Author: Knuckles

The Visit

It has always been apparent that when M. Night Shyamalan reverts to his dark Sixth Sense/Signs roots, he makes really good movies. The type so engaging and frightening, they make your heart jump. His reputation had been so tarnished for films like The Village, Lady in the Water, and the hugely unpopular The Last Airbender, he was literally booed by a New York City audience when his credit as a producer and writer came up on the Devil movie trailer back in 2010. The Visit just might get Shyamalan out of what the industry characterizes as “director’s jail.” At least temporarily. Although he still has quite a ways to go before he attempts to ingratiate himself amongst movie goers. His latest pic touts that tried and true formula of telling a seemingly ordinary story, and then blindsiding you with something you never ever saw coming. Employing the slightly overused method of live footage, Becca and her brother Tyler (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould) are determined to document a personal family history, starting with mom, played by a pretty down to earth Kathryn Hahn. They’re also determined to see their grandparents whom their mom has been estranged from for 15 years, and despite her strongest objections, the precocious pair board a train bound for Masonville, PA. to see them for the first time. Naturally their welcomed with open arms in...

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The Transporter Refueled

Seems reboots are becoming as prolific as sequels in Tinsel Town. If not more. Some, like Terminator Genysis and Star Trek, have managed to over-lap their original predecessors with a radical timeline change. Others are simply straight up with no relationship to their originals. And of course there are the “Fantastic Four” types where certain elements produce grave disappointment instead of rabid applause. Jason Statham skillfully fought his way into our hearts as Frank Martin, the super tough and meticulously intelligent Transporter. It made him a bonafide action star, and set a standard, timbered by two sequels. Judging by Hollywood’s apparent obsession with making old things new again, it’s probably not surprising that some of the original creative crew decided on a restart with a new Frank Martin. Ed Skrein, who will be appearing in next year’s “Deadpool”, takes over the reigns from Statham in the appropriately titled “The Transporter Refueled.” Not a bad choice either. No doubt Statham could still play the role, but Skrien maintains that savvy, suave, gentlemanly dangerous attitude and kinetically physical gravitas which made the character so appealing. We open with a bit of a proverbial blast from the past. No, not the 50’s, but 1995. And in France, where a hostile takeover is taking place. Russian crime kingpin Arkady Karasov (Radivoje Bukvic) literally shoots his way into a red light district territory, forcing...

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Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

If a certain majority of movie fans could get over their casual dislike for Tom Cruise, the Mission Impossible franchise would probably make considerably more at the box office. At various times when I have mentioned any of the MI picks, there were those who told me that they simply did not care for the former Top Gunner, and didn’t want to see it. Not because of the mo-vie itself, but because of the leading man. Despite his critics, Cruise still proves his ability to fill theater seats as he takes on a fifth impossible mission with Rogue Nation. He returns as death defying Ethan Hunt, the intrepid leader of the IMF, whose methods for get-ting the job done have become increasingly unorthodox. And that of course, is just putting it mildly. Alec Baldwin is able bodied CIA Director Alan Hunley, determined to dismantle the IMF due to what he believes, is sheer luck when it comes to the organizations missions accomplished record. He forcibly argues points before a Senate committee, with IMF agent William Brandt ( Jeremy Renner) just as forcibly opposing, that include some imaginary criminal organization known only as “The Syndicate.” He also readily reminds them of a certain critical incident which occurred over a major city during IMF’s last undertaking. Meanwhile, Hunt is out in the field, on an actual mission. It involves some slightly...

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Jurassic World

” Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and um, screaming.” Jeff Goldblum’s steadfast mathematician, Dr. Ian Malcolm probably had some of the most iconic lines in the initial Jurassic Park franchise. Iconic because they always served as a warning against trying to control nature and the danger of wielding genetics like a kid who’s just found his dad’s gun. He explained all this to John Hammond during that little sit down discussion in the original, asserting the lack of discipline and irresponsible use of know-ledge they did not earn for themselves. “They were so preoccupied about whether they could they didn’t stop to think if they should”, he finally states. And as you may recall Malcolm was right; life found a way, and the dino-saurs became uncontrollable. Twenty-two years after the original park opened, and fourteen years af-ter the last impromptu rescue mission experienced by Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park 3, attitudes towards dino DNA, unfortunately, have not at all changed in Jurassic World. The only difference is the owner. Multi-billion-naire Simon Masrani bought out the late John Hammond’s INGEN, and has, for the last ten years brought Hammond’s vision to glorious reality. We follow quite a deceptive, humorous scene just before watching Scott and Karen Mitchell (Judy Greer and Adam Buckley) going through the usu-al changes, preaparing their two sons,...

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Avengers Age of Ultron

“There’s only one pathway to peace. Their extinction.” Thus spake Ultron, presenting us with his ultimate solution to true tranquility upon our planet. He is the metallic menace who brings back all the fun and mayhem for our mightiest heroes once again, in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He may be a machine, but he does have a certain personality and even a slightly warped sense of humor that makes you laugh, despite the fact that he wants to kill every human on earth. Genius, billionaire, playboy, etc. Tony Stark is (as if you didn’t already know), responsible for this powerful, yet unfortunately maniacal automaton. It begins when a successful raid on a Hydra base inside the fictional eastern European city Sokovia, presents the opportunity for him to retrieve Loki’s robust scepter. Containing vital A.I. needed to reinitiate his Ultron “peace” program, Stark wants to create a shield around the world, so that if anyone like the evil Loki and his destructive minions try to invade earth again, we’ll be ready. Mark Ruffalo’s Dr. Banner/The Hulk, reluctantly agrees to help put this noble, yet clandestine project together. Neither he or Tony have any idea what’s coming. It doesn’t take long for our green hero to regret the decision when ,during a casual get together, Ultron stumbles out in crippled semi mechanical form, and attacks them with his own creations. Like...

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