Browse Author: andy

RECAP: The A-Team

The A-Team (2010): Joe Carnahan

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Framed for a crime they didn’t commit, a quartet of Army Rangers seeks to clear their names by blowing up a lot of stuff and making a lot of folks mad.  Continue Reading

RECAP: The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity (2002): Doug Liman

Based on the Robert Ludlum series of books, The Bourne Identity came to theaters 22 years its eponymous novel. More importantly, the movie arrived on the heels of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, an event that forced any movie dealing with the US government, terrorism, or Americans abroad and in trouble to be viewed through that lens.

The Bourne Identity was filmed before 9/11, and that probably saved it. Director Liman often battled with the studio, which wanted several reshoots and rewrites, and we can only imagine that a huge terrorist attack would have woven into the story had the timing worked. Somehow, the movie came out great.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A man with superior fighting skills awakens in the sea with no memory of who is, and he fights a lot of people until he finds out his identity. Continue Reading

RECAP: eXistenZ

eXistenZ (1999): David Cronenberg

Released one month after possibly the best virtual-reality action film in history (The Matrix), David Cronenberg gave us a trimmed down, world-within-a-world semi-action thriller called eXistenZ.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A game designer targeted for murder flees alongside her colleague and is forced to play her game to determine who’s after her…or is it? Continue Reading

RECAP: Maleficent

Maleficent (2014): Robert Stromberg

Angelina Jolie fell in love with Sleeping Beauty from a young age, especially Maleficent. How convenient, then, that a movie about the evil queen was in development starting in 2010. And how even more convenient that Jolie was one of the world’s biggest movie stars. A match made in (Disney) heaven.

Despite middling expectations, Maleficent cruised to nearly a quarter billion dollars at the US box office, beating an X-Men and Spider-Man sequel. Jolie’s cheekbones must have accounted for 40 or 50 million of that.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A powerful fairy falls in love with a man, is betrayed, takes revenge, and falls for his child.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Battleship

Battleship (2012): Peter Berg

Nothing gets me excited for a movie like seeing the word HASBRO on the screen. A military science fiction film literally based on a board game, Battleship was a star vehicle for Friday Night Lights actors and Rihanna. If that sounds like a good time to you, by all means.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Aliens attack Earth, and the only way to stop them is with a child’s board game.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): James Gunn

Marvel took a chance in sending a team of total unknowns into theaters in August 2014. Chris Pratt was a bit player on a NBC sitcom, and the other actors were voices or covered in strange paint colors.

Producers injected humor and a great soundtrack to attract audiences likely tired of overly dramatic hero slogs. The Awesome Mix, Peter’s collection of his mother’s favorite pop songs, became the first soundtrack devoid of new songs to top the Billboard charts.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A band of galactic misfits protects a planet that doesn’t want them from a warlord who wants to kill everyone with a purple Infinity Stone. Continue Reading

RECAP: Logan

Logan (2017): James Mangold

Playing Wolverine for the seventh and final time (in a feature role), Hugh Jackman wanted to end his career as most folks’ favorite mutant with a slash. Can Wolverine go out any other way?

Joining Jackman, and also for the last time, is Sir Patrick Stewart as Xavier. These two actor/character combinations began life on film in the previous century, before 9/11, GMO plants, and Donald Trump. In other words, a world ago.

Wow, they delivered a great movie.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In the future the X-Men have disbanded, leaving Wolverine (just “Logan” now, thanks) to care for a dying Xavier and help a new mutant.  Continue Reading

RECAP: xXx

xXx (2002): Rob Cohen

The makers of xXx probably got sick of James Bond movies being so wussy. They wanted an American answer bred in the streets, in the projects, from the best and brightest the non-debonair classes have to offer. They invented Xander Cage.

Capitalizing on his Fast and Furious success, Vin Diesel plays basically the same character. xXx could be a Dominic Toretto origin story until he’s recruited by the NSA.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An EXTREME daredevil joins the NSA to hunt Russian anarchists determined to overthrow governments while listening to Rammstein. Continue Reading

RECAP: Furious 7

Furious 7 (2015): James Wan

“Lucky seven” might be Hollywood’s new catchphrase. After Fast and Furious (#4) barely outgrossed the original, eight years later, the next three films ticked upward, ending with Furious 7. The 2015 entry in the car franchise earned more than $350 million domestically and topped $1.5 billion worldwide. Furious 7 made more money outside America than the other six movies made combined in America.

Compare those results with The Force Awakens, the all-time box office champion, also seventh in its franchise, and you have good reason to keep churning out franchises.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: After felling the bad guy in the last movie, the bad guy’s badder brother enters the fray to take vengeance on Dom and company.  Continue Reading