Friday, September 23, 2011


I was very much looking forward to this movie when I first saw the advance stories.  The trailers almost dampened that enthusiasm, but I'm glad I kept going.

Hanna is the story of a little girl and her father, living in the woods of Germany.  Though her life is hard, she and her father seem to have a wonderful life together.  Soon, this comes to an end, however.  She declares herself ready to go and take their vengeance on the woman responsible for the death of her mother.

This sets her out on a mission that covers tremendous expanses, and reveals more of who she is.  In the end, the final question is not how to kill the villain, but rather...  Just who IS Hanna?

This movie has a justified PG-13 rating, because of language and violence.  There is also some insinuated sexuality, though there is no nudity or actual sex scenes.  I did find the friend Hanna finds to be a bit over the top, with her talk of lesbianism.  However, considering kids her age are now feeling pressured to make decisions such as these, perhaps it's not so over the top after all.

All in all, this movie is certainly time well spent.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Man Who Knew Too Little

Ever notice how often we read reviews on the brand new movie that's just recently come out, whether to theater or DVD, and get all excited? Ever counted how many times you started talking about one of your favorite older movies, only to find that the person has never seen it? Same kind of excitement both times.

It's for this reason that I am reviewing old movies as well as new. I enjoy telling about movies that I have enjoyed and that I think others would enjoy as well. Such is the older, but amazing, "Man Who Knew Too Little."

Bill Murray is an actor who has not received the accolades he truly deserves. In a world where looks seem to be everything, he has thrived and continually put out hilarious and side-splitting movies, much to the enjoyment of his fans. Though some are a bit raunchy, most are pretty family friendly, especially by today's standards.

"The Man Who Knew Too Little" begins with Wallace "Wally" Ritchie (Murray) making an unannounced trip to England to visit his brother James (Peter Gallagher) and sister-in-law Barbara (Anna Chancellor). His timing could not be worse, however, because James is planning the biggest meeting of his career to take place that very night after dinner. When Barbara suggests they have Wally take part in a real-life theater experience, James jumps at the chance.

Things don't quite go as planned, though. Wally receives a call for "Spencer," and James convinces Wally it is the name of his character. As it turns out, Spencer is actually an assassin, and the oblivious Wally just took over his assignment. After meeting the beautiful yet mysterious Lori (Joanne Whalley), chaos reigns as they turn well laid plans into complete and utter hilarity.

This movie is rated PG for innuendo and comic violence. Enjoy it!!

The Mechanic

I must confess - I love Jason Statham movies. Truly do. However, I hate that every two out of three are full of needless sex. I just picked up The Mechanic, and it turns out this movie is one of those with the sex. How bad is it? Well, let me put it this way. I make back-ups of all my movies, and this particular movie is going to have me editing it myself. That's right... I'm cutting the scenes of gratuitous nudity and sex because they've got nothing to do with the movie.

As it turns out, this is also a boon to those who, like me, love the films but hate these scenes. It means you can skip right past them without losing any storyline.

The Mechanic is an "R" rated film for a reason, and cutting out all nudity would not affect that rating. It is violent and bloody, but it is also quite a bit of fun. There is humor and more than a few pokes at our modern day society, along with some seriously twisted sight gags.

Jason Statham plays Arthur Bishop, a seemingly quiet, unassuming gent with a thing for a local singer/dancer named Sarah (Mini Anden). However, the reality of who he really is is known only to a few, such as his friend Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland). Bishop is an assassin, and a specialist at that. He's able to make any job look like anything from an accident, to a very clear message.
When Harry ends up dead as a result of a contract put out by his partner Dean, (Tony Goldwyn), Bishop decides it's time to close up shop for good. Taking on Harry's son Steve, (Ben Foster), he goes after the ones responsible for the double-cross. But when a double-cross of his own surfaces to haunt him, everything comes to the fore in a way he never imagined...

Or had he?

The Mechanic gets a total of four out of five stars from me, losing one for the pointless sex and nudity. Aside from that, the movie lived up to my expectations, which is no small feat. If the directors that Statham works with can get their hormones under control, I'd be so much happier.


Saturday, September 18, 2010


Let's face it- Uwe Boll ruined me.

This is because his horrid adaptations of video games to movies have become the stuff of legends. Somewhere, a mother is scolding her child and saying, "If you don't behave, Uwe Boll will make a movie about you." This naturally leads to the child behaving for the rest of his or her natural life, and well it should. The only projects of his which have not lived in infamy have been the ones where the permitting company stood over his shoulder.

I say all of this to make the point that sitting down to watch a couple video game adaptations had me nearly grinding my teeth together. However, it turned out to be an enjoyable, (and dare I say fulfilling?), experience.

Tekken employed every technique not used in such flops as Bloodrayne. This is a good thing, because it means this movie stands high above, not to mention scornfully laughing at the vampire slayer that could not. The cinematography is very good, the audio well mixed, and the special effects do not look as though they were bought at a 7-11 Halloween display. The wardrobe and sets seem over the top, but if you are familiar with the video game, you know it fits right in.

The one thing that may have purists up in arms is the departure from literal Tekken lore. This turns out to be a providential thing, however, as it allows the film a life of its own, becoming a virtual epic. Oh, yes- There is definite room for a sequel.

Now to summarize it for you.

Tekken follows the young man Jin (Jon Foo) through the streets of Anvil as he goes about his last normal day in the world he knows. When the Jacks come, though, that world is turned upside down. He watches his mother die in a fiery explosion and decides his one and only option is to enter the Iron Fist Tournament in hopes of meeting the man responsible for her death.
After defeating the reigning People's Choice fighter, he is joined by Steve Fox (Luke Goss) who begins to mentor him. Once in the challenge, he meets the beautiful but deadly Williams sisters (Candice Hillebrand and Marian Zapico); the explosive Raven (Darrin Dewitt Henson); the more machine than man Brian Fury (Gary Daniels); and the smoking hot Christie Monteiro (Kelly Overton). However, it is the rise of the heir to the Tekken throne that throws everyone off balance, and changes the game for Jin in ways he would have never expected.

Tekken also stars Ian Anthony Dale, Lateef Crowder and the amazing Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Heihachi Mishima. It is rated R for violence, sexuality and language.

As far as the rating goes, I believe it may be misleading for some, so let me go into a little detail on this. There are two swears in the movie, and they would both be a variant of the word "crap." There is one implied three way, yet nothing is ever shown. There are scenes of kissing and hormones gone berserk, but again, no nudity. There are some revealing outfits, though nothing beyond what is shown on commercials during prime time television.
I believe the majority of this rating lies with the violence, and let's be honest: That's the reason we're watching the movie to begin with.

There you have it, folks. Tekken is a great flick, and one of two which have gone far in restoring my faith in the video game movie genre.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Well, it has happened. I did not think I would find a book that would ignite my passion for reviewing literary works, but I have found it, read it and have decided to review it. Even more than that, however, I have been inspired to form a new "blog" solely for the sake of reviewing great books. You can thank someone very near and dear to me for that idea!

Thus it is with a joyous heart I wish to introduce my latest blogs- Words of Worth, Feature Films, and Must Have Music.

Remember, the original blog is Renegade's Rants. That having been said, let the games begin!!