Ep. 130 – Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

August 5, 2019 by  
Filed under Podcast

This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod talk “Hobbs & Shaw” and the future legacy of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the possibility of a 4-hour cut of “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood” coming to Netflix.

Click here to download the episode!

Pacific Rim

July 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Jerrod, Reviews

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”)
Written by: Travis Beacham (“Clash of the Titans”) and Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”)

You’re here to know if watching giant robots duke it out with colossal monsters using state-of-the-art special effects, leveling city blocks in the process, is as incredibly cool as you hoped it would be, right? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. On that front, “Pacific Rim” delivers and delivers big. From the opening scenes featuring a Kaiju (Japanese for “strange beast,” think Godzilla on steroids) taking out the Golden Gate Bridge to a mid-movie showdown wherein a particularly nasty Kaiju takes a beating from an oil tanker-wielding Jaeger (German for “hunter,” otherwise known as the huge robots humanity built to kick Kaiju butt), director Guillermo del Toro’s big-budget monster movie is pure fun when the massive fists are flying.

“Pacific Rim” opens in the not-too-distant future. The Kaiju attack on the Golden Gate Bridge was just the beginning. More and more monsters rose from the deep, traveling to our world through a trans-dimensional portal known as The Breach. After conventional weapons took far too long to defeat the beasts, humanity shook off all previous conflicts and joined forces to build the Jaegers. Controlled by two pilots mind-melded together in a process called The Drift, the Jaegers successfully beat back the Kaiju…until the Kaiju came back with a vengeance and the Jaegers were declared ineffective and set to be decommissioned in favor of a massive seawall. Under the command of Marshal Pentecost (Idris Elba), the last remaining Jaegers will mount a final offensive against the Kaiju with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance.

While del Toro turns in top-notch action, the story threading it all together tends to feel routine and pieced-together from a bunch of stuff you’ve seen before. Echos of “Avatar” resonate through these scenes, from dead brothers to joining minds to piloting giant, well, avatars, it all seems too familiar. A sense of strangeness seeping through the seams keeps things interesting, though. Characters are named things like Stacker Pentecost, Hercules Hansen, and Hannibal Chau, and the Jaegers sport nonsensical code names like Gipsy Danger and Striker Eureka. Del Toro tosses in little details to build this world that might keep you from glancing at your watch too much when there aren’t any skyscraper-crushing battles onscreen. But when the titans start clashing, “Pacific Rim” is everything a kid who grew up with a steady diet of Godzilla and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers would ever want in a film.

Takers

August 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Tip “T.I.” Harris
Directed by: John Luessenhop (“Lockdown”)
Written by: John Luessenhop (debut), Gabriel Casseus (debut), Avery Duff (debut), Peter Allen (“Klash”),

There are only so many things you can do with a screenplay as unoriginal as “Takers.” You can either compare it to better heist movies that have come before it or you can save your breath and take it for what it is: a generic, one-dimensional collection of cocky, GQ-fashionable stars running around with nothing meaningful to say or do.

In “Takers,” a group of professional thieves (Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Michael Ealy, Hayden Christensen, and Chris Brown) team up with Ghost (Tip “T.I.” Harris), a former member of their crew who was recently released from prison after being the only one to get arrested during the boys’ last run together six years prior.

Now out of prison, Ghost wants to steal $30 million from an armored truck and feel his old friends owe it to him to join up for another heist. Although some of the men don’t trust Ghost, their leader Gordon Jennings (Elba) accepts the proposal since Ghost never took a plea bargain and ratted any of them out when he was in the joint.

On the other side of the law are LAPD’s finest, officers Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez) who are hot on the trail of the “takers,” but have problems of their own to deal with as well. Like the criminals they’re after, neither of the boys in blue have much personality aside from a typical law-enforcement temperament.

Besides a few well-shot action sequences (this doesn’t include a pretentious shoot-out scene played over symphony music), “Takers” is not engaging unless you’re entertained by big-budget pissing contests. The testosterone and fashion might be at an all time high, but when you’ve seen one slow-motion strut in an Armani suit you’ve basically seen them all.

Obsessed

April 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Idris Elba, Beyoncé Knowles, Ali Larter
Directed by: Steve Shill (debut)
Written by: David Loughery (“Lakeview Terrance”)

Note to all the ladies in the house: Keep your hands off rapper Jay-Z.

At least that’s what they should think if his real-life wife Beyoncé Knowles ever turned into the livid lioness she portrays by the conclusion of “Obsessed,” the new thriller that pits the ex-Destiny’s Child singer against “Heroes” star Ali Larter.

In the film Larter plays Lisa, a temp secretary at a financial firm who begins to stalk her happily married boss, Derek Charles (Elba), while his wife Sharon (Knowles) is at home with their infant son unaware of her husband’s long-legged problem.

Although Lisa’s sexual advances continue, Derek doesn’t tell anyone until he is forced to reveal what has been happening when his deranged admirer overdoses on prescription drugs in his hotel room.

The film continues uninterestingly and becomes another poor imitation of others that have come before it. Lisa sulks about her delusional love. Derek tries to stay strong for his family. Sharon builds up rage, which leads up to a 10-minute catfight scene that’s far less intense than movies with similar themes like “Fatal Attraction” or even “Misery.”

Here, the clichés are bountiful and Lisa’s tiresome school-girl crush is absurd from any angle of a dysfunctional relationship. While she plots ways to get into Derek’s pants, screenwriter David Loughery (“Lakeview Terrance”) provides no surprises or tension to keep us involved in the story. Before you know it, the predictable final act ends like most unhealthy relationships do – not quick enough.