, worn out phrases, bad acting, characters you don’t and won’t care about… with no charm and no blood.

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SPOILER FILLED Thoughts Because This Movie Isn’t Good Enough For Two Sections….

– Expendables 1 tried to be a “real movie” which didn’t really work but it had enough bad ass action (AUTOMATIC SHOT GUN! Jet Li! VIOLENCE!) to at least make it passable. Expendables 2 said FUCK THIS and went full on not give a shit mode with ridiculous violence and ridiculous scenes which basically worked (for me anyway) and made a pretty damn fun movie. Plus had a bunch of old school actors having fun.

Expendables 3 had none of those qualities. The bloodless violence felt… wrong. The movie was simply way too clean. E3 tabled the old school guys you actually cared about and put in a bunch of new actors you don’t care about (some of them are not even actors) for huge chunks of the movie. The movie was just boring.

– The PG13 rating made this movie look ridiculous. People were getting shot (even with an automatic shot gun!), necks were getting sliced, people getting stabbed… no blood. It was so fucking stupid.

-The first part of the movie was actually just fine. The addition of Wesley Snipes was gold. His character was great and he fit in just fine with the rest of the old farts. Once the movie transitioned to adding in the “new” Expendables… the movie got fucking boring and stupid.

– The other old timer additions served their purpose as well. Harrison Ford was a fine replacement for Bruce Willis. Kelsey Grammar fit his role. And Antonio Banderas character had charm and would have fit in perfectly with the old fart club.

– It was the addition of the new guys which fucking torpedoed this movie. They were cliche as hell, horrible actors (jesus Rousey), and just plain fucking useless. It would be one thing if this movie infused some young blood by actually using young actors who were you know… good and known but shelving the old farts we care about for a boxer, a womans mma fighter, some dude from twilight and a couple dudes I have no idea who they hell they even are? Da fuck?

– I haven’t touched on Mel Gibson yet… he was more than adequate although I thought the ending was stupid as fuck. He was pretty much the same character as JVD in Expendables 2 except more crazy and less limber. He wasn’t really given much to do in this movie besides be crazy.

– Sidelining Terry Crews in the first act of the movie… GOD DAMNIT WHY! That dude is epic and fits these movies to a tea. Why not shoot Randy Couture or some shit? Fuck man. Crew’s automatic shotgun in Expendables 1 is the best part of the movie by far.

– More dumb decisions… bringing in Jet Li (YES!)… and then letting him do zero martial arts stuff. WTF? You don’t bring in Jet Li to sit on a helicopter and shoot guns. We want to see him kick ass! WTF!!!!

– One more criticism that hurts my heart the most… god damn it Arnold just stop. This is just getting fucking sad at this point. “GET TO THE CHOPPA” NO NO NO NO! Don’t you tarnish Predator with this shit. All Arnold has done since he stopped being Governator is make poop movies, look flabby, and drop one liners in movies like this that are getting old. In Expendables 2, it had some charm because the whole movie was hammy as hell on purpose. In this movie? It just felt corny as hell and like a last grasp of trying to stay relevant.

Maleficient Review

Shadow’s Overall Rating: 2/10– For fucksake how did this movie make so much money? It was part boring, part nonsensical, and all around stupid. Watch this morning if you want to see a man-hating, bastardized story staring a villain who of course isn’t a villain.

Shadow’s Initial Rating: 2/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 0/10– Never again

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 49%, 5.7/10
Audience Rating: 72%, 7.6/10

Plot in a Nutshell: The classic Sleeping Beauty story told in live action and taking Maleficient and giving her all the important parts in the movie. Seriously.

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SPOILER-ISH Thoughts Below Because This Movie Sucks Too Much For Two Sections…

– This movie is fucking dumb. Whatever you remember about Sleeping Beauty just for get it now. Seriously.

– So Sleeping Beauty from my memory… King has daughter. Maleficient curses the daughter because she is a mean SOB. Fairies raise daughter. Daughter falls into deep sleep. Awaken by kiss from prince. DRAGON FIGHT. Dead Maleficient. Yeah… all that… FUCK THAT DISNEY IS CHANGING THAT BITCH BECAUSE… I don’t know?

