Double Feature: Perfect Stranger (2007) & Red Riding Hood (2011)

Welcome to the next double feature. Still braving through some Netflix titles as we head into the P and R selection, well, the first R selection, it would seem. The alphabet thing is more of a guideline at this point. This time, we’re heading into two thriller-esque movies. The first being Halle Berry and Bruce Willis’ Perfect Stranger which I remember I had wanted to see when it first came out but never did until now. The R selection is also a movie that I had wanted to see even though it looked like it was not going to be good which is Red Riding Hood. The result of both of these films were fairly similar, to be honest.

Let’s check it out!

Perfect Stranger (2007)

perfect stranger

Director: James Foley

Cast: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Portnow

A journalist goes undercover to ferret out businessman Harrison Hill as her childhood friend’s killer. Posing as one of his temps, she enters into a game of online cat-and-mouse. – IMDB

With a pretty great lineup of cast playing a tight knit group of characters, Perfect Stranger definitely feels like it could be a winner. While I can’t truly fault the acting or the roles here, its the final moments that somewhat break the film a little. Plus, some of the roles are a tad over the top. The story does make the effort as a thriller to keep you guessing while giving you a few suspects to consider but as experienced viewers now know to question whoever is the most obvious in movies, it creates those smokes and screens fairly well.

Perfect Stranger is one of those films that I really want to like. Bruce Willis is pretty good in his roles. There some issues with Halle Berry’s character and then, the best role here that really delivers has to be Giovanni Ribisi who brings up a lot of question marks. Deal is, the story feels really choppy and the ending is one of those trying too hard to give you a surprise endings and it thinks its more clever than it actually is.

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Julie Christie

Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure. – IMDB

Red Riding Hood has a decent idea behind it. Its a bit been there done that. Which is also why, it hasn’t been too long since I saw it and I already don’t remember too many of the details. So, let’s get the good things out of the way. This one was alright in the acting department, not so much in the dialogue department though and its one of those things that feel very much one way that it could all go. Plus, its one of those easy to figure out twists because its not exactly far-fetched and it doesn’t help that its a re-imagining of Red Riding Hood which doesn’t seem like the Red Riding Hood elements make a huge difference to the outcome. The ending is pretty meh and honestly, the film wasn’t so bad at the beginning but falls apart as it goes along.

Overall, Red Riding Hood was kind of a lot of weird bits added together. Nothing felt really necessary but it felt like it needed to add those elements of love to give that spicy edge, the vengeance to give the revenge and hatred edge and then the reveal being the surprise element except nothing seems like it works long enough to make it have a truly lasting effect. Its not exactly a bad film but then its not exactly anything special either. I mean, to make things better, I went ahead and watched Hoodwinked which is a much better twist on the Red Riding Hood story.

That’s it for this double feature!
I’m indifferent regarding these two films so its a bit harder to write about.
Have you seen either of these films? Thoughts?

My Hometown Blogathon: Montreal, Canada

Caz at Lets Go To The Movies hosted their first blogathon.

my hometown blogathon

The theme is based on everyone’s hometowns.

The idea is to do a little bit of research to put together a blog post about your hometown and link it to film. – Let’s Go To The Movies

This is a pretty exciting blogathon for me because Montreal has been one of the go-to places to film movies.  In the last decade (or maybe more), Montreal has been turned into Paris or New York just to name two.



Finding movies set in Montreal and isn’t a Quebec production tends to be harder to find.  The first to come to mind is The Whole Nine Yards with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry. I don’t remember that movie much but it includes popular location like the Notre Dame Cathedral set in Old Montreal.

Taking Lives with Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie is set around Montreal.  Its been a while since I’ve seen it but it takes place in various other smaller towns around the province of Quebec as well as the metropolitan area. Life of Pi is also in that basket where I’m not sure the exact location.

However, some notable Quebec productions set in Montreal are:

  • My Daughter, My Angel
  • Bon Cop Bad Cop
  • Incendies
  • Polytechnique

Thats just to name a few because the list does go on…


Increasingly, the amount of films shot in Montreal are growing.  Just this year, there’s been at least 4 films around my work area that has been filming.  Over the years, here are few titles that I’m familiar with in the list that I found.

A few surprises to me was Batman & Robin, Johnny Mnemonic, Death Race and Get Smart.

