Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre certainly does in fact exist that’s for sure, to cut the movie’s long history of just not coming out short. The movie was delayed a few times January 2022 and March 2022 to be exact, it was pulled due to featuring gangsters of Ukrainian nationality as the main antagonist. Which you could probably figure out was because of the war in Ukraine sparked global outrage, the film producers thought it would inappropriate so they pulled it.
As for the movie itself, what exactly is there to say? While the cast is actually pretty good particularly Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes (always great to see him) and Jason Statham. Plus I do think there’s some decently fun action scenes here, there’s ultimately very little this movie does better than a lot of other movies in the same exact same genre.
Guy Richie does put in his traditional elements he uses in his action films and they actually work here, some fast paced action, some decently put together moments that really engage the viewer and bring you close to the action. It’s all there and works pretty well, it’s just been done far better in other places heck some of Guy Richie’s own films have the exact same sort of elements and do them a lot better (The Man from U.N.C.L.E and The Gentlemen)
Having that said the movie is decently made and does have it’s fair share of fun moments that can be very fun, it’s definitely not one of Guy Richie’s absolute best but it’s not terrible either.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is available in theaters.
65 is so far the most disappointing movie of 2023 for a multitude of reasons, 65 had a very promising premise as well having the writers from A Quiet Place and Adam Driver involved. Finally it was a movie involving dinosaurs attacking people, which is unbelievably uncommon outside of the Jurassic Park movies.
I’ll start with what worked as always, Adam Driver does a fantastic job here. Driver has always been a really strong actor and that applies here, Ariana Greenblatt is also pretty solid here as well. Driver and Greenblatt work very well together on screen there’s some genuinely sweet moments as well. There’s some neat action scenes that are pretty thrilling as well and I do appreciate the limited dialogue scenes in a lot of areas in the movie. They add some suspense that is well done for the most part.
Unfortunately that’s really where the movie ends for me, a lot of people have said this movie is basically Jurassic Park meets A Quiet Place and I can’t help but agree, while that might sound good on paper when it comes to execution it becomes a mess. The movie doesn’t do nearly enough with it’s premise and the limited dialogue scenes while interesting never really amount to anything, there’s some decently suspenseful moments that were begging to be explored more.
A lot of the sci-fi elements are very surface level at best, and the direction is sort of lifeless. While I understand that might have been the intention due to earth not having any humans at this time, it doesn’t help when 65 tries to explore Adam Driver’s character. While his past about his daughter is very upsetting the viewer just isn’t given nearly enough development to really care. It’s sort of tacked on to a very below average sci-fi movie.
Overall 65 had a lot of potential but unfortunately misses the mark, if you are a fan of Adam Driver and want to see this only because of Driver you might get something out of it otherwise I don’t recommend it.
It should really be pointed out how big the scope really is in Shin Ultraman, because wow this is a large movie that is just a huge amount of fun. There might not be a whole lot to Shin Ultraman in terms of story but there really does not need to be.
For starters the film itself is very well made, it’s anime come to life in the best possible way. Which isn’t a bit too surprising due to the director being Shinji Higuchi who directed the live action Attack On Titan parts 1 and 2 (he also did Shin Godzilla which I loved). There’s so many strange elements combined with the traditional Kaiju elements we all know and love, there’s a lot of energy to the action scenes as well as so much entertainment value.
The score is booming at different parts of the film especially during the action scenes that give the movie the extra energy it needs to bring in the viewer, it’s such a creative little movie and this is coming from someone who really didn’t watch the Ultraman tv series. I definitely have heard of the character but just haven’t checked out the series.
Honestly what you see is what you get with Shin Ultraman and what’s shown is a huge amount of fun and genuinely fantastic, some of the writing definitely could have been a bit better during the first act of the film. But overall it’s quite great and I would imagine any fan of Kaiju films or Ultraman would love this one.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the newest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the introduction to Phase Five. Phase Four was the very definition of a mixed bag leading towards the bad side (Wakanda Forever, Loki and a few others are exceptions.) so this was definitely the chance to start the new phase off strong…that did not happen unfortunately.
To be absolutely fair I do think Quantumania is a bit better than some of what phase four had to offer and it is definitely better than the last Ant-Man movie (Ant-Man and The Wasp), but that honestly does not mean much when it suffers a very common problem that a lot of the MCU has been facing lately. Before we get into that there are the positives.
Like everyone has said and will continue to say Jonathan Majors easily steals the show as Kang, he plays such a strong villain and puts his powerhouse acting ability into the role which leads to some quite fantastic moments, similarly Michelle Pfeiffer does a fantastic job here as well, she plays Janet Van Dyne who is actually decently written here, granted there are some scenes where had the writing been so much stronger the character could have improved. But from what was shown it wasn’t too bad, Pfeiffer and Majors are truly at their best when they share the screen together and are able to combine their talent.