– Instead, Maleficient just does EVERYTHING. Of course, she isn’t a “bad person,” instead she was wronged by some DICKHEAD DUDE! so its justified to curse a baby? Right? Oh and she adds the ending of the curse about the kiss. Oh and then of course, Maleficient ends up raising the baby because the fairy’s are incompetent as a whole and also VERY FUCKING ANNOYING AND MAKE YOU WISH THEY WOULD DIE. Oh and then also, Maleficient is the one who wakes Aurora up with a kiss and not some INCOMPETENT DUDE BECAUSE FUCK MEN! Seriously… instead of making a movie about a tragic villain… the made a movie about a person who plays all the parts of the movie.

– The plot holes in this movie are just fucking insane. One of the biggest… so this kid cuts off Maleficient’s wings after drugging her of course (damn dude you crazy). She is a fairy. So… she didn’t tell everyone what happened? The other fairies didn’t know what happened? They just willingly went to the King’s castle to bless this baby because… the fairies are stupid? Incompetent? Hate Maleficient and prefer to help a dude who drugged a fairy and cut off her wings for power? What? What since does that make?

– And the ending was just so fucking stupid. You have this basically telekinetic, super power magic fairy who suddenly forgets she has powers at the end when fighting all the MEAN GUYS! Oh and she DOESN’T EVEN TURN INTO A DRAGON! Her… slave? crow? does.

– And of course, Maleficient is such a savior that she doesn’t even kill the king.. .king basically kills himself on accident.

FUCK THIS MOVIE

– Most of this movie was actually spend with Maleficient stalking a young child and calling her names. Seriously. I want my dollar back.

 

Jack Reacher Review (Rating Only)

Shadow’s Overall Rating: 4/10– Just your average, action/suspense, Tom Cruise movie. I already forget most of the plot points.

Shadow’s Initial Viewing Rating: 5/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 1/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 61%, 6.2/10
Audience: 67%, 6.2/10

Plot in a Nutshell: Something about a murder mystery with some mysterious Jack Reacher dude who is like part Sherlocke Holmes, part Punisher or something? I really don’t know, this movie was completely forgettable.

The Lego Movie Review (Rating Only)

Shadow’s Rating: 6/10– Don’t be fooled by the “low” rating… this is a must see movie… once. I don’t think it would be as enjoyable the subsequent times but it is really fun, different, and funny that is for sure.

Shadow’s Initial Rating: 8/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 5/10

Rotten Tomato’s Rating: 96%, 8.1/10
Audience: 87%, 8.6/10

Plot in a Nutshell: Ordinary Lego guy must join forces with “Master Builders” to try and stop some Lego bad guy… and them BAM! movie hits you right in the feels.

John Wick Review

Shadow’s Overall Rating: 7/10– Old school, alpha male, one man army action movie with enough back story and plot to keep you interested between all the destruction.

Shadow’s Theater Rating: 7/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 7/10

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 86%, 6.9/10
Audience: 84%, 8/10

Plot in a Nutshell: Some idiot kills an epic retired assassins puppy that was a gift from his dead wife. Take a guess what happens next…

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Spoiler-Free Thoughts…

– YES! You don’t get many movies like this anymore outside of the comic book genre. This movie was a throw back to the one man army, alpha male days. John Wick killed about a billion people in this movie.

– This  is the type of role Reeves does very well. 99% of his lines were on point (but he doesn’t say much). Wick just basically went around eliminating people with gun shot wounds to the skull.

– The fighting style was cool as fuck. Lots of intricate gun work here. Felt a bit… fresher that other action scenes based on pistols. It was like the dude from Taken was upgraded to John Wick.

– The plot… GOOD ENOUGH! It is a classic revenge tale (done a little different). It moves the story along from action-to-action quite well. There was nothing unnecessary in this movie so it always had your attention from the word go.

– What was interesting and unexpected was the world building in this movie. It makes you want to know more about this world of assassins. There was no exposition or narration explaining all the behind the scenes stuff. It just shows it and let’s your mind fill in the blanks. It was really, really cool and I would love a sequel showing us more of that world.

– The villains were pretty generic to be honest but that just means more focus on Wick. They were good enough, nothing sensational to the point I don’t even remember their name other than “Russian dudes.”

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There is no “spoilery” discussion because I don’t really have anymore to say. This is just an old, school, kick-ass movie we get maybe once a year these days. Go see it and support it so we get these type of movies more often.