Tag Archives: hummingbird

Winners And Losers: Round 2

Hello, everyone! It’s time for another round of Winners And Losers (WAL)!

If you missed Round 1, here’s a link.

If you haven’t read a Winners And Losers post before, here’s what Winners And Losers is. Each movie an actor/actress/director gives a memorable performance or a good film, I consider that a win. For every movie they give a shoddy performance or star in a detestable film, they get a loss, leading to an overall record of wins and losses. Over 50%, you’re a winner. Under, please get off the screen. I’m more likely to see winners’ films and do my best to avoid losers entirely.

Not all the films included in Winners And Losers have been reviewed by me yet, but I have seen them. I haven’t seen some in a long time and I don’t feel comfortable grading them a win or a loss, so they’ve been excluded from the list. There are also some films that actors have been in but did not play a substantial enough role to be considered for Winners And Losers. There is a tab at the top of the homepage for Winners And Losers and all records will be updated regularly when I see films with participants.

The bell rings for Round 2 and three more action stars come into the ring. Let’s go!

Jason Statham

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 

Guy Ritchie’s first feature brought Mr. Statham into the fold. The film is troublesome at times but demonstrates potential. It is not a smooth ride but what it does right keeps it afloat. Verdict: Win

The One

The One is headed by Jet Li but Jason Statham has a large enough role to be included for WAL. It’s a boring one. The film is a watchable bad movie but Statham’s presence here is a head scratcher.  Verdict: You’re not the one.

The Transporter

Statham’s breakout ride is a joyride. Statham’s best character to date spawned three films and now a TV series as well, though sadly without him. Jason Statham is Frank Martin and he drives fast. Not the best of the series, but a fun flick nonetheless. Verdict: Win

Transporter 2

Louis Leterrier’s sequel is an improvement as Statham digs himself farther into the character. Frank Martin remains the man. Verdict: Win

Chaos

I watched this on Netflix not too long ago. It has Wesley Snipes and Ryan Phillippe co-starring. Wesley Snipes put another dingo on his board and Chaos remained as stable as a film can get. Excessively boring and I don’t remember anything about it. Not looking forward to reviewing this. Verdict: You call this chaos?

Crank

This film was definitely different but not all difference is good. Crank‘s overwhelming reliance on fast-paced film editing overshadowed a weak story, but Statham’s character defines this film and the entertainment it offers. Verdict: Win

War

This film is at war with itself and with me. Unable to meet the basics of a revenge storyboard and flat-out ignoring the stunt work ability of two of the best in the business is enough for a hard L. Verdict: You want a war with me?!

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

This film is absolute garbage. It was the worst film I’d seen for a time and my return to it earlier this year was just as painful. Verdict: What king? The king of the trash heap?

Transporter 3

Haven’t penned a review for the final installment, but Transporter 3 remains my personal favorite and was a salute to the character and series. Verdict: Win

The Expendables

Statham and Stallone owned the screen for the opening flick and it was well-deserved time. The chemistry between the two was on point and rarely does Statham disappoint in the stunt department. Verdict: Win

The Mechanic

A film that was going to be excluded from this round squeaked its way in when it showed up on TV the other day. It’s not the best, but it’s one I look forward to visiting again, especially with Ben Foster co-starring. Verdict: Win

Blitz

I watched this once and hated it, a second time and still hated it, and a third and final trip was the strikeout that did it in. No interest in seeing this flawed film again or watching the overblown subplots and limited presence Statham was afforded. Verdict: Blitz off the screen, pronto.

Safe

This film was the worst! Oh my gosh, so bad. Time jumps were constant, the character motives were weak as glass and that Asian girl better never act again. EVER. Verdict: You are not safe. Not safe at all.

The Expendables 2

Still digging the explosions, stunt choreography and Statham’s character, Christmas. One of the leading lads of the entourage and again, well-deserved. Verdict: Win

Parker

Watched it twice, missed the target twice. Jennifer Lopez didn’t show up to play, Statham’s given pebbles to work with and let’s not talk about The Thing. Verdict: You’re not parking on my street.

Redemption/Hummingbird

Another real doozy, Redemption was a protegé at the sport of boredom if ever there was one. A story of self-identity that never identified itself, Redemption was purposeless and didn’t even hum entertaining. Verdict: Redemption? You got a lot to make up for, bud.

Homefront

James Franco’s presence in any movie not titled Spider-Man is a bad sign and this was no different. Useless as usual, Franco tore this movie down like it was built on cotton candy straws and Statham sunk down with it. Verdict: Foreclosed.

Killer Elite

An assassin film without much thrill or punch and with an underused Robert De Niro to boot, this one falls flat. Verdict: Not Elite.

Death Race

Bred from the same themes of The Running Man, Death Race feels unfulfilled given the depth of story and character that was available here. Verdict: Race ya to the exit.

Final Record: 8-11, 42.1% LOSER!

Statham was a solid 6-1 prior to my subscription to Netflix, but since then his rating has taken a tumble. He’s fallen into a rut, but I’m confident he can dig himself out. I’m still a fan of his, but he’s got to give me something to work with or I’m going to start being a lot more selective with the films I choose with him.

