Browse Tag: new york

RECAP: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017): D.J. Caruso

Sing it with me: What the world needs now/is love, sweet–XANDER CAGE MOTORCYCLE SKI SURFING.

What happens when an actor gets a little bored of his multi-billion-dollar action franchise? He works in his multi-million-dollar action franchise.

Look out, Earth, Xander Cage is back, and he’s EXTREMELY EXTREMER THAN EVER.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: XANDER CAGE SKIS JUNGLES; XANDER CAGE SLEEPS WITH HOT WOMEN; XANDER CAGE PLAYS GRENADE ROULETTE; XANDER CAGE SAVES EARTH. Continue Reading

RECAP: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange (2016): Scott Derrickson

After trying out more famous actors (Robert Downey, Jr.) and more famous characters (Hulk, Thor, Captain America), Marvel moved into left field, throwing lesser-knowns into (hopefully) major franchises (Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy) and less-statured characters (Ant-Man).

That was a big hit. Of course, Doctor Strange was already on the table, but surely the success of Guardians helped executives breathe sighs of relief. Casting the most recognizable actor face of genius, or face of acting genius, no, guy who plays geniuses, Benedict Cumberbatch, eased tensions as well.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The world’s greatest surgeon permanently injures his hands, and then he becomes the world’s greatest wizard. Continue Reading

RECAP: John Wick

John Wick (2014): Chad Stahelski

Somebody sent a script to Keanu Reeves, in which he could wear suits and shoot guns. Sign him up! One of our finest action stars, Reeves turns Wick into an action icon.

John Wick hit screens in October and went away quietly into the night, exactly the opposite of the way John Wick goes into the night. Slowly, the film built a cult following into a sequel movement.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: John Wick takes revenge on those who killed his puppy.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004): Kerry Conran

In the pre-Superman era, popular culture was dominated by pulp fictions, stories printed on the cheapest paper made and consumer by children. When they weren’t reading about the exploits of Dick Tracy or The Shadow, they were listening to them on the radio.

Kerry Conran loved those pulp serials growing up, and he worked hard to make his own. Nearly all of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was filmed on a green screen. Unlike many CGI spectacles, Sky Captain eschewed realism in its sets and backgrounds.

Many locations appear like mattes on canvas, adding terrific style. Also adding to style are the art deco pastiche. These are the biggest draws of the film. Come for the style, stay for the action.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Joe Sullivan, Sky Captain, and Polly Perkins, intrepid reporter, chase a mad scientist across the globe to foil his world-beating plans.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four (2015): Josh Trank

When does 1+1+1+1=53? When Fantastic Four finishes 53rd at the US box office in its year of release.

Fox released a reboot of the mildly successful duology featuring, yes, that Chris Evans. In casting Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, and Kate Mara, the studio captured some of Hollywood’s hottest young talent.

They tossed in the director, Josh Trank, of an off-beat superhero success, Chronicle, to make an un-Marvel superhero movie.

They made an un-Marvel superhero movie. Turns out the public wasn’t interested.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Four fantastic folks fight for friendship while single slithery scientist teleports terrain to new planet. Continue Reading

RECAP: End of Days

End of Days (1999): Peter Hyams

A movie about people partying in 1999, and not a Prince lyric to be heard. Instead, we were treated to the grunts and wisecracks of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What’s left to do for Arnold? The guy’s fought aliens, fought terrorists, fought Danny Devito, fought labor pains. Well, could it be…SATAN? Why no; he’s the toppest of top dogs.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Satan takes human form to make a baby, is opposed by a New York City ex-cop, doesn’t enjoy New Year’s Eve.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Independence Day

Independence Day (1996): Roland Emmerich

Today, we celebrate, Independence Day, not because it is a good movie, but because it is an AWESOME movie. Director Roland Emmerich has given us hits and misses, but the 1996 popcorn flick about an alien invasion starred Will Smith at the height of his powers and Jeff Goldblum at the apex of his, er, Goldblumness. Every eight-year-old boy’s fantasies of alien invasions were brought to the screen in theaters that July.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Belligerent space aliens are “welcomed” to Earth.  Continue Reading