The Great Wall in Real 3D

“The Great Wall” is an Action/Fantasy set in 11th century China, two Mercenaries (Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal) from the west find themselves battling for their lives against a Chinese Military. They are soon captured, but once their captors witness their archery and weapons skills, the military command at the Great Wall needs their assistance to battle a super-natural menace who continues to try and scale the wall to get at them and their people. Meanwhile there is a stranded visitor (Willem Dafoe) who has been at the great wall for twenty five years. He states there is a treasure to be had and tries to convince the Mercenaries to help him steal it. The story unfolds from there…

“The Great Wall” is an action epic and visual feast. Matt Damon is the best element in the movie. It’s a shame that the story wasn’t put in proper context so that it was understood how the super-natural menace came to be and why it wishes to attack and destroy an entire nation and where did the supposed treasure come from.

Because the story as a whole is dis-jointed and unclear, it’s boring. If it weren’t for Matt Damon, the movie won’t be worth seeing. The 3D aspects are pretty good.

“The Great Wall” will be a great movie to watch on Blue-Ray, DVD or Cable.

This is a 2 ½ Star Movie!

John Wick: Chapter 2

Welcome to a Special Edition of “Thursday Night at the Movies with The Movie Warrior”

I am often leery about second installments of a movie whose first installment was surprisingly good. I did not think that “John Wick: Chapter 2” could improve on its 2014 debut, but I stand corrected. As action/drama movies go, “John Wick: Chapter 2” is awesome!

“John Wick: Chapter 2” has an excellent lead in and it reminds you of what transpired in the first installment. John (Keanu Reeves) wants desperately to retire, but after only being home for a couple of days a former associate from his past comes knocking at his door. At first John refuses the assignment that is offered, but the associate who visits him refuses to take no for an answer. Since John said “No”, the associate exacts revenge and destroys John’s house which leaves him homeless. Now John has no choice but to find out what the assignment is and go execute it. The story unfolds from there…

The action is awesome and intense. The events are non-stop. There is a ton of suspense and intrigue. Keanu Reeves is in great shape for his role as John Wick. There were many awesome fight scenes. The only draw-back is the dialog. If you are interested in a movie that has a lot of dialog, you will not be happy with “John Wick: Chapter 2”. The dialog is minimal, but is enough to get the job done.

All in all “John Wick: Chapter 2” is definitely worth the ticket.

This is a 4 Star Movie!

23rd Annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards – Short Recap

The 23rd Annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards aired last night. I don’t usually post about them, but there were several exciting things that happened on the show, so here goes…
First of all, if you haven’t seen “Fences” or “Hidden Figures”, you are doing yourself a dis-service.

While “La La Land” earned 7 Golden Globe nominations and 14 Oscar nominations, it only had 2 SAG Award nominations. It only won one of these. Emma Stone won the Female Actress in a Leading Role award. She also won this category at the Golden Globes. Who should have won is Amy Adams for her role in “Arrival” or Natalie Portman for her role in “Jackie”. Each of those performances were better.

What did happen is Ryan Gosling did not win a SAG for his role in “La La Land”.
Denzel Washington won the Male Actor in a Leading Role award for “Fences”. I was so happy and excited about this that I was in tears!!

Viola Davis won for her role in “Fences”. Winning the SAG gives her 2 for 2. She won the Golden Globe and she is also an Oscar nominee.

The entire cast of “Hidden Figures” won a SAG Award last night for Best Film.
The SAG Awards are the last stop before the Oscars. We will find out in a few weeks if “La La Land” sweeps or if there will be a few really nice surprises like last night.

In parting if you haven’t see “Arrival”, “Jackie”, “Hidden Figures” or “Fences”, you should check them all out. Also consider seeing “Hell or High Water” and “Florence Foster Jenkins”. These movies have actors nominated for Golden Globes, SAGs and Oscars.

Gold

“Gold” is based on true events that happened between 1980 and 1988. Prospector Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) is scratching hard for a lucky break. He teams up with another Geologist Micke Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) who is in a similar situation. Together they prospect an area in the jungle of Indonesia for gold and put together what appears to be a air-tight plan for a rags to riches result.

After several false starts, funds running low and the Indonesian workers wanting to quit, Wells and Acosta strike a small find. This small gold find leads to heavy hitters wanting to invest, a Wall Street Stock Market opening and everyone trying to get a piece of the action. But how long will it last, the story unfolds from there…

If this wasn’t based on true events, I would not have believed it. Matthew McConaughey’s portrayal of Kenny Wells is the bright spot of this movie. The story is jumbled, skips around and does not appear on the big screen in the order in which things actually happened. There are a lot of “Heavy Hitters” in this movie, so I expected better.

Some parts of “Gold” will remind you of the 2000 hit “Traffic”, but “Traffic” was an awesome flick and executed much better than “Gold”.

If you are a Matthew McConaughey fan, his performance in “Gold” is worth seeing. Otherwise wait for “Gold” to come out on cable, DVD or Blue Ray.

This is a 2 Star Movie!

A Dog’s Purpose

“A Dog’s Purpose” is about a Golden Retriever named “Bailey” who goes through several reincarnations. Through some of these reincarnations dog abuse is realized before the reincarnated “Bailey” lands where he/she is supposed to be.

Each time “Bailey” is reincarnated he/she learns a new purpose and life lesson. The story unfolds from there…

While we all know that animal cruelty does happen, I don’t like seeing it on the big screen. That made parts of the movie intolerable. At times the movie was very entertaining and other times it was boring. There was some comedy relief, but that too was brief. I had hoped for a better more fun movie than what I actually saw.

I believe small children might enjoy “A Dog’s Purpose”, but dog loving adults may not.

This is a 2 ½ Star Movie!

XxX:Return of Xander Cage the IMAX Experience

After a 14 year hiatus, Xander Cage is back!

In this third installment Xander Cage is lured from his self-imposed exile to help stop a Pandora’s Box that is being used to take control of satellites and use them as weapons. Xander has plenty of company as he tries to stop the unknown enemy, but also stop alpha warrior Xiang and his team who are also racing to get their hands on the box. Xander recruits a whole new team that are highly skilled and thrill-seeking just as he is. The story unfolds from there…

The sound track is “Dope!!” There is a ton of action, fight sequences, out-of-this-world stunts and some pretty cool cinematography and camera angles.
The movie will keep you engaged, but unfortunately the story is lacking and dull. We have seen it all before. This has been a blockbuster Franchise in the past, but the story doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

This is a 2 ½ Star Movie!

Sleepless (2017)

“Sleepless” is a T.V. Cop Drama on the Big Screen.

Las Vegas police officer Vince Downs (Jamie Foxx) is caught up in a high stakes sting operation where he is trying to weed out the corrupt cops and bring down a known drug syndicate who controls one of Vegas’s Casinos. A heist goes wrong and Down’s son is kidnapped right in front of him. The story unfolds from there…

The story is mundane at best. We have seen it all before on TV. There is a strong cast and some decent action, but that’s not enough to keep you awake.

I like Jamie Foxx. He is a well-rounded entertainer, he can sing, act and crack some good jokes. He even has an Oscar to his credit, but Jamie appears to not be very invested in “Sleepless”. He looks as though he is going through the motions. I had high hopes for “Sleepless”, but unfortunately my hopes were dashed.

“Sleepless” will be a great movie to watch on DVD or Blue-Ray.

This is a 2 Star Movie!