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Once upon a time in Venice (2017)

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SummaryOnce upon a time in Venice

Steve Ford is a down but not out L.A based Private Investigator whose professional and personal worlds collide after his loving pet Buddy is stolen by a notorious gang. A series of crazy circumstances find him doing the gang’s bidding, while being chased by two vengeful Samoan brothers, a loan shark’s goons, and a few other shady characters. They say a dog is a man’s best friend, and Steve shows how far a man will go to be reunited with him.

Genre : Action/Comedy
Country : USA

Cast :
Bruce Willis: Steve Ford
John Goodman : Dave
Jason Momoa : Spider

Director :
Mark Cullen

My opinion on “Once upon a time in Venice”

“Never fuck with a man’s dog.”

Either Venice Beach in L.A. is a tiny place at the ocean. Or Bruce Willis knows how to move around with incredibly speed. Because the pace at which he pops up in different places is impressive. Fortunately, it’s not full naked on a skateboard the whole time, because that wasn’t a pretty sight. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Aftermath“, you can see that aging is getting to Bruce Willis. The result is a set of not so tight buttocks. But they are still muscular enough to clamp a revolver in between.

Once upon a time in Venice
Again there’s a dog involved.

Once upon a time in Venice” is a fairly chaotic story where Steve Ford (Bruce Willis), a private detective who solves ludicrous cases most of the time, gets into a lot of trouble when his dog is being stolen by a local gang. Well, John Wick also shot a bunch of gangsters, after they’ve killed his cute little dog. Proof that you should be careful with dog owners. Before Steve realizes it, he needs to fullfill a few assignments to get his dog back. And trust me, a few of those clients look and act absolutely weird.

Once upon a time in Venice
Bruce had fun here.

Despite the satirical mood and some highly amusing characters, the whole story isn’t so impressive. Perhaps it was their intention to make an action comedy, but unfortunately the humorous section was quite disappointing and the action part was limited to a number of skirmishes in the end. To be honest, for once, it’s the enthusiasm of Bruce Willis‘s acting that surprised me. In this movie he doesn’t have that uninterested, tired look and nonchalant attitude as he demonstrated before in a few meaningless films. No, once again you could see him appear with his sympathetic, cheerful look while quoting a few one-liners (though they weren’t really witty). This time it felt as if the paycheck wasn’t the main reason for him to participate in this film. The movie poster reminded me immediately of “The Last Boy Scout“. Come to think of it. Wasn’t he planning to buy a dog for his wife in that movie as well? In all probability a coincidence, I guess.

Once upon a time in Venice
Give John Goodman a cigar
.

Personally I thought John Goodman (Did he loose weight?) stole the show as Steve’s sidekick. His character looks as if he came straight out of “The Big Lebowski“. A peculiar person and owner of a surf shop whose life is riding a fatalistic rollercoaster because of a messy divorce. But the moment he takes part in the action, as Steve’s partner, he’s as happy as a pig in shoes. The surprised look on his face when he sees Steve’s weapon arsenal, is comparable to his overall performance. It’s as if John Goodman didn’t really know why he was in this movie in the first place. Which made it even more funny. Also Jason Momoa (last seen in “Bad Batch” playing an interesting role) did a great job. On the one hand, a lame persiflage-like part. But because it was greatly exaggerated, it became funny as well. And in between, you’ll see a Jewish real estate owner called “Lew the Jew” (Adam Goldberg), who’s troubled by a fanatic graffiti artist who paints explicit pornographic artwork on his buildings.

Once upon a time in Venice
Kind of a relief to see Bruce Willis enjoying himself.

I often felt embarrassed about certain scenes while watching this movie. On the one hand, it was fun to see Bruce Willis acting with visible pleasure and without scruples. On the other hand, there were also some awkward performances to admire and the humorous level wasn’t comparable to what Willis had done in the past. Perhaps it was a movie unworthy of such an actor as Bruce Willis, but compared to the other monstrosities he appeared in in the recent past, this comedy/action movie was still a little bit of an improvement.

