John Wick – 300 (Parabellum)

WickI use the number 300 instead of 3 – for the third installment of the John Wick, the master assassin. Seeing the film with an action-appreciating buddy, we couldn’t keep track of the bad guys killed by Wick. He commented later that it was the highest body count he’d ever seen in a movie, a bold statement considering other slaughter movies we’d seen, like Rambo 3 or Hacksaw Ridge.

I’ve always liked Keanu Reeves and that includes his John Wick character, but I started to chuckle after his first 30 or 40 kills. The man deserves credit for the way he handles himself in the action sequences – basically a two hour long chase and fight scene. He masterfully handles an assortment of weapons that must have taken hours of practice to successfully operate.

If you don’t mind a few dozen blood-spattering head shots and an overly violent plot, this movie could be for you. I do find it odd though, in this day and age, how movie makers can present us with such mindless slaughter, and add a dry touch of humor to make the film more entertaining. In a way this movie reminded me of the Walking Dead – the bad guys weren’t dead until you shot them in the head, in many cases more than once.

Enough about the violence. The movie has a highly paid all-star cast, perhaps to give the flick some credibility with movie buffs. I have to say I was shocked at the other online reviews I read from sites like Roger Ebert and company. So maybe it was just me…and my buddy, who thought there was enough carnage to call the John Wick movies a trilogy and leave it at that.

Cathryn could never have sat through this movie with her eyes open. I don’t think my buddy was too impressed. For the sake of mindless entertainment I give it 5 out of 10.

East of Desolation – Jack Higgins

872403East of Desolation 
by Jack Higgins

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 15, 2019  


This book is a re-write of the original 1968 novel, which the author and publisher decided to bring back to life. I think it was a good decision. The story-line could easily fit into any 19th or 20th century decade. It’s got drama, suspense, intrigue, action, a bit of romance, and even a couple twists to keep you thinking.
I found the setting interesting, the far north, beyond what most of us call the civilized world. The characters are strong, some likable and some not. The plot involves a bit of a treasure hunt with the usual alliances and double-crosses to see who will end up with the booty.
The author, Jack Higgins, gained notoriety with his war/spy thriller ‘The Eagle has Landed.” East of Desolation is just as well-written and I have no problem recommending the read to anyone who enjoys those types of novels.

Mission Impossible – Fallout

Mission_Impossible_Fallout_poster_4What can I say, I’ve been a fan of Mission Impossible since Tom Cruise was kindergarten. And as much as times and television and movies have changed over the years, I love how the producers have kept the same theme and music and gimmicks. Yes, one CIA character in the new movie even refers to the Halloween masks that the IMF uses to pull off their impossible missions.

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The Messenger – Daniel Silva

93793The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6) 
by Daniel Silva

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 16, 2018  


I’d read The Black Widow before this book, but it actually follows the Messenger. That wasn’t a problem because the story stands well on its own and some of the names are familiar adding more to the story.
Gabriel Allon is supposed to be the Israeli intelligence officer who assassinated the terrorists known as Black September for their killing of Jewish Olympians during the Munich Olympics. The character is also a world renown art restorer.
The story is a good old fashioned spy thriller where the good guys chase the bad guys through various exotic locations around the world.
I’m now a Daniel Silva convert.

Only The Brave

imagesIf you see this movie you’ll never think of wildfires in the same way again. Ever. We hear about these disasters all the time, but I’m sure most of us have no idea what the firefighters or hotshots who deal with these raging infernos do for a living.

Only The Brave gives us a firsthand look at the job these men do and how it affects their personal lives at home. Like Navy Seals, Hotshots are elite specialty units with the expertise that allows them to be dropped into the middle of out-of-control wildfires in the hope they can save thousands of acres of forest or in some cases, whole towns full of private homes.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action movie that allows you to laugh out loud in certain scenes and with certain dialogue, comparable to to Bruce Willis’s Die Hard series. The action is pretty well non-stop throughout the movie, an on-going pursuit plot with a couple of outstanding car chases.

Does anyone know why bad guys on motorcycles think they can somehow stop a speeding car? You know they’re always going to lose. The cinematography showcases Amsterdam and the Netherlands, with a lot of the chase footage filmed along and in the canals and narrow streets alongside.

Ryan Reynolds’s character is a bit of a sap, but it’s a perfect fit with Jackson’s opposite and bad-ass character. Gary Oldman always makes a good bad guy, and doesn’t let us down in this movie. I think Salma Hayek’s character is over the top and a bit ridiculous, but it adds to the comic relief.

Cathryn and I both enjoyed viewing this flick on the big screen, but had trouble rating it. We both settled on a 7 out of 10.

 

Demise at Dunkirk

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When Germany invaded France they trapped 400,000 soldiers (mostly British) that retreated to the beaches at Dunkirk. The film’s director, Christopher Nolan, used Imax cameras and CGI to show us on the big screen just how spectacular that would look from the air. The massive army stood like sitting ducks on piers and open beaches, awaiting the navy for transportation home.

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