Brawl in Cell Block 99

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This essentially straight-to-digital movie, released back in October, slipped under my radar until very recently when I caught some online buzz about it.  A serious Vince Vaughn performance is always an intriguing prospect, so I decided to give it a go, expecting a gritty prison movie with (given the director’s previous movie) some hardcore violence.  I wasn’t wrong, but I didn’t expect it to be as damn good as it was. Continue reading

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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Those of you who read my best of 2015 list know that the original Kingsman was one of the year’s pleasant surprises, so naturally I was excited for the sequel.  Does it live up to the hype, or is it just another retread?  The answer is yes. Continue reading

Atomic Blonde: Not Quite a Dud, But Hardly Explosive

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Atomic Blonde is not an action movie.  I feel obligated to get this out of the way, as the movie has been the victim of a misleading-at-best marketing campaign.  Trailers featured Charlize Theron kicking ass front and center, suggesting a John Wick-like exercise in minimal story and maximum thrills.  But if anything, the movie’s plot-to-action ratio is story heavy. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious

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Watching The Fate of the Furious, I found myself wondering (not for the first time), how did we get here? How did a straightforward street racing movie morph into an eight-film behemoth whose action sequences’ sheer scale put other blockbusters to shame? But for the first time, I found myself a little bored of asking that question, since the series has now been doing it for six years or so. But inevitable repetition aside, how does The Fate of the Furious stack up in the series hierarchy? Continue reading