Friday, March 24, 2023

John Wick: Chapter 4

My View: John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) R  Your favorite butt kicker, John Wick (Keanu Reeves), is back, and he has uncovered a path to defeat The High Table. However, before he can get back to earning his freedom, there is a new enemy that Wick must defeat. An enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and has ways to make old friends into foes. Well, it isn’t very often that a sequel is better than the original. It’s almost impossible for the 4th film of a series to be better than the first one, but John Wick: Chapter 4 does it. With brilliant fight sequences and a fun and not-too-complicated plot, this film is better than the first, which was damn good. Don’t wait to see this on your home TV. See it on a big screen to let the stunts and the gunfights wash over you with abandon. I love how Reeves has perfected the invincible Wick, making him an everyman you root for. Added to the cast are some fun additions, including Shamier Anderson as a new assassin (with a dog sidekick) and the villain of the story, the man driving the plot, and the Marquis de Gramont, played by Bill Skarsgard. Along the way, we still have Ian McShane and the late great Lance Reddick as your helpful hotel guides. The film is long but moves at such a quick pace that you won’t notice the length, which the final action sequence starting around 45 minutes to go until the end. There are a ton more fun and exciting characters, but I don’t want to ruin all the surprises. And yes, stick around through all the credits to see a bonus scene. So put on your Kevlar suit, load up your trusty sidearm, and join John Wick in a battle to end all battles. Or is it?   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again.  John Wick: Chapter 4 Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

My View: A Good Person (2023) R  Alison’s (Florence Pugh) life has fallen apart after being involved in a fatal accident. With the help of her mother (Molly Shannon) and her would-be father-in-law, Daniel (Morgan Freeman), Alison slowly turns her life around, but not before a lot of pain is dealt with. Florence Pugh rises above a script that takes too long to develop and gives us a too-good-to-be-true ending. Pugh is perfect in the role of a woman full of guilt and wants to stay numb so that she doesn’t have to deal with anything. In one of his best performances of the last few years, Morgan Freeman is terrific as the father-in-law who now has to deal with a granddaughter (Celeste O’Connor) who has lost her parents. Through a chance encounter at an AA meeting, Alison and Daniel help each other heal, but it’s not an easy road to go down for either of them. I also loved Molly Shannon as Alison’s mom, who loves her daughter but does not know how to deal with her daughter’s addiction or pain. I loved that in both of Alison’s relationships, there isn’t an easy way to heal, and with Daniel, it’s a rough road with plenty of potholes. Maybe we, along with Alison, should have had to work a little harder to understand her pain and how damaged she is. Instead, it’s all kind of laid out for us.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  A Good Person Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

Indiefest: Rodeo (2022)   Julia (Julie Ledru) is a young woman who has a troubled life, living in social housing and having almost no relationship with her mother. She loves motocross and will do anything, including stealing bikes, to ride. She becomes part of a bike theft ring when an accident jeopardizes her ability to fit in. Ledru plays a character in Julia that is hard to like. Julia is a tough-as-nails woman trying to fit in with a rough crowd and therefore doesn’t let anyone near her. She rejects most people, constantly has a scowl on her face, and is ready for a fight at a moment’s notice. However, Julia has a flaw. She is way over her head in with the biker crowd and thinks she can bluff her way out of anything. Unfortunately, she doesn’t always figure out when to run or stop bluffing, which gets her into trouble. Rodeo is a film in that we never get to know the characters that well, and when the movie ends, it is very abrupt, much like Julia herself.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Rodeo Website  Now playing in select theatres.
The Lost King (2022) PG-13  An amateur historian, Philippa (Sally Hawkins), learns that no one knows where King Richard III’s remains are buried. Philippa goes on a quest to find where King Richard’s remains are, defying the stodgy academic establishment. She has a little help; the ghost of King Richard III. Based on a true story, Sally Hawkins is perfect as Philippa, a woman determined to find Richard’s grave and won’t give up, no matter the odds. Hawkins is utterly charming as she battles bureaucracy and her fragile health. Working on a feeling, lots of research, and an occasional visit from King Richard himself, Philippa is convinced she has found the final resting place. Now if Philippa can convince the world. I really liked this film about beating the odds and believing in yourself and, maybe, a five hundred-year-old king.   My Rating: Full Price  The Lost King Website  Now playing in select theatres. 

Forgotten Film: The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) R  It’s 1949 in a small town in California, and Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) is the 2nd barber in a two-man shop. Ed gets wind of a chance to make money in dry cleaning and decides to blackmail the man (James Gandolfini) who is having an affair with Ed’s wife, Doris (Frances McDormand). Things, of course, go wrong, with double and triple crosses, jail, and lots of bad luck. The film is shot in black and white by masters of the modern-day film noir, the Coen brothers. While not their best work, this is still a marvelous film to watch with a cast that knows how to make every scene work.  My Rating: Full Price  The Man Who Wasn't There Info     The film is available to rent or buy on iTunes and Amazon.

Weird Credits: From the Credits of John Wick: Chapter 4: Horse Team Translator

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Paint (2023) PG-13  Carl Nargle (Owen Wilson) is Vermont’s number-one public television painter, adored by his fans. He has it all with a signature perm, a custom van, a rocking studio, and a TV show where everyone watches his every stroke. Then a new painter comes to town, a woman named Ambrosia (Ciara RenĂ©e), and it all comes crashing down. The legendary PBS painter Bob Ross inspired Owen Wilson’s character, Carl Nargle.  Paint Website   The film opens nationwide on Friday, April 7th.

Until Next Time!

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