Wins: 8 (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Transporter, Transporter 2, Crank, Transporter 3, The Expendables, The Mechanic, The Expendables 2)

Losses: 11 (The OneChaos, War, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Blitz, Safe, Parker, Redemption/Hummingbird, Homefront, Killer Elite, Death Race)

 

 

Image result for liam neeson free useLiam Neeson

Schindler’s List

I watched it for the first time my senior year of high school. It’s a very dark film that contrasts villainy with a message of hope and it ushered in the great Liam Neeson so the whole world could finally recognize his brilliance. Verdict: Win.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Hate it all you want, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace isn’t a terrible movie. It might not be great, but it’s not awful and Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn was a great cast. Verdict: Win.

Batman Begins

Christopher Nolan’s first Batman film grabbed a great actor in Neeson to oppose Christian Bale and it really helped hold the film together. Verdict: Win.

Taken

3-0? Make it 4! Luc Besson’s writing and one of the best monologues of the 21st century shoots Liam Neeson into action star elites! Verdict: Duh, winning.

The A-Team

I picked up this on TV a few months ago and forgot how much I loved this movie. It’s dumb at times, corny at others, but it still remains way too much fun given the duo of Bradley Cooper and Neeson. Verdict: Make it 5.

Unknown

The streak ends with this garbage. A story that draped a blanket over our head for the entire movie worked with the suspense but the climax was a complete dud and Neeson was never given the materials to act, nor did he do well with what he was given. Verdict: Hope it remains unknown.

The Grey

When my family rented this, Mom quoted a review saying, “The dogs did better acting than the actors.” Whoever wrote that review wasn’t kidding. I didn’t hate this the second time around as much as the first, but it’s still a bloody dog carcass laid out in the snow. This survival tale struggled to survive an audience and those CGI dogs. Verdict: Woof, woof. It only gets darker from here.

Taken 2

Somehow close to the same standard as the original, Besson’s work comes out swinging again. Verdict: Win.

Non-Stop

Not a great film and I’m on the fence in terms of how good it was, but at the time of my review, I looked at it favorably. Verdict: Win.

Taken 3

The whole identity of the film was switched up and I didn’t like the change of direction, but Neeson remained faultless. Verdict: Win.

Run All Night

Neeson’s last venture was a mold of a prior film, somehow avoiding an obvious copyright lawsuit that should have been filed. Neeson was doomed from the start with this one. Verdict: Run from this all night.

The Lego Movie

Almost forgot about this one. A great animated film and Neeson has the voice for this kind of thing. Verdict: Win

Image result for liam neeson free useFinal Record: 9-3, 75.0% WINNER!

As long as Neeson keeps hitting the targets, I’ll keep watching. It’s a shame it took so long for the guy’s career to take off, but better late than never. I want to believe he’s got one more good drama left in him, but I’m unsure if he’ll go for it or not. His catchphrases and ability to relate are what really jumps out to me. He may not be one of Hollywood’s best right now, but he is one of Hollywood’s most entertaining.

Wins: 9 (Schindler’s List, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins, Taken, The A-Team, Taken 2, Non-Stop, Taken 3, The Lego Movie)

Losses: 3 (Unknown, The Grey, Run All Night)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for tom cruise free useTom Cruise

Taps

One of Cruise’s first films, Taps was forgettable and it’s a good thing because if he put out product like this, he never would have become the Hollywood superstar that he is today. Verdict: I didn’t play Taps when this movie ended.

Top Gun

This might be a popular film but it’s not a good one. Corn on the cob it’s so corny, Top Gun‘s following among Americans makes no sense to me. Verdict: You’ll never be my wingman.

A Few Good Men

Tom Cruise’s first truly good role, at least that I’ve seen, A Few Good Men remains one of the best law films ever made and Jack Nicholson’s monologue remains just as profound as it did the first time we heard it. Verdict: Win

Mission: Impossible

The introduction of Ethan Hunt and a series that would spawn some of Cruise’s best stunt work, Mission: Impossible was truly gravity-defying. Verdict: Win

Mission: Impossible II

Climbing another rung in the ladder, Mission: Impossible II remained hot. Verdict: Win

Minority Report

One of the best sci-fi films of the last two decades, Spielberg’s Minority Report explores a lot of angles and Cruise gets to be the leading lad we all know him to be once again. Verdict: Win

The Last Samurai

A study of oriental culture and character transformation, The Last Samurai is such a film to honor that Tom Cruise was given his own holiday in Japan. Verdict: Win

War of the Worlds

Many critics still don’t know what went wrong with War of the Worlds, but something did. That much is evident. However, for me, Cruise sneaks away with a surprise win because I found his role the key piece that prevented this film from turning into pure feces. Verdict: Win

Mission: Impossible III

While the question, “How many impossible missions are there?” may begin to circulate your mind during this film, it is the best Philip Seymour Hoffman delivery I’ve seen and Tom Cruise continues to get farther involved with the character of Ethan Hunt. Verdict: Win

