REVIEW: Hellboy [2019]

It looked bigger in the cartoon. There’s no getting around the fact that Lionsgate did Guillermo del Toro dirty by not extending him an invitation to complete his Hellboy vision with a third film. Whether their decision was due to whatever rubric used to measure the franchise’s success (that they’d willingly reboot the property so soon shows it was viable enough) or creator Mike Mignola wanting to bring things back to where he thought they should be (as was floated around), they turned their back on a soon-to-be Oscar winning…

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REVIEW: Black Mass [2015]

“If nobody sees it, it didn’t happen” The story of Southie crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) is perfectly suited for a sprawling, character-driven cinematic adaptation because of the corruption level involved. Based on the book by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, Black Mass screenwriters Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth take us through an in-depth look at a local gangster making good on his promise to watch out for South Boston just as he helps ruin it with drugs and murder before ultimately transforming into an…

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REVIEW: The Equalizer [2014]

“Change your world” It may be because I knew beforehand that Antoine Fuqua‘s The Equalizer was based on an old 80s TV show (from Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim), but it felt very episodic in a way that made it utterly boring. There’s that time Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) helps his coworker lose weight. That time he gives a troubled young prostitute a reason to smile. Don’t forget when he helps someone out of a jam with some corrupt cops. Or when he takes down a Russian mob syndicate single-handedly.…

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REVIEW: Snitch [2013]

“You just have to trust me” Watching the trailer for Ric Roman Waugh‘s Snitch had me believing the film would be a high-octane actioner in the vein of Dwayne Johnson‘s other one-word titled thriller Faster. Between the depiction of The Rock’s John Matthews going undercover with the DEA to bring down a narcotics kingpin and the writer/director’s past as a stuntman/stunt coordinator, it seemed a pretty easy leap to make. Interestingly enough, however, this isn’t the case and I’m torn whether that realization is a positive or negative. Generally action…

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REVIEW: Knife Fight [2013]

“WWMD: What would Machiavelli Do?” With five nominations and two wins from the Academy Awards for documentary work, director Bill Guttentag set his sights on the world of political strategists with a potential for eye-opening revelations. Unfortunately it didn’t take long to realize acquiring usable, candid footage would be impossible when the presidential candidates he interviewed refused to be on the record. They weren’t going to allow their backhanded deals, amoral treachery, and back alley tactics see the light of day—especially not in their own words. No, for Knife Fight…

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REVIEW: End of Watch [2012]

“Comfortable footwear. Police is all about comfortable footwear.” If David Ayer is to be believed, life as a South Central L.A. cop is a ticking time bomb ready to explode. What the region isn’t, however, is a cesspool of corrupt officers on the take forming yet one more gang of street thugs to combat. This is a new development in a career built on the nefarious deeds of men in power and the amorality of fresh blood taken under their wings. The writer/director of Harsh Times, Street Kings, and scribe…

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REVIEW: The Green Hornet [2011]

“Don’t thank him. He did nothing.” Don’t be surprised when you find that the new incarnation of The Green Hornet has taken a very different path from its predecessors. The trailer should address this issue, but the simple fact Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are the duo tackling the escapades of George W. Trendle’s characters will if not. The two had great success with their semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale of high school angst in Superbad and took a well-orchestrated shot at making action funny with Pineapple Express. It’s not hard to…

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