Lastly there’s the father and daughter relationship that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) that while does come off a bit basic at times, it’s mainly due to Paul Rudd and Kathryn Newton being so likable as performers that really makes it work, because Cassie Lang as a character was just not exactly well written at all here. But as I said Newton takes what she’s given and makes the most of it.
Unfortunately everything else is a complete and total mess that just about sums up the main issues currently going on with the MCU, first off the movie is just the usual MCU formula again. Rather than tell a story the movie focuses on introducing the main villain of the new phase Kang, which while is nice it sacrifices writing, storytelling, character development and much more. Most of the other characters are given almost nothing to do especially Hope and Hank who are largely given a backseat this time around.
MODOK is unfortunately not used well at all, he only really serves as a sort of example I’ve used in the past with a lot of MCU films and that’s “the Dragon Ball Z movie henchmen effect) which basically means he’s given a few scenes and then gets written out of the movie. Darren Cross (played by Corey Stoll) makes a return from the first Ant-Man, what’s shocking is somehow this movie manages to make Cross even less interesting to the point where him as Yellowjacket was more investing than him as MODOK. But what really hurts MODOK is the stuff the movie decides to do with him towards the end, it’s the usual MCU humor that flat out makes very little sense given Darren Cross’s personality and the story.
Lastly Quantumania just doesn’t risk any stakes, which I imagine is going to be a huge problem with this phase given that it’s about the Multiverse. Which if you aren’t going to risk any stakes or do something out of the ordinary at least try and build interesting characters and story elements, which is what this movie really lacked. The Star Wars similarities are painfully obvious and really don’t serve any point other than for someone to point and say “hey isn’t this like Star Wars?”
Overall Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is basically an extended TV episode, it’s main purpose is to introduce the main villain which as I said Majors is one of the best parts. But doing just that sacrifices just about everything else.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is available in theaters.
Die Hart the Movie I somehow didn’t hear about up until Friday when it got released and that’s mainly due to a friend of mine who said that the movie was also released (I did the usual out today posts on Twitter I do that every Friday). The premise of the movie did have me a bit intrigued, I do like the whole idea of actors and actresses playing themselves…but this was rough.
The positives mainly come from John Travolta and Josh Hartnett who are both very fun and really try their best with such an unfunny script. Everything else is very hard to sit through, Kevin Hart is once again just not funny at all. Every single joke that Hart has made in the past is shown here and if it didn’t work back in the other movies it most certainly doesn’t work here.
Perhaps the most noticeable issue is how strange the editing is or how much of a mess of the story is, well when you find out that this movie is just an re-edited version of Die Hart the TV series from Quibi things start to make a lot more sense when it comes to why the movie is such a gigantic mess. I can’t comment on the series since I haven’t seen it (I hadn’t even heard of it until doing research a few days ago) but trying to cram in everything from a series into a movie that has horrendous pacing was never going to work.
Die Hart the Movie is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Shotgun Wedding was originally going to be released into theaters, in fact it was supposed to come out in June of last year. Amazon Studios bought the rights to the movie from Lionsgate in March 2022 and now here we are today as it released on Amazon Prime Video and it’s not exactly hard to see why.
The positives come from Jennifer Coolidge who despite given not a whole lot to work with still manages to be pretty funny and still have some great comedic charming. Coolidge’s charm really works here and easily steals the show, Jennifer Lopez isn’t too bad here either although I would argue her performance is a step down from last year’s Marry Me. The rest of the cast isn’t too bad either, in fact all of them really try their hardest with such a lacking script that’s heavily restricting them from doing anything memorable.
The major issue here is that Shotgun Wedding is about as dull as you can get with a action comedy, the action scenes are not memorable or aren’t very fun at all. The comedy is mostly restricted to Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel arguing over and over again, which while it might be funny for about 3 minutes it quickly gets very old. If anything the actual comedy comes from the side characters. There’s some genuinely funny bits from the side characters that actually work decently, the other major problem is the script. There’s just not a whole lot here to work with, if the goal was to make an action comedy movie well this sure is an action comedy but it’s missing quite a lot on what makes a good action comedy.
Overall Shotgun Wedding is very forgettable and such a waste of potential with such a great cast.
Shotgun Wedding is available on Amazon Prime Video.
I’m not the biggest on the western genre but every once and while there’s a few that look like they could be a bit interesting, what mainly drew me to The Old Way was mostly Nicolas Cage but does he save this movie?
There is honestly not a whole lot to talk about here with The Old Way, outside of Nicolas Cage and Ryan Kiera Armstrong who give some really solid performances and actually have a strong father and daughter bond that’s genuinely sweet. This is just your very typical revenge western story that does not bring anything new to the table, the rest of the cast aren’t strong enough to standout and the writing is way too generic for it’s own good. The movie has some interesting ideas but doesn’t do a whole lot with them, they are presented, explored for about 10 minutes and then quickly abandoned. It’s serviceable when it comes to being a revenge western everything that you expect is here but those looking for something bigger are going to be disappointed.