My rating 5/10
Links : IMDB

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Final Fantasy XVI | Official Reveal Trailer – HD | PS5

Check out the debut trailer for FF16 (Final Fantasy XVI), revealed during the PS5 showcase in September 2020.

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Genre:

RPG

Producer:

Naoki Yoshida

Console:

PS5, PC

Release Date:

2021

Plot Summary:

“The legacy of the crystals has shaped our history for long enough,”

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The Silencing | Great Cinematography From A Low Budget Film

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I need to see that girl.
She could be my daughter.

 

It’s always nice to see how actors from a successful television series cope in a feature film. And especially if the genre is quite different from what they played in that series. Here Nikolaj Coster-Waldau makes a decent attempt to show that he has more to offer than playing a king’s son who prefers to perform gymnastic exercises with his sister between the sheets. His performance here is on a similar level to that of Jaime Lannister in “Game of Thrones”. Convincing enough, but not exactly of exceptional quality. A role that doesn’t annoy you. But every time you see his face somewhere, you have to think for a moment where you know that face from. This is also the case here in “The Silencing”. I was like, “Damn, where do I know this guy from?”. Only after fifteen minutes or so, I could figure it out.

 

 

Where there’s grief, there’s booze.

The Silencing” itself is of the same level. Certainly not a bad movie. But also not a movie that’ll blow you away. The story felt a bit incomplete to me. There were some improbabilities (not to say completely nonsensical decisions). And the denouement with the disclosure of the perpetrator and his motivation, I personally found a bit far-fetched. The film had something “Silence of the Lambs“-ish but then set in an extensive, forest-like nature reserve. An area managed by Rayborn Swanson (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that has been given the name “Gwen Swanson sanctuary”. A reference to his daughter who has been missing for 5 years. It’s a place where animals can live undisturbed and protected, far from hunters and poachers. Rayborn lives an isolated life far from the civilized world. A way to silently grief about the loss of his daughter. Usually by consuming liters of alcohol. A bit strange because that’s exactly what caused that disappearance.

 

 

There’s a serial killer on the loose.

The story gets a little bit more exciting the moment a serial killer comes into the picture. Someone who probably watched “The Hunt” too much. What follows, is a cat-and-mouse game with the participation of the local female sheriff Alice Gustafson (Annabelle Wallis, series-loving fans will recognize her from “Peaky Blinders”) who herself has her hands full with the stupidities her little brother Brooks (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), a drug addict with a traumatic past.

 

 

Ridiculous things.

Without a doubt, this could have been a much better, coherent movie, provided the script was changed a bit. It’s linked together with hooks and eyes. Full of coincidences and ridiculous twists. Decisions are made that are too ridiculous for words. Alice’s surprising action at one point is understandable on the one hand. But on the other hand completely unreal. And the indifference that those involved show afterward as if nothing had ever happened, made me frown for a moment. Rayborn’s paint pot trick seemed so absurd and stupid that I spontaneously burst out laughing. Not exactly applicable to a serious thriller about a serial killer.

 

Mediocrity rules.

The Silencing” isn’t so great. A mediocre piece of movie. Actually, you could say that you’ve seen it all before in other movies. And much better movies too. Cinematographically it looks professional (despite the low budget) and the general mood is also good. But, when you love watching exciting flicks with nerve-racking suspense, you’ll be disappointed. The only thing I can’t say anything wrong about is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s acting. Solid and constant. Just like in “Game of Thrones“. Again a pitiful persona. But I’m sure I won’t recognize him in his next feature. Once again.

 

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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Dune – Official Trailer | Beyond Fear, Destiny Awaits

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Genre:

Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi

Release Date:

December 18, 2020

Director :

Denis Villeneuve

Cast:

Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac

Plot Summary:

Paul Atreides leads nomadic tribes in a battle to control the desert planet Arrakis.

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