Category Archives: Action

WANDAVISION (2021): EPISODES 1 AND 2 – The Thing I Liked…

WandaVision (2021), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios
WandaVision (2021), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios

I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes of WandaVision; the new TV series spinoff focused on the Avengers movie characters, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision

Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany; WandaVision got on my wrong side very soon after it began. And part of the reason is the application of a generally overused comedy bit. The one where two people think they’re talking about the same topic when they’re speaking of two completely different things. This particular comedy writing trope has failed to be funny, for me, ever since I binge-watched Arrested Developed (2003-2019) and realised how heavily the writers relied on it.

As annoying as I quickly found WandaVision to be, I was determined to get over it, as long as what was happening soon proved interesting enough to hold my full attention. Sadly, I hoped in vain because both episodes one and two, which are 99.9% in black and white, hinted at potentially sinister and entertaining things to come. But no matter how much I wanted the show to get to the point faster, it didn’t.

Matters were made worse by the completely unfunny sitcom scenario, in which Wanda and Vision appear to be trapped. Even if this predicament is the perfect set up for everything else fun that will follow, sitting through comedy I consider terrible isn’t how I generally like to spend my time.

Having never read the comic books that inspired these stories is something that has probably contributed, in part, to my level of dissatisfaction. Either way, what I know for sure is this, I’m going to be beyond disappointed if the following episodes of this, so far, hardly engaging Marvel Studios production continues the same way. Just get to the fun parts already! The parts when both Wanda and Vision get to use their powers, frequently and in ways that matter.

I need to know what’s going on with them and soon because this colourless town with the random, mysterious event and even stranger neighbours is causing me to reach for my phone out of boredom. And far more frequently than I want to.

Happy Film Loving

G

OUTSIDE THE WIRE (2021): The Things I Liked…

Outside The Wire (2021), Damson Idris, Netflix
Outside The Wire (2021), Damson Idris, Netflix

The best things about Outside the Wire, an action/sci-fi movie about a drone pilot and android officer’s mission to a deadly militarised zone are the two lead performances. Young Damson Idris (Harp) is a talent indeed, and Anthony Mackie is convincing as android officer Captain Leo.

The action sequences were generally well choreographed. Still, that’s not to say that there aren’t moments when I’d have preferred different camera angles so I could enjoy better views of Captain Leo’s physical movements during the fight sequences.

As fun as the action/combat scenes are, including scenes that featured the robot army, most of the fun action doesn’t happen until we’re well into the second half of the movie.

Even though overall, Outside the Wire isn’t as well-written or exciting as hoped, I enjoyed the dynamic between young Harp and Captain Leo. I wanted to see Harp’s growth, especially following his rookie mistake at the start of the movie. I needed to know if he’d get out alive and how he’d do it.

For me, its a shame that the movie’s focus wasn’t purely about Harp’s journey. Firstly, because Idris is very watchable, but also because the turn that Captain Leo’s story took around the one hour, twenty-minute mark proved the most disappointing. Mainly because it’s so very cliché; while not being written cleverly enough to make the lack of originality less of an issue.

Even with all its issues, I mostly had a good time with Outside the Wire. As such, if you’re especially curious, give director Mikael Håfström’s movie a chance. It’s nowhere near Netflix’s best action/sci-fi movie; to be honest, I can’t think of any good ones right now. But, at the very least I’m glad I didn’t find it as infuriatingly disastrous as Extinction (2018).

Happy Film Loving

G

TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS – PENINSULA (2020): The Things I Liked…

Train to Busan Presents - Peninsula (2020), Lee Jung-hyun, Dong-won Gang,
Train to Busan Presents – Peninsula (2020), Lee Jung-hyun, Dong-won Gang

Train to Busan Presents – Peninsula, the sequel to my second favourite Korean film, Train to Busan (2016) has unfortunately not managed to escape the dreaded ‘sequel curse.’ The curse being that movie sequels are rarely, if ever, better than, let alone as good as the original.

