So somebody working for the movie division of the World Wrestling Entertainment (the ones responsible for those scripted show wrestling matches starring the likes of John Cena and The Rock) was looking for the perfect movie for one of their wrestlers, in this case one Dylan Postl whose stage name is “Hornswoggle”. Yes, I am aware that this sounds like a term used a Harry Potter book. Hornswoggle’s gimmick is that he’s not only a little person, but also dresses up as a leprechaun. I’m not kidding, do a Google Image search, it’s guaranteed you will have at least a chuckle. Sadly, the thing not giving you a chuckle is the project they deemed the most suitable for him: a new addition to the dormant mediocre Leprechaun franchise.
Last year we saw Clint Eastwood tackle the rise to fame of Franki Valli and The Four Seasons in the lukewarm received Jersey Boys. This year another group gets the biopic treatment in F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton which covers the rise and fall of N.W.A.; a notorious hip-hop group responsible for launching gangsta rap in the late 80s. The movie focuses mostly on three of the five members of the band: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice-Cube. Not a surprising choice as the real Dr. Dre, Ice-Cube and Eazy’s widow Tomica are responsible for producing Straight Outta Compton, but also because Dre, Cube and Easy were the guys who had the biggest careers after the demise of the group in the early 90s.
It has been 30 years since we have last seen Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca (Chewie to close ones) defeat the Galactic Empire in The Return Of The Jedi. Their stories had been told and George Lucas decided to focus on the origin of the Empire and Darth Vader in three prequels that weren’t received with much applause. Now that Disney has acquired the rights to Star Wars, they have chosen to breathe new life into the franchise by telling a story which picks up 30 years after the events of The Return Of The Jedi. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens a new threat arises: The First Order. It’s A military and political organization inspired by the principles of the Galactic Empire and is led on the ground by a masked man named Kylo Ren, much like Darth Vader did in the original trilogy. Kylo Ren seems like a new Darth Vader at first, but is more prone to violent outbursts unlike the always calm Vader. The First Order’s greatest threat are of course the rebels, which have some familiar faces among them, but before we meet up with them we are introduced to a whole band of new characters who are supposed to be this generation’s protagonists.
Quentin Tarantino is something unique in the movie world. He is a true author as he writes and directs his own projects. There are few like him and those who do tend to create movies that cater more to art-house crowds than the general movie going public. That isn’t the case with Tarantino who has the ability to create epic movies, full of rich dialogue and characters, without a basic three-chapter structure and great cinematography. The only time he disappointed me was with the mediocre Death Proof from which he redeemed himself with the brilliant Inglourious Basterds. As always I had my hopes up for the latest Tarantino: The Hateful Eight.
Gremlins 2 is a sequel you either hate or love. Upon its release it received mediocre reviews mostly hitting on the movie for the lack of an actual plot or it being nothing more than a “bigger is better” approach. While those comments might be partially true, Gremlins 2 is more than just a rehash of the previous movie with a bigger budget. Created by the same group of people responsible for the first movie, Gremlins 2 is a clever spoof of the original.
After more than 50 years the Bond series has proven it knows how to reinvent themselves every so now and then preventing it from becoming outdated. Mostly the choice for a new lead as James Bond signals the beginning of a new era. With Daniel Craig James Bond went from becoming a charming, smirking double agent to a more serious and gritty one. Casino Royale was to Die Another Day what Batman Begins was to Batman & Robin. It was the beginning of set of movies with little room for humor in the scripts and now with Spectre we have reached the moment the series once again needs a new approach and a new lead.
The Predator has become one of the most legendary movie aliens in cinema history. The original movie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, revolved around a group of American commandos being hunted in the jungle of a South American country. In this sequel, simply titled Predator 2, the action has been moved to the urban jungle of Los Angeles and instead of a group of commandos, the alien is after two rival drug gangs and LAPD lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover).
I’ve seen my fair share of women-in-prison movies, most of them being starring blaxploitation queen Pam Grier. The amount of women-in-prison movies is staggering and most of them try to sell themselves to the mostly male crowd with the image of scantily clad women on the cover. Most of these movies are simple trashy throwaway exploitation flicks that deserve to be forgotten, but even in this peculiar genre certain titles peak my interest even after 40 years of their original release. Caged Heat is one of them and it has three elements that made me decide to watch it:
The character of Rocky Balboa is something truly unique in Hollywood. When we met him 39 years ago in Rocky I don’t think anybody would imagine we would see him appear in a new movie released in 2015 still being played by the same actor. It’s the only character in movie history that we have actually followed and see growing old over the course of almost 4 decades. That is truly something special, especially when you consider all the reboots and remakes that are released every year. Can you imagine Robert Downey Jr. playing an elderly Iron Man in 30 years? I’m pretty sure by then all the Marvel movies have been given reboots.
To be honest, at its core Creed is a reboot of the Rocky franchise with Stallone passing down the torch to his rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son Adonis. But since he and both Rocky share the same amount of screen time as well as character development this is as much Creed I as it is Rocky VII.
Let’s see if the following plot description sounds familiar:
The lightweight boxing champion of the world has been unbeatable for a series of matches which, admitted by his manager, have been against inferior opponents. A possibly superior opponent is constantly denied a shot at the title resulting in a verbal sparring session in which the opponent makes sexual comments about the champ’s wife. After a tragic loss of a close one the champion loses his spirit and subsequently the title making the opponent the new champion. Down on the ground he goes to a small gym in a poor neighborhood where he befriends a black coach. The coach agrees to train him and help him retrieve his fighting spirit which is possible due to the magical elements of the training montage. When he is back on track again the only thing left is a boxing match between the old champ and the current champ as the old one has some scores to settle.
You guessed it: the movie I’m reviewing this week is Rocky III!
OK, not really, it’s Southpaw; a movie that didn’t even have the decency of giving Sylvester Stallone a credit.