Some of the more famous titles are that the majority of The Day After Tomorrow was filmed in the Old Port of Montreal and around the city. Gothika also has a few scenes, one notably in a downtown park.  One of the biggest one that involved a lot of the Chinese community as extras including one of my mom’s good friend was The Art of War. Another one is the I’m Not There which I know takes a scene from the building right in front of my building in Old Montreal. Another one that I walked past a few years back on St. Catherine Street was The Factory where I saw John Cusack walking across the street in the scene from afar.  One that was filmed next to my work building and had a whole set and actually a lot of the Mont Royal view of Montreal (with an CGI wall) is Warm Bodies.  The biggest one of recent is X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Along some of the other titles that were shot in Montreal but I’m not sure where are these:

  • Upside Down
  • Orphan
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth

While some of these had theirs shot in the Cite du Cinema in studio in Montreal, they also include Source Code and Immortals.


Apparently there’s not a whole lot of famous people in film born in Montreal because I could only think of William Shatner.

And if you really want to stretch it, then there was one scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Georges St. Pierre fighting.  Does that make him an actor? Probably not. But he’s born in Montreal too.

My research also lead me to find that Emmanuelle Chriqui is also born in Montreal. She was in a movie that I reviewed a few months back called Women in Trouble.


Other than William Shatner, another famous person raised in the surrounding areas of Montreal is Christopher Plummer. Thats pretty cool, right? The man in one of my favorite musicals, The Sound of Music and who also did the extremely awesome movie, Beginners raised in Montreal, love it! 🙂

How can I do this category and not mention this next one?  The voice of Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon being his most memorable role in my mind, and thats Jay Baruchel. Although born in Ottawa, he was raised in one of the Montreal boroughs.  Wikipedia says he still lives there, and I have no idea how accurate that is.


Montreal is becoming a growing place to shot a movie even though not many are set here.  Its diverse cultural architecture gives it that advantage.  Having European influence in Old Montreal and Cite du Cinema studios, its having a lot of nice opportunities.  In the summer, walking around Montreal, its hard to not see little no parking panels for filming times for certain movies.  With bigger Hollywood ones, there are even road closures and security to block off the road.  Its definitely an exciting time.  I look forward to seeing what other movies are filmed here.

A huge THANKS to Caz for coming up with this My Hometown Blogathon! I had a lot of fun researching Montreal and its filming locations and film sets along with certain actors.  There were some films that I already knew but some took me by surprise.

Double Review: Sin City (2005) & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

Surprisingly enough, I got selected for a special advanced screening of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.  However, my memory of the first one was not that great especially since I didn’t remember much, so I decided to revisit it the night before I went.  The experience of being the first group to see the movie is definitely great and since I’ve been doing this little blog and diving into the world of movies, I’ve learned that I’ve changed a little in how I appreciate movies and that is the main reason why I wanted to revisit this.

Since I’ve been massively behind with everything, I decided to just go ahead and do a double review of these two movies. It baffles me that after almost 10 years we get a sequel for Sin City but still, lets see how it all went.

SIN CITY (2005)

sin city posterDirector: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez (special guest director: Quentin Tarantino)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jaime King

A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.-IMDB

I have no other way has to how to describe this movie but just use the synopsis in IMDB. I’d give it a shot but honestly, I think it all starts with this.  The first time I saw Sin City in theatres with some college friends, I thought it was THE most boring thing ever.  Why? Because nothing made sense and it was like a jumble of nothing.  It was beautiful and black and white gory and brutal.  Its not really not my thing and as I rewatched it a few nights ago, I saw it in a different light.  There is a brilliance to the jumbled-up story and I stayed awake for it and apparently, I only remembered two parts from the original viewing.

