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Atomic Blonde (2017)

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SuAtomic Blondemmary

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

Genre : Action/Thriller
Country : Germany/Sweden/USA

Cast :
Charlize Theron : Lorraine Broughton
James McAvoy : David Percival
John Goodman : Emmett Kurzfeld

Director :
David Leitch

My opinion on “Atomic Blonde”

“You know those movies where the picture just starts to slow down…
and melt?
Then catch fire?
Well… that’s Berlin.”

What was the overall feeling after watching “Atomic Blonde“? For me it was a mixture of confusion and excitement at the same time. Confusion because of the complex story with a multitude of twists and spy related mumbo jumbo. To be honest, I always have that with this kind of movies. So you can assume that I’m not a big fan of espionage movies. Not even James Bond movies. Even though these story lines are rather straightforward and simplistic in my eyes. Atomic Blonde” on the other hand is in a different league. At a certain point I didn’t know anymore what was going on and what role the main characters played. I even forgot the main goal. The only things I still could reimagine in the end, were the fierce action scenes and the appetizing looking curves of Charlize Terron. Should all female spies in a movie use the same wardrobe as Terron did here, I instantly would become a fervent fan of this genre. There’s nothing so exciting as a blonde shrew, wearing sensual knee-length boots and sexy suspenders, who gives her male opponents a solid kick in their glockenspiel.

Atomic Blonde

The one responsible for putting together the playlist, is a genius.

Guess what. I was more excited about the soundtrack used here. Perhaps this was disruptive to some but personally I thought this was pleasant addition. Well, maybe it’s because I’m a hard-core fan of music from the 80’s. And I’m not talking about boysbands or disco music, but the underground and alternative kind of music. Unfortunately, they had to choose the most annoying song from the entire Neue Deutsche Welle repertoire. During that period I often wished for Nena to disappear with her 99 air balloons beyond the horizon. It would have been way better to include “Stunde des Glücks” from Fehlfarben or “Schlachtet!” From Grauzone. But besides this weak moment, I was pleasantly surprised to hear “Cities in dust” from Siouxsie & the Banshees, “Cat People” by David Bowie and “I ran” from A flock or seagulls. In terms of mood, this musical framework certainly made for a positive feeling. In retrospect, I’ll remember this playlist more than the movie itself.

Atomic Blonde

Spies and ultra-secret lists. Not a healthy combination.

It’s all about an ultra-secret list (hidden in a wristwatch) with names of spies who are actively working in the Soviet Union doing … uh … I suppose spy-work. The entire film is situated in dark Berlin of the 80’s, where the ultimate symbol of the cold war still stands. The Berlin wall. It’s in the shadow of this gray decor where this spy movie takes place. In this post-war city, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) tries to get the list back together with colleague spy David Percival (James McAvoy), who has his own agenda apparently. The fact there are other sharks in this spy-pond who are interested in getting that list, is something Lorraine experiences real soon. The entire story is displayed in flashback mode. The whole story is being told by Lorraine during a debriefing in the presence of Eric Gray (Toby Jones), some superior at MI6, and Emmett Kurzfeld (John Goodman) from the C.I.A. What follows are some badass action sequences that’ll thrill you. Unfortunately, these impressive, action-filled scenes are no guarantee to make it a memorable movie .

Atomic Blonde

A limited number of action scenes, but they are sublime choreographed.

Perhaps it was the intention to make a female “John Wick” spin-off. But unlike the latter, where action scenes followed eachother in a breathtaking pace, this movie only contains three (sublime choreographed) violent and action-packed scenes. First the German Polizei notices that the colour of their green uniforms is replaced by the colour of emerging bruises and dripping blood. And as icing on the cake you’ll be presented with a damn elongated scene where KGB agents are being banged up pretty bad. Next you’ll see an intense car chase across Berlin. And then you’ll get a plot twist involving double agents and counterespionage shizzle. And that’s where I suddenly lost the thread. To be honest, that’s it in a nutshell. Even the lesbian it’s-supposed-to-be-a-hot scene wasn’t interesting enough to get me ecstatic. In my view, this was added just so the presence of Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) seemed functional again.

Atomic Blonde

Nope, it’s not the female “John Wick”.

In terms of acting, it was quite all right, although Charlize Theron impressed me more as Furiosa in “Mad Max: Fury Road“. James McAvoy was sublime. But then again, I  thought he was more convincing as the guy with a split personality in “Split“. Eddie Marsan, John Goodman and Toby Jones complete the rest of the cast and showed once again their acting skills. But despite the brilliant acting, the violent and furious action, the atmospheric images and a soundtrack which made me feel young again, I thought the storyline was incoherent, quite inconsistent and superfluous. You can’t call it the counterpart of “John Wick“. And for those who say this film is amazing because of the fact that it’s an action movie with a female action heroine in it, I suggest to look up these movies and rewatch them : “Alien“, “Terminator“, “Salt” or “Kill Bill“. You’ll also see an action heroine with giant cajones, who’s filletting the other sex (or species) without blinking an eye. But still, highly recommended.

