What’s Up-Week 21: Back to the Cinema!

Welcome to Week 21 What’s Up where everything seems to be back on track. I even had time to head to the theatre. Its been a while that I haven’t just been trapped at work or being a hermit at home. Either way, let’s see what’s gone on in this week’s recap!

As usual, you can find me on Letterboxd to see all my ratings and what I’ve been watching as I update it after each viewing HERE.

READING

crossline

  • Crossline by Russ Colchamiro (Review)

Currently reading: The Space Between Time

This week and the next is going to be a dash to the finish line as I get some blog tour commitments together. I don’t usually put things so close together but sometimes, you just have to try to work things out with books that seem intriguing in the sea of indie book releases and what’s available. The review for Crossline is already out so you can check it on the review link above. As for The Space Between Time, I only brushed the very beginning of the story so not sure on what I think just yet but if its anything like Charlie Laidlaw’s last book that I read (HERE), there should be some creative fun in the horizon.

PLAYING

The Witness

Currently playing: The Witness

The husband and I are still playing The Witness. Some of those puzzles are quite mind-boggling to say the least so this game is more in small doses or whenever we feel like our brains need a break.

WATCHING

John Wick 3

  • Natural Selection (2015)
  • John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019) Review
  • Godzilla (2014)

We missed John Wick in theatres for the first two so since we’ve known about Parabellum coming out, we’ve been planning go see it in theatres. No regrets on that level. Not going to say too much since I’ve already done the review and you can check it out in the link above. Due to some podcast plans, we will be going to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters so in anticipation for it, we went back to check out 2014’s Godzilla which also is my first Godzilla movie ever. Its a bit surprising to some however, I have mixed feelings about this one but it had mostly to do with the fact that being a Godzilla story, it definitely felt like Godzilla was not as present as expected.

BINGING

Love Death + Robots

  • Nailed It! (Season 3, 2019)
  • Love, Death + Robots (2019)

Currently binging: Le Coup de Foudre, Produce Camp 2019, Love O2O (rewatch), Great Escape, Street Dance of China (Season 2), Beautiful Youth

While I am still watching a lot of TV series on Youtube, this week was all about catching up to the Netflix series. Of course, I had to get Nailed It Season 3 done because its just always so much fun and honestly, a very short series anyways. Then coming up soon will be a podcast related watch and that is Love Death + Robots. I’ve heard lots of good stuff about it so was pretty excited to check it out but because of recording, it was pushed up on the viewing list and boy, am I happy that I did but it was a blast. I’ll be doing a TV binge for it at some point (probably sooner than later).

Nothing too new in the currently binging list except that I’m rewatching Love O2O since I’m working on the TV binge for that right now (looking for quotes and trying to get some screenshots). The only two new addition here would be Street Dance of China which is in its season 2. I didn’t watch Season 1 but I did see some highlights from that. I won’t be going back to it since its mostly blocked in Canada except for highlight reels so since it really makes no difference, I’m just keeping up with the new season. At the same time, I’m watching Beautiful Youth which is a part of the Nine Percent boy group in their journey through New Zealand for 20 days on a budget.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

Director: Chad Stahelski

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Said Taghmaoui, Jerome Flynn

Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere. – IMDB

Let’s face it. Not a whole lot of movies make it to the third film in a franchise and are still watchable. Its a very small amount of films that get that far without actually just watching it with a lot of hope. That doesn’t apply to the John Wick franchise because while the second film might not have been as good as the first film (in my opinion, of course), the third film has a lot of the qualities of what makes this franchise stand out (the action, the style and the characters) while there are still some bits that get toned down but other elements gets amped up and yet, it all seems to come together for the thrilling ride. It does help that John Wick has the plot of everyone trying to chase him down and the tension from that situation. But John Wick is a man with a plan, even when things get crazy, the one hour grace time he got from Winston (Ian McShane) in John Wick 2 was enough for him to somehow construct his next move and hope for the best that it would get him to where he needed to be. At the same time, the story wasn’t just with John Wick trying to survive but at the same time, his actions causing the High Table to send out the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) to trace back to those who didn’t stop him despite knowing what he had done and delivering their punishment.

John Wick 3

Parabellum does a lot of things right. For one, it keeps it a fairly straight forward story. It has two story lines going on at the same time that links to each other. Its not complicated to follow and while it does rely a little on the previous movie, you could essentially sit down and watch this one simply knowing the pretext that John Wick had an hour grace period to make his escape and sit down to enjoy this one. It might have some confusing elements in terms of how the assassin tree of power works, I guess but then a lot of it wasn’t really explained before either so here we learn a little more about those elements as John Wick fights for his freedom. However, aside from that, what has always made this franchise thrive is its action and fast-paced story. The action choreography as well as the fighting scenes here excel. There is a bit more of a subtle background track than the previous movies however it does still work to meld well with the situation. At the same time, there is a lot of change in different weapons or techniques in the situation that John Wick ends up which gives it a lot of creativity even in having horses and other elements.

John Wick 3

Parabellum also manages to keep its charm by retaining its characters whether its John Wick which is a role absolutely perfect for Keanu Reeves or Ian McShane’s Winston or Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King or the Continental’s concierge Charon played by Lance Reddick which are all standout characters that make this movie shine. Parabellum brings forth a few new characters as well. The first to mention probably is Halle Berry as Sofia and Angelica Huston as The Director, two characters who we learn had past business with John Wick and helps him reluctantly. Both of them being ladies who are quite intense however Angelica Huston having the more power in her words and attitude and Halle Berry being the one with some of the really fantastic action scenes as she is accompanied by two dogs. Then we have somewhat of a more villainous character which is The Adjudicator played by Asia Kate Dillon who actually seems like the tough chick role who you’d expect would end up being in some fight scenes but she was there solely to lay out the deal as a diplomat sort of role which is pretty interesting. With that said, this one added in some dark humor which was less obvious than in this one and it had to do with the villain bad-ass fighter Zero played by Mark Dacascos who is this fanboy of John Wick but also wants to be the one to take him out. He does a fantastic job. The characters here remain very strong and add a lot of charm to the film and the story and its these characters that add depth and substance.

Overall, John Wick 3 does an awesome job. Its still not quite at the John Wick level of awesome but its pretty close. There’s a lot here that works and while some of the things feel like it speeds through it, things still fall into place and the heart of the story is in the right place. It also helps to have all these characters that have some mystery and so much to discover while managing to keep the action and fighting sequence fresh and fun.

***As a side note, there were moments it did feel like it was moments of tribute to Keanu Reeves past movies. I mean the obvious is Laurence Fishburne and some other Matrix-like moves while you have signs like Bridge Closed, which it felt like was a Speed reference and I’m sure there’s tons of other stuff that I missed.***