Sin City

What I absolutely love is the style.  The black and white and the interlacing of sharp colors: the red silk (and sometimes, blood), the colors in the eyes, the contrast in hair and that sort of thing.  It just makes an impression.  Then you have one of the bad guys, Yellow Bastard who is just a disturbing and ugly character that popped out because he was literally yellow.

sin city

The second thing that I love about it was the cast.  Bruce Willis is just amazing as Jack Hartigan.  Clive Owen is awesome as Dwight.  And then there’s the passion and chemistry between the characters. The stories gave time for the characters to grow and develop in exactly the space and time it needed.  Each of the stories had their impact and honestly, Basin City has some pretty impressive characters.  The Old Town girls are brutal, violent and fun to watch.

sin city dwight gail

As I sit here thinking about it more, its really starting to grow.  The third thing that works is the stories.  Everyone has something that makes it worthwhile to watch. It has exaggeration, sarcasm, darkness, violence, manipulation.  This town is full of ugly people in personality.  Its corrupt and dark but strange enough, its also covered in beautiful women who are almost as lethal as you can imagine.  There are boundaries and all that.  Its a pretty amazing set-up for a movie.

Sin City has the formula for a great movie and for the most part, it delivers.  The question is whether its your type of movie.  I love the comic book visuals, the sharp contrasts, the set up of the town and the stories of our main characters, and especially the fantastic cast.  It was well-balanced, brutal and very fun to watch. However, its not exactly my type of movie that I go for everyday so it took time for me to really see it through.  The second viewing definitely made me praise it a lot more.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

sin city a dame to kill for

Director: Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller

Cast: Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Bruce Willis

Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.-IMDB

On a lesser run time than the first one and having a few new characters, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For still lacks a little something.  I loved the style that was equally has beautiful as the first with the black and white and sudden colors to give it a great experience.  The music was awesome and matched the atmosphere.  I’m trying to pinpoint in my mind if there were 3 or 4 story arcs right now but they weren’t quite as fun as the first.


The characters were great because the cast is still very decent.  Mickey Rourke returned as Marv and is still as violent (and a bit stupid) as before.  The new additions of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green and Josh Brolin all bring something new to the table. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets his own story arc as a cocky gambler who never loses.  He goes to Kadie’s to challenge Senator Roark except in the corrupted sin city, he gets warned time and time again that its not a wise thing to do.  As much I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt in absolutely anything and he is very wonderful as Johnny, I felt his story wasn’t quite where I wanted it to go.

sin city a dame to kill for

The next story arc was for an older Dwight (previously played by Clive Owen) but is returned this time played by Josh Brolin. Dwight’s story is possibly the most elaborate.  He is trapped in a flame that he can’t shake off.  He tries to not respond to the attractive Ava, played by Eva Green who is now married to a rich man.  She comes back and he falls right back into her arms.  This leads to a game of manipulation, a trap, revenge and a lot of naked Eva Green scenes. This one was actually pretty fun to watch.  The chemistry, passion, manipulation all works out even if you can predict what will happen 😉

sin city a dame to kill for

I guess, the fourth story would be Marv retracing how he ended up where he was, except I’m wondering if there was anything for him.  Except, Marv, played by Mickey Rourke (like the first one) is the key to drawing everything together because he appears in all the stories in one way or another.  If anyone is easily manipulated, it would have to go to him. Plus, he is the action and the brutal violence.  There is no doubt that Marv is a great character and Mickey Rourke does a great job, even after 9 years he still has the essence of Marv in him and revives him on the big screen.

sin city a dame to kill for

I personally like the follow up with Hartigan’s death and the impact it has on Nancy the best.  The roles are both still played by the original two, Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba. Although Nancy and her dancing scenes are thrown around the entire movie and it lets the audience see how she’s completely broken by it all.  Its a mental struggle for her and she not only wants revenge that she can’t pick up the courage to do so she drowns herself in alcohol.  In her struggle, she sees glimpses of Hartigan, as if he’s never left her side.  Its really something to watch.  There was one shocking part that I never would’ve guessed and its pretty awesome the way they handled it.

Overall, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is not as good as the first one.  The stories lack the punch it had in the first one, even though there are two that particularly stand out.  However, the style and the music is still amazing.  The 3D is done extremely well and adds to the overall effects.  The cast does a great job at bringing everything they can to the movie and for the most part, they do a very good job.  Even the new additions, Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings a charm to his story (even though it falls flat), Josh Brolin has a compelling character and story and Mickey Rourke is fantastic once again as the ever so violent Marv.

I need to make a point of saying this: If you were a fan of the first one, the chances of you enjoying this one more than me is very high.  Keep that in mind when you decide whether you’d like to see this 😉

Are you a fan of Sin City? What makes it so great to you? Have you been anticipating the sequel? Do you think its been long-awaited or unnecessary?


