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Drama

We Die Young – A Fastpaced Gangsta Film That Never Bores

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When Rincon started doing his Shakespeare,
you knew some poor bastard’s about to get smoked.

We Die Young” is not a typical Jean-Claude Van Damme film, where he can show off his trained body. In fact, in this film, the number of times Van Damme is demonstrating his fighting techniques, is almost nil. So don’t expect any splits. Actually, it’s kind of understandable because “The muscles of Brussels” isn’t the youngest anymore. And I can imagine that such efforts are no longer evident.

 

We die young

 

He’s back again.

There’s one advantage. JcvD concentrates more on the acting part than on the more action-rich part. Films such as “Bloodsport” and “Kickboxer” from the 80s were immensely popular. And I admit that I also look back on that with pleasure. Unfortunately, this successful period was followed by a period with fewer successful films. Such as “Alien Uprising” (probably to please his daughter), “Dragon Eyes” and “Welcome to the Jungle“. After the umpteenth crap movie, my decision was made. Best I avoid JcvD films. Until recently. I couldn’t resist watching “The Bouncer” and was pleasantly surprised. Let me quote myself for a moment: “Just when you think that an icon such as Jean-Claude Van Damme is becoming a caricature of himself and in danger of sinking into oblivion, he surprises you with such a part as in this film. The “Muscles from Brussels” got under my skin with his integer and sensitive acting. ” I couldn’t have said it better.

 

We die Young

 

A war veteran and Latinos.

Naturally, I gave “We die young” a chance. Solely to verify whether he could maintain the same level. And I readily admit that he has wonderfully succeeded in convincing me once again. This time he’s not a bouncer of nightclubs in a Brussels neighborhood, but a retired Afghanistan war veteran. A military past that has left traces in the form of PTSD and a set of damaged vocal cords. The latter issue also ensures that you won’t hear any sound out of Van Damme’s mouth. Daniel (Jean-Claude Van Damme) somehow ended up in a slum near Washington D.C. where Latinos (Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13) are in control. A run-down neighborhood where drug addiction is the source of income for this fully tattooed gang members.

 

 

Some more impressive performances.

Next to JcvD also David Castañeda left an impression. His performance as the gang leader and kingpin Rincon is quite impressive. Not only because of his threatening attitude, cruelty, and determination with which he leads his drug gang. But also because he also shows his soft side as guardian of Lucas (Elijah Rodriguez) and Miguel (Nicholas Sean Johnny). And as the protective brother of his physically disabled sister Gabriela (Robyn Cara). The whole story revolves around Lucas who works for Rincon as a drug courier and preferably doesn’t want his younger brother to end up to be part of this gang. When a very important transaction goes wrong, also thanks to the interference of right-hand man Jester (Charlie MacGechan), it’s the start of a nerve-racking and rather action-rich part.

 

We die Young

 

A fastpaced gangsta film that never bores.

Again, don’t expect a typical Van Damme movie. In the end, it’s a rather gloomy film that shows how destructive and dangerous it is to live in a neighborhood controlled by drug gangs. Survival is more the right word because every mistake made, will be punished ruthlessly. This film shows the futureless life of young people there. The title is therefore applicable. Not many can enjoy a long and healthy life in these slums. Of course, you can ask a few questions about “We die young“. Why the hell has Daniel moved there? Was he looking for anonymity? Is he trying to forget about the past? What with his family? Or is he simply alone in this world? Forgotten by those who knew him? Or is it a convenient solution such that he can easily get the painkillers. Those that help him to get rid of delusions and visions? And what about his military skills? Because when it comes to defending, he looks like a klutz. All in all, “We die young” is a must see if you want to see Van Damme again. A fastpaced gangsta film that never bores.

 

My rating 6.5/10
Links: IMDB

 

Drama

Uncut Gems – This Was Actually Worthy Of An Oscar Nomination

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That’s a million dollar opal you are holding.
Straight from the Ethiopian Jewish tribe.

 

Are you in the middle of a nasty divorce? Or are you at home on sick leave because of burnout due to your stressful job that demands too much from you? Or are those two revolting teenagers at home, who go through puberty right now, making you so much upset that you almost have no fingernails anymore? Good advice! Ignore this movie and look for another soothing movie. Because “Uncut Gems” will certainly not be ideal for your peace of mind. I’m afraid that after 20 minutes you’ll be throwing snacks at the screen out of frustration while pulling your hair out of sheer desperation. Because it’s the most stressful film ever. It drives up the tension throughout the whole movie in a merciless way to an extreme level. Believe me, at the end of the film my heart rhythm was proportional to that of the exhilarating rhythm of this tragicomic film.

 

 

Uncut Gems

 

Nerve-wracking at an absurd high pace.