Set four years after South Korea was devastated by a zombie attack, the story of Peninsula follows a former soldier who managed to escape overseas. The same soldier takes on a mission to go back. And to his surprise, there are survivors.

Had Peninsula been absolutely terrible, I’d have stopped watching and I probably wouldn’t commit any words to type about the experience. ‘Great’ is not a fitting word to describe Peninsula. Yet, there are a few moments in director Sang-ho Yeon’s movie that I’ll remember fondly. The first being the ‘daughter’s driving’ and the second involves a scene or two where the action is so intense that I had to pause to catch my breath.

As for specific elements that didn’t work well, part of what made Train to Busan great was the humorous moments. There’s sadly none of that in Peninsula. Furthermore, the zombie makeup looked as good as the first time. But the first movie had much better zombie action sequences.

Performance-wise, generally, everyone did well. Yet, they were let down by the film’s reliance on many very familiar tropes. The most frustrating moment of all frustrating moments in Peninsula concerns the use of an overly familiar trope to the most EXCESSIVE degree; to the point where it was r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. Ridiculous!

If you haven’t already watched the original movie, please do so because it’s great. Now, try your best to forget that this new one exists. That is, of course, unless disappointing sequels happen to be your thing.

Happy Film Loving

G

MAN OF STEEL (2013): The Things I Liked…

Man of Steel (2012), Henry Cavill, Warner Bros. Pictures
Man of Steel (2012), Henry Cavill, Warner Bros. Pictures

Three things I realised while watching director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013)

  1. Henry Cavill is a great Superman.
  2. Christopher Nolan, a.k.a ‘Inception (2010) and Tenet (2020) director Christopher Nolan’ wrote the script. Had I known this beforehand, I’d have watched the movie much sooner. Nolan’s involvement may also be why the musical score was so noticeably good. You know, as per most if not all Nolan films.
  3. This third point is a tad random buy here we go: To my (I want to say ‘expert’) eyes, Diane Lane and Paula Pattern (not in the movie) look as though they could be related. Do you see it?

I enjoyed most of what happens in Man of Steel, from the music, performances, very engaging story to the special effects and action. Yet I can’t deny that I did start to lose interest after the two-hour mark when there was still another twenty-three minutes remainig. 

Other things that stood out less positively include the fight sequence between Superman and General Zod (Michael Shannon) towards the end. It just wasn’t quite the exciting well-choreographed face-off I expected. Also, there’s a strange moment in the film when a military officer references Superman’s ‘hotness’/attractiveness. Instead of being funny, the dialogue felt more out of place.

I know it’s been seven years since this movie was released, which means you’ve probably seen it already, if not more than once. Nevertheless, I say Man of Steel is worth watching. Particularly because of Cavill and all the other positive points mentioned above. 

Happy Film Loving

G

NOBODY (2021): New Trailer From Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, Christopher Lloyd…

Nobody (2021), Bob Odenkirk, Universal Pictures
Nobody (2021), Bob Odenkirk, Universal Pictures

When you help a woman who’s being harassed by a group of men, one of the things that can happen is you become the target of a vengeful drug lord.

At least that’s the case for Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) in new action/crime/drama Nobody.

Directed by Ilya Naishuller; additional key cast includes Connie Nielsen and Christopher Lloyd.

The action sequences in this trailer appear fun, cleverly shot and funny. I’m looking forward to finding out the ways in which Nobody is different from Keanu Reeves’s very popular John Wick (2014). Perhaps it’s equally similar and different. Especially considering the revenge plot and the fact that both films share a producer.

Bring on the madness and let’s get back that ‘goddam kitty cat bracelet!’

J.P. Manoux, Paul Essiembre, Humberly González, Araya Mengesha, Gage Munroe, Paisley Cadorath, Aleksey Serebryakov and RZA also star.