A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

My whole catching up with 2013 flicks is actually going pretty good. I’m quite proud of myself on that level.  Maybe not so much that I’m neglecting other parts of my blog.  Either way, last night I was tired and eating late and I needed a shortish no-brainer flick.  Seeing as there’s been an incredible amount of negative reviews for A Good Day to Die Hard, I figured I’d give it a shot.  Plus, my boyfriend had seen it a few days ago and he said that it wasn’t bad.  We may not always agree on a lot of movies, but Die Hard is one franchise we have a pretty similar love for, so I was hopeful.  Lets check it out!

a good day to die hard posterDirector: John Moore

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir, Radivoje Bukvic, Sergei Kolesnikov

John McClane (Bruce Willis) gets news that his son, Jack (Jai Courtney) is in prison in Russia and will possibly be sentenced to death.  When he arrives, he catches both Jack and a Russian prisoner Komarov (Sebastian Koch) escaping and he learns that his son is actually a CIA operative working undercover to stop a Russian politician Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov).  Komarov is the only one with a file that could prove all of Chagarin’s problems and they must protect him and get him safely to extract that file.  Jack and John now need to team up in order to fight the opposing Russian forces.

If you asked me if any of the Die Hard sequels matched up to the first one, I’d answer without a doubt, no.  However, the issue is NEVER John McClane.  Bruce Willis can act our John McClane and make him enjoyable all the time with  smart ass comments and the whole lot of one-liners and just outrageous action.  The same goes for this one.  If you asked me whether John McClane brought on a good show, I think he did.  Just for him, I’d add this movie to my collection.  I watched it on Netflix so I don’t own it.

a good day to die hard john jack komarov

However, what is the downfall at times of the other sequels sprinkles through this one also.   What I hated about the fourth was the never dying tough chick, well, we have one of those here. The second and third failed with not a very convincing bad guy and this one had this one also.  Was there a lot of stupid dialogue? Yup, there was a good bit of that as well. Was there also some very bad effects? Yes also. And there was many parts I wanted to punch Jai Courtney’s Jack in the face because he was so annoying.  All that sounds pretty bad, no? Well, actually, I enjoyed this one.  Its not my favorite Die Hard because nothing compares to the first one with the perfect blend of everything but its not horrible.  I can sit through this and I had a good laugh with a lot of the stuff going on and the ending scene was pretty predictable but also alright in my book.

a good day to die hard chick

In my defense, I never put too many expectations and set high bars for Die Hard especially after 3 other movies before it that was just fun to watch. My goal for this that it will entertain and John McClane puts on a good show. It had some over the top action, a few explosions, shoot ups and they even added in a highway chase. As hard to believe some of it was, I didn’t mind it. There was some eye rolling and in that highway chase, I felt like I was playing the early versions of Need For Speed when some dinky car could overturn my power machine but I got over that.

a good day to die hard baddie

I admit I’m biased but its Die Hard. Maybe I don’t have the heart to hate it, maybe I’m just being really lenient with it.  It could also be because I was so tired and a little bit of John McClane always makes my day but I was entertained and I had fun.  Thats what matters to me. I mean, right before the final act, I actually starting liking Jai Courtney just a little bit more.

If you saw the other sequels, I’d say why not check this out? But if you are starting this series now (which should be very few people), then you have lots of better choices.  I’m leaving this one up to you.  Sometimes, there are just movies that I enjoy and I have no reason why.  Its a personal preference, maybe even just having the right mindset or just that it makes me feel good.  Thats all this one was to me. I know there’s plenty of bad with this and I acknowledge it but it didn’t bother me 🙂 So I’ll just go straight ahead and admit that I liked it and I don’t really mind watching it again if I were to do a Die Hard marathon one of these days.

Did you see A Good Day to Die Hard? What did you think of it? Are there any of you that enjoyed/liked it?

