Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Writer: Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham
Based on: Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin‘s character
Cast: Simu Liu, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Wah Yuen, Florian Munteanu, Andy Le, Benedict Wong, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 6.9.2021

Plot:
Shaun (Simu Liu) tried to built a life for himself, away from his father Wenwu (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) and Wenwu’s private army, the Ten Rings – including actual ten rings that give Wenwu awesome powers. And for the last decade, Shaun has been pretty successful in his endeavor. Not even his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) suspects that there is more to him than a party-loving valet. Until a group of fighters led by Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) attack Shaun and he has to finally confront his past, his family, and his future. Not without Katy, though.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a thoroughly enjoyable film with a good mix of fighting, emotions and humor. I had a very good time with it.

The film poster showing Shaun (Simu Liu), his father Wenwu (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) looming large behind him, wearing the ten rings. The two can be seen fighting as smaller figures in the front. Other important characters are arranged around them.
Continue reading

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Mortal Kombat
Director: Simon McQuoid
Writer: Greg Russo, Dave Callaham
Based on: the video game
Cast: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Joe Taslim, Mehcad Brooks, Matilda Kimber, Laura Brent, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Chin Han, Ludi Lin, Max Huang, Sisi Stringer, Mel Jarnson
Seen on: 22.6.2021

Plot:
Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is a MMA fighter and has gotten his fair share of beatings – as long as he can earn some money for his family (Matilda Kimber, Laura Brent), he’s happy to do it. What Cole doesn’t know, though, is that he is actually the descendant of a legendary fighter, a champion of the Mortal Kombat, which in turn makes Cole eligible to fight in the next Mortal Kombat, too. Since Earth lost the last nine tournaments against Outworld, another loss would mean that Earth goes to Outworld. Permanently. That’s why Shang Tsun (Chin Han), leader of the Outworld fighters, won’t take any chances and has sent Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) to kill all possible champions before the tournament starts. Next on the list: Cole, who finds himself on the run with Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), trying to figure out his powers.

I was overjoyed to see that Mortal Kombat still got a cinema start after all, but I seriously misjudged the film. I really didn’t expect it to be as bad as it is.

The film poster showing a face in a mask that shows only the eyes, the left side is Scorpion, glowing with fire. The right side is Sub-Zero frosted over with ice.
Continue reading

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Wonder Woman 1984
Director: Patty Jenkins
Writer: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Dave Callaham
Sequel to: Wonder Woman
Based on: William Moulton Marston‘s comics character
Cast: Gal GadotChris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro PascalConnie NielsenRobin Wright, Lilly Aspell, Amr Waked, Kristoffer Polaha
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 21.6.2021

Content Note: rape (dubious consent at the very least), racism, white saviorism

Plot:
Diana (Gal Gadot) has been living among the humans for decades now, occasionally making an appearance as Wonder Woman, but trying to keep those anonymous. For her day job, she works as an anthropologist in the museum where she meets her new, rather eager colleague Barbara (Kristen Wiig), as well as TV personality slash investor Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). While Diana does take a liking to Barbara, she distrusts Lord immediately. And with good reason – as an artifact that supposedly grants wishes goes missing. But not after fulfilling Diana’s biggest wish and bringing back Steve (Chris Pine).

Given it’s late cinema start, the cat was out of the bag regarding Wonder Woman 1984 and its quality, or rather lack thereof. With my expectatons approriately lowered, the film was ultimately okay, apart from the things that were categorically not okay.

The film poster showing Diana (Gal Gadot) as Wonder Woman in a golden, winged suit with the glowing lasso of truth.
Continue reading

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Zombieland: Double Tap
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Dave Callaham
Sequel to: Zombieland
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch
Seen on: 27.11.2019

Plot:
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) have become a pretty strong unit in the last few years they spent fighting against zombies. They are living in the White House and things have settled. As much as they can settle in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. But both Wichita and Little Rock are getting increasingly more antsy. One morning, they are just gone, leaving Columbus and Tallahassee a note but not much of an explanation. Can their found family find its way back together again?

Zombieland: Double Tap was fun in many ways, but others didn’t sit right with me. I often had fun, but the film doesn’t really come together and it begs the question of whether it wouldn’t have been better to just leave it at the first one.

The film poster showing Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) ready to fight.
Continue reading

Re-Watch: The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writer: Dave Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
The Expendables are a group of mercenaries, most notably Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Ying Yang (Jet Li) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). They mostly go around blowing up bad guys and getting tattoos from Tool (Mickey Rourke), who always throws some wisdom into the mix. When Barney gets the job to get rid of the General, a tyrant on a small Latin-American Island, he has to face is own humanity. And he has to blow a lot of shit up.

I knew that The Expendables wasn’t a good film. In the spirit of completism and masochism, puzzledpeaces and me decided to take the release of the third one as the perfect opportunity to make it a triple feature. So here we are and I can honestly say that it is even worse than I remembered.

the_expendables

Continue reading