Ep. 50 – Spy, Entourage, Love & Mercy, The Lion’s Mouth Opens, The Rock to star in Big Trouble in Little China remake, and Samuel L. Jackson won’t be in Captain America: Civil War

June 7, 2015 by  
Filed under Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The CineSnob Podcast, the guys from CineSnob.net review “Spy,” “Entourage,” “Love & Mercy,” and “The Lion’s Mouth Opens.” They also discussed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson doing a remake of “Big Trouble in Little China” and Samuel L. Jackson being left out of “Captain America: Civil War.”

[0:00-9:27] Intro/live audience talk/bat boys and ball girls
[9:27-19:47] The Rock to star in Big Trouble in Little China remake
[19:47-26:27] Samuel L. Jackson won’t be in Captain America: Civil War
[26:27-40:44] Spy
[40:44-55:23] Entourage
[55:23-1:06:09] Love & Mercy
[1:06:09-1:17:44] The Lion’s Mouth Opens
[1:17:44-1:28:53] Teases for next week and close

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San Andreas

May 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Jerrod, Reviews

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Paul Giamatti, Alexandra Daddario
Directed by: Brad Peyton (“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”)
Written by: Carlton Cuse (debut)

Disaster movies are so late-‘90s. When photorealistic computer-generated graphics really tightened their grip on the summer box office blockbusters, filmmakers couldn’t wait to use these pixels to destroy major cities and landmarks the world over. From “Independence Day” to “Deep Impact” to “Armageddon,” we spent our summers watching the world get destroyed over and over again. Alas, the fad died down and something else took over…historical action-adventure epics, maybe? Anyway, with “San Andreas,” we’re thrust back into the 1998 style of tent pole filmmaking: amazingly-realized destructo-porn special effects and a story with the depth of an empty swimming pool.

As an LAFD rescue helicopter pilot, Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) is introduced doing what he does best: saving a young woman from a car perched perilously on a cliff face. But when a massive earthquake destroys the Hoover Dam—a phenomenon grimly predicted by Paul Giammati’s Cal Tech scientist using magnetic pulses or something—Gaines has to skip out on driving his estranged daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) to college in order to go save lives in Nevada. Blake instead hitches a ride with her mom’s (Carla Gugino) billionaire architect boyfriend Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd) to San Francisco, only to be abandoned by the suddenly-evil Daniel when a huge earthquake traps her in a limousine. Blake manages to make a cell phone call to Ray, who promptly whips his chopper around to pick up his ex-wife from a collapsing Los Angeles high rise and hauls ass toward San Francisco.

While the effects are well done and Johnson is as likeable as ever, “San Andreas” lacks any tension at all. The obstacles Johnson faces in an effort to save his daughter would be harrowing if it didn’t feel like he was playing in God mode in a video game—we know he isn’t going to die, but he still has to get through all of the levels in order to finish the game. Crash-land a helicopter? Yep, hold on! Disarm a man with a gun to his head? Yeah, no big deal. Parachute out of a small plane into the infield at AT&T Park? Easy. Power a small motor boat over a goddamn tsunami before it crests in San Francisco Bay? You’d better goddamn believe it! But hey, it’s summer, it’s hot outside. Might as well go watch The Rock and company narrowly dodging falling skyscrapers for a couple of hours.

Faster

November 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino
Directed by: George Tillman Jr. (“Notorious”)
Written by: Tony Gayton (“Murder by Numbers”) and Joe Gayton (“Bulletproof”)

While we’re ecstatic Dwayne Johnson seems to have ditched embarrassing kiddie fare like “Tooth Fairy,” “The Game Plan,” and “Race to Witch Mountain” by starring in “Faster,” his stock isn’t much higher since the ultra-violent action flick is without personality.

It’s not entirely Johnson’s fault. As “Driver,” an ex-convict out for revenge for the death of his brother, the ex-WWE star proves he still has everything it would take for him to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s actually kind of surprising that he’s not closer to that distinction yet since he’s been out of the wrestling ring for six years. It’s not charisma, attitude, or primal instinct Johnson is lacking. High-quality scripts keep dodging him for some reason.

That’s where screenwriters Tony and Joe Gayton come in with “Faster,” a film with all the violence one could want, but without a true sense of adventure. In the film, “Driver” does his share of point-blank shooting and engine revving, but it all feels very unoriginal in a genre that usually needs a distinctive touch to stand out. Director Quentin Tarantino has recently mastered it with films like “Kill Bill” and “Inglourious Basterds.” It doesn’t help that Johnson has already starred in “Walking Tall,” another less-than-stellar entry into the revenge genre. Johnson carries a small hand cannon in this one and not a two-by-four, but it feels all the same nonetheless.

Aside from Johnson’s no-nonsense attitude, the Gaytons fail to give any depth to the characters that are thrown in “Driver’s” way. Billy Bob Thornton plays “Cop,” a drug-addicted officer who never comes off as an actual threat. Then there is a character identified as “Killer” (Oliver Jackson Cohen), a slick assassin who has absolutely no reason to even exist. Actually, all the secondary storylines are weak and uninteresting, which puts all the pressure on Johnson to maneuver the film past all the pointless junk.

“Faster” is well shot, but there’s simply not enough material here to create a memorable vengeance movie. When the twists and turns start happening, it’s far too late to save face. Most of them have been blown off anyway.