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Avengement – Bloody Action and Superb Practical Effects Make for Another Classic

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Genre : Action
Rating : Unrated
Director: Jesse V. Johnson

Cast:
Scott Adkins
Craig Fairbass
Nick Moran

 

 

 

As different as film genres can be, they also have quite a bit in common. Good writing is always important, clowns always make for a good villain and everyone loves a good, old fashioned team up. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about the cinematic soul mates like Scorsese and De Niro working together on a dramatic masterpiece like Raging Bull or Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg creating comedic gold a proper team up can bring out the best in a movie. In the world of action movies few have shown the chemistry of action star Scott Adkins and director Jesse V. Johnson. Since 2017’s Savage Dog this dynamic duo have put out some of the most criminally overlooked action movies of the past couple of years. After the martial arts wet dream known as Triple Threat they together once again to traverse some of the grimier streets of England with Avengement.

 

After nearly a decade behind bars, lowly criminal Cain (Adkins) escapes from police custody. Imprisoned for petty crime a naive Cain is quickly hardened by life in prison. Training to survive Cain only has one thing in his mind, vengeance. With a price on his head he takes a mob-owned pub hostage waiting for the man behind the hit; his own brother.

 

Their fifth collaboration over the past two years, Adkins and Johnson have developed the kind of chemistry that translates perfectly to the big screen. A former stuntman himself Johnson has the kind of skill filming martial arts movies that few others have. Avoiding handheld camera as often as possible, Johnson is able to capture every one of Adkins’s bone crunching hits in beautiful wide shots and long, unbroken takes. Showing a refinement missing in past movies Johnson’s talent behind the camera shines during Avengement‘s final fight. Despite a convoluted plot and perhaps one too many plot twists Johnson is able to capture fight scenes with speed and brutality that would make John Wick blush. Of course, one of the few people who can keep up with Mr. Wick is our star, Scott Adkins.

 

In a Scott Adkins film top flight martial arts action is practically a given. A black belt of nearly a dozen disciplines Adkins is one of the most accomplished martial artists in film today. What is surprising is how his acting was just as good in Avengement. Although he isn’t a bad actor by Adkins’s roles aren’t usually too meaty. For the most part he is cast as a generic hero or an irredeemable villain. Thankfully Avengement gives Adkins a bit more to work with. Through a bit too many flashbacks we see Cain go from a bumbling wannabe criminal to the grizzled fighter he becomes. Aside from a thick English accent it makes for a fun, if terribly cliché, journey.

 

In a world where action cinema tends to feel homogenized Scott Adkins and Jesse V. Johnson give audiences a breath of fresh air. Leaning more towards the brutal style seen in their first collaboration, Savage Dog, Avengement is a gory mix of Bronson and The Hateful Eight with a hint of Green Street Hooligans to top it off. And while it may not be the most original of movies it’s mix of hand-to-hand combat, bloody action and superb practical effects make for another classic from action’s very own gruesome twosome.

 

Rating 6/10
Links : IMDB

Avengement is now in theaters and on VOD

 

Action

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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