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Voila! In case you missed my review for Die Hard, Die Hard 2 and Die Hard with a Vengeance, its respectively HERE, HERE and HERE! After the guilt of not putting this up, I had to get around to it even if my boyfriend didn’t want to see it! I really didn’t enjoy this movie when I saw it this for the first time a few years ago. It is the marathon so I’m going to finish this marathon in style (even if its delayed) and give this flick another chance.

live free or die hard posterDirector: Len Wiseman

Cast: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis

Due to an FBI technical breach/hack, Director Bowman (Cliff Curtis) sent out senior detectives on a urgent call and this directed John McClane (Bruce Willis) to pick up a professional hacker Matthew Farrell (Justin Long) to be delivered to the FBI.  During this pickup, Matthew is attacked.  With McClane’s help, they both escape but end up getting stuck in downtown Washington in the crisis of a shutdown of the city performed by a team of organized terrorists lead by Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) and his team including his girlfriend Mai (Maggie Q) who is in the process of doing a fire sale (meaning transportation, financial and all utilities down) to cripple the nation. McClane has to team up with Matthew and use his knowledge to track down where Thomas and his team will attack next before the complete whatever they are trying to accomplish.

die hard 4.0 helicopter and car

Just to clarify, I don’t really hate this movie.  Its not like its really bad.  Its extremely crazy action-packed and intense for most of it.  There’s a lot of over the top explosions, shooting and its loud and destructive in most of the time.  Its pretty much what you would expect in a Die Hard movie.  Just look at THE MOST awesome scene in the whole movie: the helicopter being “killed” by a car.

die hard 4.0 mcclane matthew

Bruce Willis’s John McClane is amazing to watch on screen as always.  We can tell that its not his time anymore.  The technology and virtual terrorism is way past what he understands and thats why we have Justin Long’s Matthew Farrell.  This is where we get McClane and Matt throwing comments about age and being old.  There is a lot of sarcastic humor (at least I call it that) and I love that stuff.  This is probably the first movie (when I saw it the first time) that I saw Justin Long.  Honestly, I was pretty impressed.  He’s a decent actor and he’s done some alright movies. I enjoy watching these types of roles on screen.  It always makes me laugh.  Plus, they had a good dynamic going on.  It made for a lot of entertaining dialogue throughout this action flick.

Die Hard 4.0 Thomas Gabriel

Next up, I always talk about the terrorist.  Timothy Olyphant plays Thomas Gabriel and to tell you the truth, he’s pretty convincing.  I’ve never seen him do a downright bad-ass guy.  This time, he may not be emoting a lot with his face for a majority of the movie but his eyes are crazy full of hatred.  He’s convincing enough in my book.  Maybe its because my computer knowledge is definitely far from hacker knowledge so I have no idea what was going to happen next.  This guy is the best part of the bad guys…Its good he is the leader of them, right?

die hard 4.0 mai and matt

Next I go to the annoying part of this movie.  The lady right up there! Maggie Q pisses me off in this one because there is no one that can survive the amount of crap she goes through.  Okay, we see McClane stand up to a lot of damage but he’s lucky all the time.  This girl is throwing McClane around (but thats okay, some chicks are strong and I secretly imagine that I can kick my 6 foot 3 boyfriend’s ass if needed with my 5 foot 3 physique and I strength train and do weights, etc).  BUT, what I don’t get is how she can get flopped around, beat up repeatedly and then have a huge shelf fall on her and still be alive.  *MINOR SPOILER*Say, she has a crazy tough bone structure, but how can she even survive an SUV hitting her at a crazy speed and still climb up a hanging vehicle*END*.  I’m sorry, its just my rant on seemingly impossible to kill villains.  The other bad guys were a bit on the weird side because they have assembled a team of French and Italian and they all don’t communicate in English when calling back to the central enemy base.  It just doesn’t correlate.

die hard 4.0 mcclane

Don’t get me wrong! I actually ended up enjoying this movie a whole lot.  I actually have it playing in the background as I type this up.  Its intense and fun!  The cast is pretty awesome (except for Maggie Q).  Its just a bigger and more modern Die Hard than the previous few. Of course, its still not the first Die Hard but I wouldn’t skip it if I had to do the marathon.  I’d say its worth your time if you can just shut off your mind and just love the intensity and McClane’s crazy encounter with being at the wrong place at the wrong time 😉

Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)

If you haven’t seen my review on Die Hard and Die Hard 2, you can check it out HERE and HERE respectively.  Let’s get on with the third part: Die Hard with a Vengeance You don’t really need me to intro this franchise, right?

die hard with a venganceDirector: John McTiernan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons

