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2021 October

  • Kate (2021)

    Watched Kate (2021). Straightforward John Wick-style action film, with a promise that the protag dies. Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a fantastic performance. There's some great fight and camera work, and some great use of Tokyo as the backdrop for the movie.

2021 September

  • Jack Ryan Week

    I hadn't been watching any new movies the past couple of weeks, so I decided to do a Jack Ryan run this week. I had never seen any of the films before and my only prior exposure to the so-called "Ryanverse" has been the John Krasinski starrer Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime (Talk about a clunky title!). Luckily Netflix + Prime Video had 4 out of the 5 films, but I could not find a copy of Sum of All Fears (2002), so this Jack Ryan week will have to go without Ben Affleck. I watched the 4

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  • Spectre

    Bond film no. 24, Daniel Craig's fourth, and the end of this year's James Bond run. At least until I somehow manage to watch No Time To Die despite it coming out exclusively in theaters and our theaters still not open due to the pandemic. Spectre is... okay. It's more or less the culmination of the past four movies of Craig's run. With all of his personal trials so far revealed to be the machinations of the head of nefarious organization SPECTRE and Bond's traditional archnemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Blofeld here (played by Christoph Waltz) is given a bit more

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2021 August

  • Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021) This is the fifth film in the series. Previously. The film is based on the manga story arc that covers Kenshin's time as an assassin during the fall of the shogunate, 10 years before the main story of the RK manga and anime. Basically the same storyline as the Trust and Betrayal OVA. Except it doesn't cover the earliest part of Kenshin's story - I was hoping Hiko Seijuro would make an appearance, so that's a bit disappointing. It's still weird that this came last after the fourth film The Ending, since chronologically it should

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  • Skyfall (2012) Bond film no. 23, Daniel Craig's third. I watched this in the theaters back in 2012, so this is the last rewatch of my James Bond run. Back then my main complaint was that Bond's plan in the last thirty minutes of the movie was terrible. The same complaint stands even now, especially given the eventual outcome of that plan. Make no mistake: the entire defending the house sequence is one of the best things about the movie from an action standpoint, but tactically it was terrible. The whole film is basically a swan song for Judi Dench's

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  • The Suicide Squad

    First, the spoiler-free review: On Aug. 6, 2021, 6:27 p.m. I wrote: THE SUICIDE SQUAD spoiler-free review: great, fun, violent, hilarious, possibly best of DCEU so far trailers have spoiled waaaay too much of this movie first act was ok, second act felt a bit meh, third act was great hard to comment on actor performances without spoiling things, but Daniela Melchior was great and Idris Elba took the role seriously there is a post-credits scene Full review on the blog later Second: I have to say, titling it "The Suicide Squad" is super annoying especially for anyone who does

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    Aug. 6, 2021, 10:25 p.m. / / blog / #movies / Syndicated: mastodon twitter / 420 words
  • THE SUICIDE SQUAD spoiler-free review:

    • great, fun, violent, hilarious, possibly best of DCEU so far
    • trailers have spoiled waaaay too much of this movie
    • first act was ok, second act felt a bit meh, third act was great
    • hard to comment on actor performances without spoiling things, but Daniela Melchior was great and Idris Elba took the role seriously
    • there is a post-credits scene

    Full review on the blog later

  • Quantum of Solace

    Bond film no. 22, Daniel Craig's second outing. I actually watched this back in 2008, but apparently I wasn't super impressed (and I wish I wrote more back then lol). I suspect I didn't really like it because this movie is actually a direct sequel to Casino Royale which I hadn't seen until this year. It picks up on several hanging plot threads, and some of the characters appear again, and Bond in this film is primarily motivated by anger over the events of the previous film. Not to mention I had only seen two Brosnan movies prior to watching

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2021 July

  • Some stuff I've watched lately. Spoilers for Gunpowder Milkshake and MotU: Revelation are marked. Casino Royale (2006) Bond film no. 21, and the first for Daniel Craig. The final era in this James Bond run, looking forward to it. Casino Royale is new to me, but I've seen two of Craig's Bond films, so I have an idea of what to expect: a more serious and much less campy James Bond, grim and determined. The tone here is much closer to Dalton's two films than any of the other runs. Since it's kind of a reboot, it takes place early