Overall The Old Way isn’t horrible there’s parts here that do work well but those aren’t enough to save the movie from being overall forgettable.
I’m not someone who was a huge fan of the first Avatar, it was a gorgeous film that I absolutely respect what went into making it, having that said I absolutely loved Avatar: The Way Of Water. I guess this is James Cameron’s whole thing of making sequels that a lot of people could consider better than the first film (depending on who you ask of course), The Way Of Water fixes all of the problems that were present from the first film. First off the characters are a lot more fleshed out to the point where the viewer can grow a connection to them, there’s so many character moments here that really give these characters so much development and personalities. The overall theme and connection of the characters is family, which yes is done quite a lot in film, but James Cameron gives it this very human like feel, as well as it feeling very natural rather than making it seem like a plot device. The story is the other major part that this movie really improved, all three acts are exciting, beautiful and masterfully done in there own ways turning this film into a huge powerhouse. The story much like the characters goes into the family element and really nails it down well, this isn’t much of a surprise but the film is absolutely gorgeous. If you thought the first film was breathtaking Way Of Water ups it by really being such a good word building film that captures the beauty of Pandora, the underwater technology is just incredible it’s by far some of if not THE most beautiful underwater shots in film. The action scenes are truly fantastic and have so much detail to each of them, there’s this huge adrenaline rush feel to the action scenes that are truly exciting. The cast does such a fantastic job of bringing these characters to life each of them brings so much beauty into the film that completely captures why this film completely works. It’s the human connection between the characters that really makes the film shine, a huge amount of detail to each scene and just the overall fairy tale like atmosphere that gives the film a whimsical feel.
Avatar: The Way Of Water is available in theaters.
I guess the makers of Violent Night so people debating whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, so they said “let’s make our own Die Hard Christmas movie.”
Violent Night is one of the many reasons why i give almost any film a chance to impress, surprise or disappoint. Because this was definitely a huge surprise, when you really boil down to it Violent Night is essentially a Die Hard clone which is nowhere near a new concept. However what makes Violent Night actually standout among the rest is it’s actually really entertaining and genuinely great. David Harbour absolutely nails his performance as Santa Claus sure there have been versions of Santa being a badass before but Harbour brings this classic action movie protagonist charm to it that gives the film the extra push. Violent Night really went for the classic action movie feel and succeeded pretty well, the action scenes are pretty neat, the characters are fun and the gore is actually pretty gnarly. There’s so much entertainment factor here that really makes the film all the more enjoyable, plus the theme of Christmas just gives the film the extra charm. I can easily see Violent Night going on to be a modern Christmas movie classic that a lot of people will watch every year, if you weren’t so sure before on Violent Night. I recommend giving this one a go!
A Puss In Boots sequel was always in talks heck it started being planned out all the way back in 2012, one year after the first film came out which was a pretty solid movie. Puss In Boots: The Last Wish could have easily been a cheap cash grab but luckily that is certainly not the case here, first off the cast is incredibly strong here. Antonio Banderas still knocks it out of the park when voicing Puss In Boots and quite honestly this might be the best the character has ever been, we get some more development on the character some surprisingly emotional bits and the personality we all know and love. Florence Pugh and Olivia Colman are incredibly fun here as well, Florence Pugh plays Goldilocks while Olivia Colman plays Mama Bear. Their voices really push the characters into the entertainment territory where you can’t help but smile at the bond they share, Wagner Moura plays Big Bad Wolf or Death and he’s actually quite intimidating, sure he shows up every now and then but when he does he truly means business. The animation is actually quite different this time around, much like The Bad Guys which came out earlier this year, a lot of the inspiration of the film’s animation style came from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. What they wanted to do here is make the film look more like a storybook and a fairytale land which I definitely think they completely nailed. There’s a lot of style to the film that really is very appealing to the eye particularly the action scenes that are quite some of the most beautifully done action scenes of the year, there’s so much detail to the characters and what’s going on in the background it’s truly fantastic. The humor is actually pretty hilarious too, while not every single joke lands a lot of it is genuinely hilarious, the emotional and character moment bits are by far the most surprising. They really pour a lot of attention to some of the characters and really make them lovable, the film really has that spirit of one of those films you saw as a kid and you would discuss with your friends or parents who your favorite characters were. That’s something I think some films have been missing in the last few years so it’s truly special to see that type of feeling back again. Overall Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is very well crafted and has so much heart in it, I absolutely recommend checking this one out when it releases in a couple weeks.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish releases December 21st in theaters.