When a store is blown up and the NYPD receive a call from the bombers asking for the suspended John McClane (Bruce Willis) to complete the mission set out for him, they run to grab him to pull him out of suspension to prevent other catastrophes.  The rule is that Simon (Jeremy Irons) has now asked him to play a game of Simon Says and its full of riddles with deadly consequences if not completed within the time limit or following the rules that he sets.  However, on his first task, McClane is asked to stand with an offensive sign walking down Harlem area for 5 minutes.  He expects the worst to happen, but that is until a good samaritan Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) comes by to try to stop any crimes that could happen without knowing the situation that he has gotten himself into.  They have no idea what Simon wants and why he has chosen to toy with McClane but all they know is that McClane and Zeus must follow the rules to prevent another explosion.

die hard 3 mcclane zeus

Honestly, this is similar to the feeling I get from Die Hard 2.  There isn’t really much of the plot that I love (like the first one) but somehow, I found certain parts enjoyable.  I do know what I do like about it.  The most certain aspect I love about this one is the fact that it has now elevated to a duo with millions of differences that has to work together for the greater good.  Plus, Bruce Willis as McClane is fantastic as always. He really sinks into this role in a great way.  In this one, he’s paired up with the awesome Samuel L. Jackson.  They make a great team and they carry this movie with humor and chemistry.

die hard 3 jeremy irons

On the terms of plot, I guess I’d be lying if I think that it wasn’t attractive of who they set the main bad guy to be.  Jeremy Irons was decent although we mostly heard his voice giving instructions.  Of course, as any Die Hard, there is always a secondary plot and plan that unravels.  It keeps the story interesting because there are multiple things happening.

die hard 3 mcclane

There was one part that I laughed because of a cut scene that was made not correlating too well.  These are simple imperfections that sometimes with certain viewings we’ll notice.  There are some (after thinking about it, quite a bit) gripping moments because it does involve a lot of countdowns and bombs and last minute decision making to get out of yet even more tight situations.  When does McClane not have to do that, right? Its almost the story of his life by now.

This action flick was cool for me.  I had fun watching Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson team up and see how they worked as “buddies” with their own issues to deal with.  It provided a lot of humor that helped lighten the intensity they had put there.  Although this movie was all about fighting, it did try to add a bit of trick and games to help bring up the tense mood and drive us to see the plot with the subplot that was going on.  I liked that balance.  There is something that I feel is missing, maybe its yet again the villain who didn’t really seem to do too much, or maybe its just his lack of presence. Still, I found it an alright action flick.  I would still say it was fun 🙂

What do you think? Do you know what missing factor I could be feeling but not able to express? Was there something out of place for you?

Die Hard 2 (1990)

Die Hard was an absolute success (check out my review HERE).   But sometimes (most times), the follow-up sequel really doesn’t get very good.  What about Die Hard 2? Let’s check it out 🙂

die hard 2 posterDirector: Renny Harlin

Cast: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler, Reginald VelJohnson

Christmas has arrived once again.  John McClane (Bruce Willis) is in Washington airport waiting for his wife, Holly’s (Bonnie Bedelia) to arrive.  When he suddenly sees some suspicious people heading into the baggage area of the airport (you know where they send the different baggage to different planes or whatnot..I don’t know what thats called).  He follows them in and when one of them get away, the airport police just take it as a normal baggage thief.  Shortly after, he realizes when all the planes are put on delayed status, that terrorists, lead by Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) has disabled all transmitting and communication functions from the Communications Tower, Dulles Tower to the aircrafts making the scheduled flights trapped in the skies doing circles with no idea what is going on in the airport.  They ask for certain instructions to be followed as they wish to land a criminal, Chief Esperanza and take him away.  John McClane must now find a way to land his wife’s plane safely before it runs out of fuel no matter what it costs as he tries to search out Colonel Stuart and his crew.

die hard 2 mcclane 2

Die Hard 2 is not a bad movie but its not as epic as the first one.  It was fun to watch for the most part.  Bruce Willis is both a comic in a sarcastic way given the situation. He is still the McClane that gives it his all and does everything he can to get his wife back and fight the bad guys.  There is a decent support cast.  The issue is that there are certain fight scenes that seem rigid and staged.  This was not the case in the first one.  Also, the effects are not too great but I can overlook it seeing as it is an aged movie.  1990 effects till now has improved a lot but I’m not too picky with effects when the entertainment level is there.

die hard 2 colonel stuart

I always like to look at the bad guys. In this one, we primarily have Colonel Stuart, played by William Sadler. Honestly, I don’t really remember this guy in any other movies other than Die Hard 2.  *runs off to look at IMDB* Ah, so the only role I know him from is the guy I wanted to punch as a stupid father in August Rush.  Not impressive… Either way, him as a villain was alright.  I just thought that every time he was transmitting a message it sounded like a mechanical robotic voice. He has a very answering machine recording type of voice which made me laugh a little at it.  I’m not exactly sure that was supposed to be the effect.