Valkyrie

A history lesson for those interested in World War II, Valkyrie never got to the depth of character I wanted, but remained attractive enough to keep me involved, with kudos to Cruise included. Verdict: Win

Knight and Day

Saw it in theaters and sadly haven’t gotten to see the whole thing again since, Knight and Day allowed Cruise to demonstrate the wit he’s so easily capable of as well as an upside-down story that will throw you for a loop. Verdict: Win

Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol

The Mission: Impossible train refuses to stop and doesn’t look to do so anytime soon with a fifth film coming out this summer. The script writing still thrived, the stunts never disappoint and the adrenaline comes in a constant stream. Verdict: Win

Jack Reacher

Based off of Lee Child’s novel and filmed in my home city (Pittsburgh), Jack Reacher featured some good camera work, a dominant presence from Cruise and a twisting story that worked. Verdict: Win

Oblivion

2013’s Oblivion had potential and like many other sci-fi films that came before it and have yet to come, had potential go unreached. The third act is a major letdown, but the first two-thirds made it, at minimum, an intriguing experience worth riding out once. Verdict: Win

Edge of Tomorrow

Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise had some great chemistry, the story was driving and Cruise played comedian, drama king and action hero like it was picking apples. Verdict: Win

Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation

Somehow these things continue to improve just when you think they couldn’t have gotten any better. Verdict: Win

Mission: Impossible-Fallout

There is nothing Mr. Cruise cannot do. The stunts he’s still doing at this age…certainly can’t bash this man’s dedication. I start to get worried each time I come into these that this might be the film that triggers the decline of his career but it never happens. Tom, like Brady, seems to defy time. Verdict: Win

Final Record: 15-2, 88.2% WINNER!

Tom Cruise steals the top spot on Winners And Losers from Sylvester Stallone (82.4%) with an impressive 13-2 tally as of this posting. His personal life is one easily criticized but his talent in front of the camera is undeniable. He never feels out of his element, always at the top of his game and continuing to impress me. He performs his own stunts, a trait I will always applaud and root for. Now in his 50’s, Cruise is still performing his own stunts, including hanging on the outside of a plane on takeoff and holding his breath for six minutes in an underwater scene in the newest Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation. You can question his personality and character all you want, but there’s no question of his dedication

Wins: 15 (A Few Good MenMission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible 2, Minority Report, The Last Samurai, War of the Worlds, Mission: Impossible 3, Valkyrie, Knight and Day, Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher, Oblivion, Edge of Tomorrow, Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible-Fallout)

Losses: 2 (Taps, Top Gun)

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Movie Review: Redemption

Mom had the bright idea of renting movies from Redbox the other day. The results were not promising. It was released as Hummingbird in the U.K. and Crazy Joe in France. Action hero Jason Statham stars in Redemption.

I like Jason Statham. He has a fun vibe surrounding him and I enjoy his stunt routines, something this film didn’t have enough of. Statham plays Joey Jones, a homeless ex-military man who…I honestly don’t even know. He’s traumatized from his experiences in Afghanistan and shows symptoms of PTSD, but we don’t learn anything more than that the entire movie. Statham’s character doesn’t reach any levels of depth. We know his life is bad and he’s in a lot of pain, but we don’t know much else. Joey’s mind is like a steel door and there’s simply no way to enter unless he opens the door, something the plot does not allow.

Speaking of the plot, one wonders if this movie has one. This movie’s framework is held by flimsy popsicle sticks in its characters and its dialogue leaves little on the viewer’s plate. You don’t get a healthy sampling of anything in this script. Statham takes most of the screen time and there aren’t many other characters. Director and writer Steven Knight leaves Statham to carry the movie by himself with very few tools to use to aid him with this task, so few that it makes the task unachievable. At a running time of 93 minutes, this movie is far too long.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (42Just Go With ItReal SteelMiracleScrooge)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games: Catching FireGangster SquadElfThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Along Came PollyAliensAlien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThor)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlien, Serendipity)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3)

My score for Redemption: 35.

Knight appears unsure of what angle he wants his story to take,  instead composing subplots and a needlework of misplaced character strings in the hopes that they become knit together at the end or that one of them pans out into something productive. Instead of one unified story line, this movie become a story spiderweb and the audience is unsure of which line they’re supposed to follow.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

Agata Buzek plays the nun Cristina and there are some questions I have. She has a confessional with Joey and says that she used to take gymnastics as a kid. She was raped by her instructor a number of times until she slit his throat. She was traumatized, I get that, but that takes some guts. How did she get away with that by the way? She did him like a cold-blooded killer. Wouldn’t there have been an investigation or something? How did she become a nun? I believe if you truly repent for your sins then you can be forgiven, no matter what you did, but I had a difficult time picturing this. Has she been pretending to be a nun this whole time just to get away from the world?

Also, they keep showing us views from a drone. Are drones allowed to fly freely over London? Why are there drones following Joey? It was annoying because it’s not like you can see much up there.

Happy Holidays everybody!

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