21 Bridges (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

21 Bridges (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If 21 Bridges had been made in the late 2000’s it would have been directed by Tony Scott, starred Denzel Washington and probably with music by Hans Zimmer.  Alas this is a film out of time, and its impact is lessened because of that.  There’s still lots to enjoy here but 21 Bridges is never afraid of being obvious (Oh look character keeps going off to make a ‘Phone Call’) and by the time the epilogue rolls around, it’s all a bit predictable and played out.  So essential no? But you fancy an old school 2000’s vibe?  Just imagine Denzel is the lead and 21 Bridges will deliver…

Best Bit: The first shoot out

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Talking of Pelham 123, Unstoppable, Safe House

 


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The Equalizer 2 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Equalizer 2 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The second Equalizer film is less than the sum if it’s parts. Denzel Washington is good value, Antoine Fuqu’s direction  is solid (and feels like he’s taking the place of the much missed Tony Scott) and the action clean and crisp.  Yet the film doesn’t work. The early sequences with Washington righting wrongs from the front of his Uber makes for a fascinating film but when the story hits proper and it ends up being yet another revenge action that we’ve seen a million times before.   It’s a shame because if they’d stuck with it’s early premise then The Equalizer 2 could have been really interesting.

Best Bit: The taxi stuff

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Equalizer, Man On Fire, Training Day 

 


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The Equalizer – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

The Equalizer – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Equalizer is a film Tony Scott would have made if he’d still ben alive. In fact if anything it feels like a prequel to Man On Fire. If this sounds like a great idea, then this is very much for you.  A revenge film heavy on revenge, violence and creative ways to kill, this is Washington (and director Antoine Fuqua for that matter) on cruise mode. But he does ‘Cruise’ almost better than anyone and whilst he’s never stretched he’s certainly having fun.  And that’s never a bad thing.  In short: Bloody, violent if a bit over long.

Best Bit: Home depot finale

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Commando, Man On Fire, Harry Brown

 

Author: Phil Hobden

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Blog: The Equalizer – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: The Equalizer – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Equalizer is a film Tony Scott would have made if he’d still ben alive. In fact if anything it feels like a prequel to Man On Fire. If this sounds like a great idea, then this is very much for you.  A revenge film heavy on revenge, violence and creative ways to kill, this is Washington (and director Antoine Fuqua for that matter) on cruise mode. But he does ‘Cruise’ almost better than anyone and whilst he’s never stretched he’s certainly having fun.  And that’s never a bad thing.  In short: Bloody, violent if a bit over long.

Best Bit: Home depot finale

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Commando, Man On Fire, Harry Brown

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – The Equalizer Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – The Equalizer Reviewed

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

I do sit through action movies a fair bit these days wondering who on Earth actually buys into any schmaltzy or ponderous musings the good and/or bad guys may have on their justification for their actions. In The Equalizer, an awful lot of time is devoted to punchy one-liners designed – not for the characters – but purely for the marketing. “What do you see when you look at me?” asks Bob, played by Denzel Washington, to the main Russian bad guy over a glass of wine. I must have missed the answer, but I did think “a franchise?”.

Antonie Fuqua directs Washington once again in traditional tried-and-tested formula ripped straight from Training Day, and imbues the whole affair in a slow-motion, Bacardi Breezer-washed ‘thinking man’s’ version of Death Wish. Now retired from the special forces, Bob works at a Home Depot store, and casually works his way through his late wife’s book collection in a diner. He meets a hooker with a heart of gold, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, who’s clearly being beaten up by her Russian pimps. One night, he smashes their faces in. This precipitates a chain of events that will involve nearly all of Vladivostock and Moscow – yes, both ends of the Russian spectrum – into all-out war with this lone ranger.

I’m not sure how this fits in with the TV series, as I never saw it – but one can scarcely imagine Edward Woodward dispatching his foes with corkscrews, blowtorches and hammers. Denzel does this, and it’s to the man’s credit that he can do it so efficiently and without any trace of irony or nods to the camera. By the end of the film, Denzel will have mowed down countless bad guys in unique and Saw-inspired ways, we begin to question his sanity. If he’s trying to simply kill off bad people, including any tenuous links to a corrupt police force working with said Russians, then wouldn’t a bullet do? It’d be far less brutal and certainly no less economical.

The Equalizer is set in a world where the police force numbers are by the dozen, and each set more corrupt than the last. There are no good policemen around, and this vigilante has to fill in the gaps. Who’s arresting the bad guys; the one Denzel leaves alive? Later on in the picture, it’s simply not enough to have stabbed these people – ‘Zel uncovers corruption of such massive magnitude that any sane person living in a fully functioning economy would simply shut the laptop lid, throw their hands up in the air and resign themselves to unabated apathy. Not ol’ ‘Zel, though. He decides to hunt down the ship container and blow it up, and really send the message out.

And amid all of this, the film has the sheer audacity to pose, on more than one occasion, a question about who were all once were; what we’re capable of, and how we can make life better for others. And it’s all sponsored by Black and Decker.