My rating 6/10
Links : IMDB

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Alita : Battle Angel – Fast Paced Action-Rich Combat Scenes

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While I’m learning name, do you have one for me?
Alita.
It’s a nice name.
I love it!

I was really looking forward to this movie “Alita: Battle Angel“. A cyber-punk setting and unparalleled computerized images that are perfectly injected into a real-life environment. Of course, you know Alita (Rosa Salazar) is the result of a hard-working graphic designer who has been sweating for hours behind his computer screen to project a graphic shell onto a real-life person. However, it didn’t bother me. Alita seemed like a lifelike person. Even though she had those unnatural large Bambi eyes. I admit that at the beginning, my eyes always wandered down to her derriere to see if there was such a sweet little wagging tail. But eventually, how strange it might sound, I thought the end result was quite meager. Poor in terms of atmosphere and narrative.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

Cheesy father-daughter story.

Maybe my expectations were a little too high. Or was it the cheesiness of the father-daughter story? There’s the all-consuming grief after the loss of a daughter. A search for a surrogate daughter to appease this sorrow. And that causes Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) scouring the dump of Zalem (the last air city that immediately reminded me of the movie “Elysium“) for discarded cyborg parts, so he could construct Alita. He’s a kind of Frankenstein. But this time using non-human parts.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

Oh no. The romantic part.

Or maybe it was the romantic part. The last thing I needed. Really. The moment Hugo (Keean Johnson) came into the picture, I already knew that this rebel-looking hunk would make a romantic connection with this artificial being. And I really didn’t feel like witnessing romantic frivolities that make young teenage girls float. The only thing you aren’t sure about is the outcome. A happy ending? Or a catastrophic one?

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

The visuals are tremendous.

The only thing I regretted afterward, was that I hadn’t seen it on the silver screen. Probably it will all have been bigger and more impressive. Because frankly, the visuals are really amazing so to call (Not so hard when you see the budget they had). Great eye for details. A city that looks like a run-down anthill where metallic constructions stand next to remnants of the past. And a whole bunch of futuristic technologies and vehicles.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

Past-paced, action-rich combat scenes.

And also, the action-rich combat scenes look great actually. Swirling images in slow motion and impressive choreography you might say. Especially the fight in the bar with Zapan (EdThe transporter refueledSkrein), the skirmish in an alley after she followed Ido and the underground fight with Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley) appealed to my imagination. And finally, there are also the Motorball competitions. Action-packed, fast-paced and mouth-wateringly brought into the picture. It immediately reminded me of the old film “Rollerball” from 1975.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

Impressive visuals, poor story.

But despite all the graphic power and hard action, I found it overall disappointing and moderate. Even though the fighting was extremely solid in terms of views, it was too safe and colored inside the lines. Perhaps because they were aiming at a young audience. But most of all I missed a solid and clear story. The so-called Great War was mentioned, but they didn’t do much more with it. The flying cities were also a complete mystery to me. There was no explanation. Beware, I had the same thing with “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets“. Also, a visually overwhelming film where the story is difficult to understand. This last film is also based on a comic, just like “Alita“. I can imagine that fans of these comics can empathize better with the story. But my biggest annoyance was that at the end I realized that I had watched a lengthy intro to the sequel that is probably already on the table at Twentieth Century Fox. And I hate sequels. Good advice Fox. Provide the continuation with a touch of humor, because that was missing too here.
Conclusion: a film that looks magnificent with a not so impressive story.

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Finally Official – ‘Matrix 4’ Is On The Way With Original Cast

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“Lana is a true visionary, a singular and original creative filmmaker”

This time it’s for real! This is not a drill “Matrix” fans. Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich has confirmed, the computer generated world of ‘The Matrix’ will be returning to the big screen. The original cast will be reprising their roles, while Lana Wachowski will be sharing co-writing duties with Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell. Lana will also be directing the future installment, with no word as of yet if her sister Lilly Wachowski will sign on. But chances are, that may change once things get further underway. Toby Emmerich released an official statement on the project, here’s what he had to say:

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana. Lana is a true visionary, a singular and original creative filmmaker, and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in ‘The Matrix’ universe.”

Though Plot details haven’t been worked out. Lana Wachowski shed some light as to the direction we can expect:

“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”

Keanu Reeves is set to return as Neo with Carrie-Anne Moss reprising her role as the infamous computer hacker, Trinity. How this will all work has yet to be revealed, considering both characters met their demise at the end of the current trilogy. There’s is also no word yet on whether  Laurence Fishbourne will return as the rebellion  leader, Morpheus.

Production is set to begin 2020

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Underwater | Official Trailer – HD

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Genre:

Action, Drama, Horror

Release Date:

January 10, 2020

Director:

William Eubank

Cast:

Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie

Plot Summary:

After an earthquake destroys their underwater station, six researchers must navigate two miles in the dangerous, unknown depths of the ocean floor to make it to safety in a race against time.

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