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  • I'm here for the tiny Stay Pufts at 1:32

    Ghostbusters Afterlife Trailer:


  • I used to do these "Watching Lately" posts to talk about movies/tv/books I'd recently consumed, but for a while I folded up the reviews into the weeknotes and sometimes via short notes but the reviews have been getting longer so I guess I'm bring the "Watching Lately" tag and series of posts back. Die Another Day (2002) Bond film no. 20 and Brosnan's final appearance. The main question for me going in was: have I actually watched this before in the theatre? My memory says no, but this movie does have the ice palace scene I originally thought was in

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  • Warning: Spoilers for the just-ended season of Loki at the end of this. I have a spoiler-free review of that if you'd like. The World Is Not Enough (1999) Bond film no. 19 and Brosnan's third. Pretty sure I saw this in the theaters when it came out, but for the life of me could not recall any of the plot details at all. Turns out it was because the plot was a bit unnecessarily convoluted. It's easy to tell straight away that Sophie Marceau is on the bad guy side, given her henchmen, so that was no surprise. Renard

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  • Saturday the 10th Movies

    A couple of movies we watched during our Saturday gaming session yesterday:

    • America the Motion Picture (2021). Alternate history retelling of American revoluion, complete and utter nonsense. Good fun and we had a few laughs, but I really hope no American takes it seriously.
    • Ice Road (2021). Random Liam Neeson action flick that we actual started last Saturday. Somehow they managed to make a two hour movie about driving a truck across the ice. I thought it would be better than it was because it had Laurence Fishburn, but I guess that's not really a good basis. One of those films where I wouldn't have minded sitting through it on cable, if I was busy doing something else.
  • Black Widow

    We finally return to the MCU films, a full two years after the last film was released! Breaking a decade-long tradition, I am unable to watch it in theaters this time (and probably won't get to watch any of the others this year in theaters either), but at least we are moving forward now, onto the next phase! Spoiler-free review first, then spoilery bits follow afterwards. incredibly good as an action movie, great fight sequences and set pieces and chases etc. Felt like I was watching something from Mission Impossible or James Bond fairly stand-alone, though some knowledge of what

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  • Tomorrow Never Dies

  • Goldeneye (1995)

    The Bond film reviews were starting to get a bit long for Twitter/notes, so a full blog post it is. Goldeneye (1995). Bond film no. 17 and first for Brosnan. The films are starting to look "modern", but might just be because this is the first Bond film to come out after I graduated high school and that's what I see as "modern". I didn't see this in theaters when it first came out though. We get that dry wit and humor back, and a bit more modern armaments. Not sure if I've ever seen Bond use an automatic weapon

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  • Under Siege (1992)

    Saturday gaming group decided to do a movie watch-along while we played and randomly settled on Under Siege (1992) for some reason. I'd never seen it before and several times I said "Isn't this just Die Hard on a boat?" and apparently that was a universal consensus. Very 90s. Unsurprisingly this is already Seagal's best-rated movie and has a surprising number of familiar and even good actors, including Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, and Colm Meaney (Star Trek's O'Brien)

  • License to Kill (1989)

    License to Kill (1989): Bond film no 16, Dalton's second and last outing is much darker and yet weaker than the first one. The first one where Bond goes rogue, driven by vengeance instead of duty. Unremarkable theme song. Villain is a drug smuggler; I guess with the collapse of the USSR they couldn't have another Russia-centered plot. More actors look familiar as we near the 90s. Notable are a young Benicio del Toro playing a henchman and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (known for playing Shang Tsung. Dalton's performance is mixed, and for some reason he reminds me of Sir Patrick Stewart in some scenes. Too bad he couldn't have had a better sendoff as Bond.

  • The Living Daylights (1987)

    The Living Daylights (1987): Bond film no. 15 and first of only two Dalton entries. More 80s music theme song, this time by A-ha. Much more serious in tone compared to Connery / Moore. John Rhys-Davies is here, years before Sliders or LOTR. No sci-fi mad scientist stuff this time, straight-up spy stuff (more or less). Assassinations, defections, Russia's internal politics, Afghan rebels, weapons, smuggling, drug deals, faked deaths, etc. Might be a tiny bit too long. Surprisingly, I liked this one!

2021 June