You know what, though? I really enjoyed the shit out of The Equalizer. It’s that rare occasion that you see a film so brazen in its flimsy, thinly-veiled conceit of violence philanthropy, that you just have to step back and bow down in awe. Denzel, who’s right side of his mouth seems to suggest a recent stroke, spends most of the time staring at… things. The mirror. A corridor. At one point I think he even stares at stairs. He stares people in the eye. The camera snaps in, and misses no beat to frantically fap cinematically to the many beads of sweat, rain and sprinkler system water that manage to slow-mo their way down his beautiful, bald head. Fuqua and Washington direct and act like everyone else on set can’t argue – and somehow, this punitive and overlong tosh works.

It works because – perhaps even, in spite – of its arrogance. It’s Tony Scott-lite, yet Michael Winner put right. It’s Man on Fire with smatterings of Home Alone and the end sequence of Child’s Play 2. And as far as ‘being other things’ is considered, it could have been a damn sight worse – and a damneder sight less entertaining.

 

Author: Andrew Mackay

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Equalizer (Cinema)

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Equalizer (Cinema)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Big screen adaptation of the 1980’s TV series which featured Blighty’s own Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former CIA/Special forces type who righted various wrongs, defended the helpless and kicked all kinds of arse in the process.

In Antoine Fuqua’s updated film version we instead have good old Denzel Washington as McCall  – a quiet unassuming guy who works in a local DIY store by day and reads classic novels in his favouritediner by night. That is until a local prostitute he has befriended (Moretz) is brutally beaten up by her pimps and McCall  vows revenge and ends up killing them all in the process. This turns out to be a major mistake as said pimps turn out to be heavily connected to the Russian mob who send over their best enforcer (Czorkas) to go after McCall.

Featuring another solid turn from Washington, The Equaliser is good old fashioned entertainment, very well made and at times extremely violent. The only issue i had with it was that it was a bit too similar to Man On Fire  -which also starred Denzel as a former government operative, with a penchant for torturing then offing all manner of bad guys. Now despite the fact that he’s a damn fine actor and always good value – Washington really does need to expand his repertoire a bit more, but then again when he’s making films as entertaining as this who the hell cares!

Recommended At Cinemas now

 
Author: Will Strong 

 

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Will’s 10 quick reviews

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Will’s 10 quick reviews

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Over the past few weeks i have managed to watch a large amount of films – i would normally write full reviews on all of them, however time does not permit, so for your perusal please see below 10 quick reviews of films i have recently seen.

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2 Guns

Director: Balathazar Kormakur

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington

Some funny one liners, action scenes are plentiful but uninspiring, Wahlberg and Washington have good chemistry, but ultimately this is a rather average effort that plays like a poor mans Lethal Weapon – passes the time, but that’s it.

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R.I.P.D

Director: Robert Swenkte

Starring Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds.

One of the biggest flops of 2013  and a shameless rip off of Men In Black, the sfx are shoddy, the plot contrived and its at least a quarter of an hour too short – however Reynolds and Bridges are very good and the final 20 minutes are pleasingly action packed – certainly not the worst film I’ve ever seen.

* * * * * * * *

I Frankenstein

Director: Stuart Beattie

Starring Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski

Made by the same people who did the Underworld Series – bit silly, woeful effects, terrible script and a very miscast Eckhart – but quite enjoyable in parts and certainly not as bad as all the critics would have you believe.

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The Legend Of Hercules

Director: Renny Harlin

Starring Kellan Lutz

Words fail me on this one . Looks like it was edited with a chainsaw,  script appears to have been written by a ten year old and Kellan Lutz’ “performance” as Hercules resembles nothing more than a large plank of balsa wood. By far and away THEworst film of 2014 and candidate for one of the worst films ever made – staggeringly awful. And yes you read that right- its directed by Renny Harlin  – on this evidence the glory days of Cliffhanger and Die Hard 2 are but a distant memory.

* * * * * * * *

Sabotage

Director: David Ayer

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington

Another flop – one of the worst of Arnie’s career in fact. Shame really as its not half bad. Well acted, well made, gritty, with some pretty good action scenes. The problem isn’t the film per se  – its Arnie – unfortunately he’s played this kind of role too many times and to be honest he’s looking a bit past it to really be credible any more.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Director: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson

Absolutely superb sequel to 2011’s The Hunger Games, Lawrence, Harrelson and Sutherland are all superb, as is the direction, story and production values  – cracking film, very exciting – don’t miss it.

* * * * * * * *

The Worlds End

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Martin Freeman.

The third entry in the “Cornetto Trilogy” is a crashing disappointment on a epic scale, featuring annoying characters (especially Pegg’s), an appallingly unfunny script and a rubbish story.

Absolutely pales in comparison to the frankly brilliant Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Dear God Edgar, what the hell went wrong here mate??????????

* * * * * * * *

3 Days to Kill

Director: McG

Starring Kevin Costner, Amber Heard

Despite a top notch turn from Costner, this action thriller simply doesn’t cut the mustard. Persistently slows down when it should be going full steam ahead, overlong and is suspiciously reminiscent of Taken.

– another dud from McG.

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Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco

A great performance from Johnson cant save this from being a very standard actioner, not bad, but Seagal was churning these out in his sleep 20 years ago.

* * * * * * * *

Homefront

Director: Gary Fleder

Starring Jason Statham, James Franco.

Good old fashioned beat em up, plenty of fisticuffs and gunfights, written and produced by Sly Stallone, Statham is great value as ever, and Franco is excellent as the bad guy – but what in the name of Zeus’s butthole is he doing in this kind of film????????????????!!!

 
Author: Will Strong