This action flick lacked a bit of the intensity that it had in the first one.  It really tries to get us engaged as to what will happen next and technologically, what could be done next, but it wasn’t very much the action that did it all.  There were explosions and plane crashes, fire and shooting and all that but it wasn’t as frequent as I would have wanted from it.

die hard 2 mcclane

However, whenever I watch these action flicks, I ask myself one thing..was it enjoyable? Did I have fun with it? Fact is…I did! Because John McClane’s character still kicks some serious butt.  Every time he enters on the screen and does his thing, he does it in a great way! Plus, we have a bit of continuation from the first one, with the situation of the in plane situation from his wife’s angle.  And we bring in a little cameo with outside help from his buddy from the first one.  And other characters also.  A new character that really gave a bit of comic relief chemistry was the janitor or something like that called Marvin played by Tom Bower.  That guy cracked me up! He was such an amazing character 🙂

die hard 2 mcclane 3

Overall, Die Hard 2 was an enjoyable flick. As much as the villain didn’t make me feel very threatened, Bruce Willis’s John McClane still managed to light up the screen with his comedic lines matched with his way to get himself out of intense and tight situations to find the solution to save the day!

Die Hard (1988)

Wow…I was 2 when this came out.  We all know this movie, especially after the 5th one came out in past February.  However, I promised a fellow blogger Jonathan @ Life of Jonathan to check it out.  He landed on my site during my February romantic comedy marathon and wanted me to do more “manly” movies.  I wanted to make another marathon out of it but I think gradually reviewing Die Hard movies is already going to be fun enough.

die hard posterDirector: John McTiernan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

NYPD office John McClane (Bruce Willis) fly down south to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife, Holly Gennaro (Bonnie Bedelia) and his two kids.  Before going home, Holly arranged for him to go to Nakatomi Plaza where she works to attend the Christmas party.  Not long after he arrives, the office is penetrated and locked down by a group of terrorists lead by German leader Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).  In desperation, he escapes and not only tries to save his wife from what could happen, but to also find out and stop whatever the terrorists plan to do.

Did you need me to give you a recap? I think most people have already seen this, but then I have to give others the benefit of the doubt, right? So there you go, a short plot summary.

This is one of the best action thrillers.  It is also  in #104 in the IMDB Top 250 movies. Okay, there are some cheesy lines here and there and there is one part I just realized when I was watching that cracked me and my boyfriend up which we had never noticed before.  The long hair blond guy tried to karate chop McClane in their final showdown.  I can’t find the image of it but it was a LOL moment for us! I had to give that part a mention.


Why is this one of the best action movies? Because its completely action-packed.  The intensity of this movie can get really high especially when McClane is running around bare foot and totally alone fighting a bunch of terrorists in an unknown building and trying to not get killed.  At the same time, there are a lot of smart ass comments that are meant to crack you up.  It provides this perfect balance to make it enjoyable and huge amount of action intensity.  We also have a great partnership from through the radio with McClane and the LAPD cop, Al.  They help each other out and they have some nice, funny and great moments happen. All the characters become so amusing to watch in this movie.

die hard hans gruber

With that said, this movie is possibly the best in the Die Hard series because of its villain.  Alan Rickman is a fantastic actor and he does an outstanding job at being Hans Gruber, a criminal mastermind/terrorist.  He’s not crazy or does he act frantic. He’s smart and calm and we never can guess what he will do or say next. I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman even before seeing Die Hard, which I only saw a few years ago.  He is a really awesome actor not just as criminal masterminds but as Snape in Harry Potter and a tempted-to-cheat husband in Love Actually.

die hard john mcclane.