Not only is it a nerve-wracking film. The pace of the film is also absurdly high. A movie like an out of control high-speed train. It seemed as if everyone is running from pillar to post at an inhuman pace. From the beginning of the film, it looks like you are being thrown into a centrifuge that’s spinning at a dizzying speed and where the speed never diminishes. Up to and including the denouement. Then the emergency brake is pulled swiftly and the tumultuous life of jeweler Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) abruptly comes to a halt. And if you are annoyed by the use of the “f” word, I warn you already. There are a few hidden in every dialogue.

 

 

Uncut Gems

 

Frankly, I’m not a Sandler fan.

I’m not at all an Adam Sandler fan. The few films I saw with him (“Click“, “Blended” and “The Cobbler“) were disappointing in my eyes. Maybe it’s the humor used by Sandler. Maybe it’s the person Sandler himself I have a problem with. And to be honest, I always avoid movies with his name on the film poster. It surprised me when I read somewhere that he’s the best-paid actor in Hollywood. But after seeing “Uncut Gems” I have to drastically adjust my opinion about the actor Sandler. It’s not a real comedy (in a reasonably morbid way you could see some kind of humor in it) although you could say that the character Sandler is playing here, is kind of a caricature. Howard, a Jewish jeweler in the metropolis of New York, tries to get his chaotic life back on track. An Ethiopian opal should take care of that. An uncut diamond that according to Howard could muster a fortune at an auction. A fortune with which he can pay off his debts to pawnbrokers and underworld figures. Debts incurred due to his uncontrollable gambling addiction. Until the famous basketball star Kevin Garnett (Kevin Garnett himself) steps in his diamond shop and asks if he could borrow the precious thing because he feels it exudes a primal power. A power that could bring his performance to an unprecedented height during the upcoming important match.

 

 

Uncut Gems

 

Oscar nomination worthy.

Well, and when KG doesn’t return the precious good to Howard at the agreed time, it’s the start of a nerve-racking race. A race in which Howard’s life is turned into a hell by nasty people, debt collectors, his wife (Idina Menzel who hates him wholeheartedly and calls him the most annoying person in the world) and his mistress Julia (Julia Fox). Even though Howard is indeed a highly annoying person without scruples or any kind of courtesy, you still feel sorry for this man whose life is collapsing like a house of cards. And even though I got nervous because of the Mr. Bean-like character of the film where Howard screws up every time he makes a decision over and over again, this film still managed to entertain me. I could never have imagined that I would ever say this, but Adam Sandler is simply playing his role in an exceptionally excellent way. This was actually worthy of an Oscar nomination. Hopefully, Sandler developed a taste for serious movies now and will make another attempt with a serious role (in a hopefully less hectic setting) in the future. However, I’m afraid that we’ll be seeing a load of comedies (filled with offbeat, childish humor) before that’ll happen.

 

 

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

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Crime

Spiral: From The Book Of Saw | Official Trailer – HD

Spiral is an upcoming American horror film. The film will serve as the ninth installment in the Saw franchise. The film is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, from a screenplay by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, based on a story by Chris Rock. The film stars Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols.

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Genre:

Crime, Drama

Release Date:

May 15, 2020

Director:

Darren Lynn Bousman

Cast:

Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols,

Plot Summary: 

Spiral is an upcoming American horror film. The film will serve as the ninth installment in the Saw franchise. The film is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, from a screenplay by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, based on a story by Chris Rock. The film stars Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols.

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Action

Meet The New Pilots Of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

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Entertainment Weekly dropped some new photos featuring a new crop of “Top Gun” pilots. The new film will feature Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) returning to push the envelope and help develop new pilots. Top Gun Director Joseph Kosinski, spoke to Entertainment Weekly and detailed how the cast had to learn to fly F-18 Super Hornets and experience 1,600 pounds of force.

“The experience is thrilling, but very physically grueling,” Kosinski said. “The maneuvers that we were putting them through to tell this story are not something that you can just jump in and do. They all had to go through months of aerial training.”

Kosinski went on to say:

“We put them through a training course that Tom actually designed himself. He’s a licensed aerobatic pilot, and he was thrown into the deep end when he did the first Top Gun without any training. So he knew that they would need to kind of work up to that level.”

“There’s no crew up there. I’m not up there with him, there’s no cinematographer, no hair and makeup,” Kosinski said. “They are responsible for every aspect of the filmmaking process when they’re up in those airplanes.”

It sounds like Val Kilmer’s “Iceman” will be returning as Kosinski teased:

“The rivalry and relationship between Iceman and Maverick is one of those things that makes that first film so iconic,” Kosinski told EW. “It’s a relationship that is important to the Top Gun franchise and as a fan, I would want to see how it’s evolved.”

Lastly the film will explore the effects of Goose’s death and how it will shape the relationship between Teller’s Rooster and Maverick.

“The relationship between Maverick and Rooster really forms the emotional core and spine of the film,” Kosinski said. “It was really one of the key reasons Tom felt like that now this is the time to go back and do this.”

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ hits theaters June 26, 2020

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