Nobody Release Dates: February 26th, 2021 (US), March 5th, 2021 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

TRIBES OF EUROPA (2021): New Trailer Starring Oliver Masucci, Melika Foroutan, David Ali Rashed, Emilio Sakraya…

Tribes of Europa (2021), Melika Foroutan, Netflix
Tribes of Europa (2021), Melika Foroutan, Netflix

In the world of new adventure/drama Tribes of Europa, the year is 2074 and Europe is split into many tribal states all fighting for dominance.

Emilio Sakraya, Henriette Confurius and David Ali Rashed play three siblings who are caught in the middle of the bloody war and are forced to forge their own paths.

This looks like a mix of other series on Netflix and elsewhere. I’m mostly intrigued because right away I like the main female villain Vevara (pictured above) and played by Melika Foroutan.

I like the trailer music and look forward to learning about the key characters; while also hoping they’ll be very engaging.

Oliver Masucci, Marie Mouroum, Alain Blazevic, Benjamin Sadler, Klaus Tange, James Faulkner, Igor Pecenjev,Hoji Fortuna and Adam Vacula also star.

Tribes of Europa Release Dates: February 19th, 2021 (US & UK), Netflix

Happy Film Loving

G

OUTSIDE THE WIRE (2021): New Trailer From Anthony Mackie, Damson Idris, Emily Beecham, Michael Kelly…

Outside The Wire (2021), Anthony Mackie, Netflix
Outside The Wire (2021), Anthony Mackie, Netflix

Read my spoiler-free movie review of  Outside the Wire (2021).


Outside the Wire is a new action/sci-fi movie that has next to nothing to do with HBO’s hit series The Wire. Furthermore, one of the key cast members is called Idris. But, Idris is not his first name. Still with me?

Starring Anthony Mackie, Emily Beecham, Damson Idris and Michael Kelly, director Mikael Håfström’s film is about a drone pilot and android officer’s mission to locate a doomsday device in a deadly militarised zone.

I’m in for the artificial intelligence, action sequences, stunt work, and the promising Idris/Mackie dynamic.

Kristina Tonteri-Young, Enzo Cilenti, Bobby Lockwood, Henry Garrett, Velibor Topic, Elliot Edusah, Adam Fielding, Alexandra Szucs, Nick Wittman, Christine Grace Szarko and Louis Boyer also star.

Outside The Wire Release Dates: January 15th, 2021 (US), Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G

TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016): The Things I Liked…

Train to Busan (2016), Well Go USA Entertainment
Train to Busan (2016), Well Go USA Entertainment

Train to Busan is as good as everyone said it is. It delivers a thrilling ride with one nail-biting event after another to keep things interesting.

Starring Yoo Gong, Jung Yu-mi and Dong-seok Ma; its guaranteed that Train to Busan is going to break your heart. Because, well, it is a zombie apocalypse movie. A subgenre of film I don’t often watch, but this one is special.

Directed by Sang-ho Yeon; there’s a good mix of interesting characters in this story. Exactly the kind you’d expect on your ordinary commute. That is until the inevitable zombie infestation happens. Then you get a good look at the variety of human beings out there. From the incredibly selfish to the less so and everything in between. You’ll likely find yourself wondering about the kind of human you might be in a situation where everyone is desperately struggling to survive. Do you know and will you like yourself, or care if you don’t? I know what I want to believe about me. Yet, I feel it would be quite foolish to proclaim to know for sure.

I enjoyed the visual effects, action scenes and much of the acting. I say ‘much’ and not ‘all’ because I did catch a moment where one character’s expression seemed far calmer than it should have been during a grave situation. And by ‘calm’, I don’t mean the kind that comes over you when you’re ‘shocked into inaction’.

In addition to the expressionless face, the only other downside to Train to Busan for me is the use of one or two movie-making tropes. An example being, keeping a seemingly underdeveloped character around, just so they can perform one or two key tasks to advance the story.

Even with the few elements I didn’t love about the film, Train to Busan remains worth watching. Especially since I wouldn’t call it ‘nightmare-inducing scary‘. What it is is a fun, affecting ride with good zombie action sequences, special effects and notable performances; particularly by young Su-an Kim.

Happy Film Loving

G