Great action movie, awesome cast, intense fight scenes, laughs here and there and great partnership formed and an awesomely evil villain, oh right and Bruce Willis in one of his most awesome movies and it makes me love Die Hard! By the way, did you realize that Bruce Willis ran REALLY fast across one of the scenes.  Never seen him do that before in other movies! Even more awesome!

Let the Die Hard reviews start 🙂

Which is your favorite action movie? Do you like Die Hard? Why do you like it? Maybe its for the same reasons or different ones?

The Expendables 2 (2012)

Last night I finally got around to going to see The Expendables 2 with my boyfriend (of course!).  He’s a big fan of all the old school action stars, so it was really a lot of excitement on his end.  I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit worried (as usual) for a sequel.  A lot of the actors added onto this one that I haven’t had much exposure to so my boyfriend was telling me a short description of who they were during the movies.  You know, general description like martial artist or wrestling, etc.  Honestly, thats what you need to expect what awesome moves they’ll pull and surprise you.  Enough with the rambling…here we go!

Lets say I wanted and expected to get exactly what was in the first.  If they managed to be at par, I was going to be extremely happy because I had a happy thrill ride in the first one.  I LOVE testosterone movies.  I’m serious…explosions, gun fights, fist fights, martial arts, etc.  I didn’t expect this movie to have a crazy plot either, nothing too deep.  I just expected it to have the minimum to get the action going.

What did I get? MAXIMUM SATISFACTION!! My eyes were glued to the screen.  Right from the beginning to the final showdown, I was hooked.  It was so fun!

It had a really nice mix of humor also.  I felt it was mostly because the old cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture had a really good chemistry, especially Stallone and Statham and their random bickering was just absolutely hilarious.  You have Lundgren with his random comments and then Crews’ remarks.  On top of that, they added Liam Hemsworth which had a little side story to supplement.  I have to say that I really enjoyed his appearance.  I haven’t seen any of his other movies yet since I didn’t catch Hunger Games in theatres and then I haven’t wanted to sit down and watch Last Song yet either.  This will definitely motivate me to do it though.  We also got an Chinese action actress, Nan Yu who started off not doing too much but built into a character that pulled off some pretty cool moves.  Of course, the extended appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis is always a plus (despite its constant referral to its past movies, first 2 times was alright, eventually was starting to roll my eyes).  They played an interesting part in how this movie flowed.  Then we have the new roles played by Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and even Scott Adkins.  These roles pulled my boyfriend mostly because he grew up with them and that was the fun part I think.  Scott Adkins had left his mark for my boyfriend in Undisputed 2; Jean-Claude Van Damme was for the reknowned martial arts and well, Chuck Norris…is Chuck Norris.  The cast itself boost this movie’s raw action up so many levels.

Seeing as the cast itself are a lot of awesome action stars, we are expected to have just an amazing experience.  Let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint me at least.  I thought it was amazing.  It started off with lots of explosions, guns, big cars, ramming through obstacles.  There’s a lot of sticking up for each other going on as well. We get surprise covers everywhere.  From the beginning, with Hemsworth’s character in the sniper role and making his appearance as the addition to the Expendables crew.  Chuck Norris also comes to the rescue for a little snapshot in the middle with lots of shooting.  Honestly, there really wasn’t much drama going on in terms of the plot.  Its start forward: The team starts with a mission to introduce the cast, then falls into a mission that they are assigned with by Bruce Willis’s character as making up a situation to retrieve something from a destroyed plane.  They go in and things end up going bad when another team, the villain played by Jean-Claude Van Damme (called Vilain) and his right hand man, (played by Scott Adkins) comes in.  The plan afterwards in response to Statham’s question, “What now?” Stallone responds, “Track him, find him, kill him”.  At that point, you know that the intensity level is going to shoot up.  If nothing else caught you, the final showdown was seriously awesome!  I mean everyone shows their crazy fighting, shooting, tackling, martial arts abilities.

All in all, I really enjoyed The Expendables 2.  I would even say that I liked it even more than the first one, which is actually quite rare (in my movie view experience at least).  The cast was great and had a huge amount of intense action. It was all I expected and I think, it exceeded my expectations so thats even better.

How about you? Did you see this movie yet? If yes, what did you think? If not, will you eventually see it when it releases on DVD/Blu-ray?