By Paul Anthony
Last week, on our podcast we decided to review the first season of Reacher which was on Amazon Prime and we gave it raving reviews and in fact Justin can’t watching it to this day. Now because of that, I thought it was time to take a look at first Jack Reacher film that stars Tom Cruise which came out in 2012. Now I have seen this film before but it has been a long while and I am talking about years here, so in order to do this blog, I know I needed to rewatch the film , so I did! Now prior to this film there was no attempts at making a film based on the novel series, since after all the novel series just started in 1997 and seemed like no studio really wanted to buy the film rights until 2005 when the book One Shot was released and by 2010, the ball started to roll and by 2012 the film was released based on One Shot, but the film was simply called Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise was cast as Reacher, but the fan base didn’t enjoy this casting, mostly because of the height difference, in the books Reacher is 6’4 and Tom Cruise is 5’8. Now he was surrounded by a star studded cast which included Richard Jenkins, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, and Robert Duvall. Now let’s start with the plot!
We first seen the crime take place though we don’t know who it is, and we don’t know why but we do see a person killing 5 people, the police investigate and soon we meet a former sniper James Mark Barr and he is taken into custody, is offered a choice of life in prison or death but all he writes down is Get Jack Reacher. Here we learn Reacher is a drifter but was a major in the Military Police and makes it, Hes not interested in clearing Barr’s name because of their past and what Barr has done before just interested in the truth. So with Barr’s lawyer they begin to start this wild goose chase and break down all the information and deal with the true people involved which is gang led by Zec who was a political prisoner. In the end Reacher gets to the truth but not without taking a few bodies down with him and the film ends with Barr waking up from his coma and admitting to the shootings that he did but is still clear of the charges meanwhile Reach gets on a bus and sets his sights on the road again and the film ends.
Now let me start with Tom Cruise because he seems to be the biggest problem of the film. I do agree that he should never have been cast as Reacher because of his height. Reacher’s height is also one of his best physical defense because no one wants go up against someone with that muscle and height. Now also Reacher doesn’t show much emotions and Tom as big name actor has to act more than the character because he is a big name actor. Going away from the roots did hurt the film. The action and story wasn’t on track with each other just seemed off. Now I am not saying it was a boring film or even a bad film but it wasn’t something that to me was going to stick out and because of that in the end I am giving this film a C for grade or 75 percent!
By: Justin Hopkins
I was thrilled to see this drop on Audible. Was a massive fan of Alien: Bug Hunt and thrilled to see Jonathon Maberry coming back for Aliens vs Predators. I love the Yautja (Predator) and will always take them and the Xenomorphs being brought together. Now, that I have listened to it, multiple times, lets dive in, but just like before. I will do my best to skirt around any major spoilers. Do my nest to talk about the stories within without blowing anything major.
Ultimate Prey brings us Stretching from the old west to current day. On fierce foreign planets and deep space voyage in far away futures. Characters finding themselves caught in a timeless fight between extraterrestrials. One, running solely off of instincts. The other, bound by pride and honor of the hunt. While many, are unsuspecting. Dealing with something much larger then themselves. Others, are aware of the situation, but everyone will be digging down deep within, to find out how far they can push themselves and finding allies in unsuspected places.
Going into it, was most excited for the Yautja and coming out of it, they were my favorite part. How much we got a deep dive into their lifestyles and actions. How much honor and pride they take, in not just the Hunt but their every day lives. the differing opinions they have on humans and how, not only did some of them change based around their encounters, but how they changed the people they were around.
A lot of the writers did something interesting. Which was done in the movies, but did click for me here and that was how different people reacted when dealing with a Yautja vs when they dealt with a Xenomorph. How scared and filled with terror a xenomorph they’d get when encountered by their more animalistic ways. While, their was base level of fear when staring at the Yautja. There was a morbid curiosity, in the foe that more resembles them in a way. More fear would tick in when the mask came off, but by then curiosity had already set in. This was not all the time of course, but was interesting when this did play out.
Loved the callback and references some utilized, such as the Raid on Area 51 event for the basis of their story. Bo’Kui being the ancestor from the Yautja from Drug Wars, in Predator: If it Bleeds anthology. A sequel to Predators and Scott Sigler bringing his world from Aliens: Phalanx back. Fun moments for people who have been following along and great way to get people to go back and enjoy what came before.
I loved the complex character work they bring us throughout. Abuse victim finding the strength to stand up for themselves. A trans character, who had been poisoned and left for dead on a planet in the middle of the battling species. Finding an unlikely ally, who is in a similar situation. On the flip side, you have Yautja’s who are coming to light with issues of their own. Broken pride and honor running deeper then they thought. All of which elevated the stories over just being about the hunt.
Alright, shout out time. Everyone killed it. Standing ovation to Jonathon Maberry and Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Again, can’t imagine how hard it was to narrow this down to fifteen and getting just the right placement. All of the writers did amazing. Pouring so much love and care into their stories and they would be. Even the couple, I was not a fan of, were still good. Just compared to the rest of the lot kind of fell flat. Starting with, Chris Ryall, Steven L. Sears, Delilah S. Dawson, David Barnett, Mira Grant, Susanne L. Lambdin, Jess Landry, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Yvonne Navarro, Curtis C. Chen, Roshin “Rush” Bhatia, Maurice Broaddus, E.C. Myers, Scott Sigler, Jonathon Maberry and Louis Ozawa. We got to call out the narrators as well, being an audiobook and all, and they did an excellent job breathing life into their characters and stories. Starting with, Bradford Hastings, Nicol Zanzarella, Stephanie Weeks, Feordor Chin, Timothy Andrés Padon, Soneela Nankani, Chelsea Stephens, Hilary Huber, Erica Sullivan, Sura Siu and Shiromi Arserio.
3. Abuse, Interrupted 2. First Hunt 1. Blood and Honor
This was a blast of an anthology. From great character work, deep dives into the Yautja and some terrifying moments with the Xenomorphs and some peeks up their own hierarchy. The pacing was perfect and even the ones I didn’t really take to I would listen to again. Just because I had such a good time in general. Check it out if you haven’t. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
My intrigue level was rivaling my excitement going into the newest installment of Batman. Beyond the point of getting upset over casting of the Dark Knight. Proving the doubters wrong over and over when it comes to who wears the cape and cowl and willing to see what Robert can do with the character Liked the idea of this being an inexperienced Batman who is learning the ropes. Throw in Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman and they had the making of something good. Now, that it is in the books, let’s discuss.
Movie kicks off, with Riddler watching the Mayor. Who after sees his family off, they are going trick-or-treating, turns on the debate. Talking to someone on the phone. Not happy his opponent is in a dead heap with him. Riddler attacks him when he gets off the phone, and begins to set the scene. From there, we jump to various ongoing crimes and a voice over from Bruce. Talking about how he has been doing this for two years and isn’t sure what kind of impact, if any, he has been having. That when Bat Signal comes on, it is not just a call, but spreads fear in those, that at any moment, he will seep out of the shadows and get them. And we see, most of the criminals flee at the sight. Staying clear of the dark, except for a gang at the train station, and sure enough, Batman comes out of the shadows. Taking the fight to them and putting the fear of god, in the guy they were attacking. Making his way to the Mayors. Being let into the crime scene, by Gordon. To the chagrin of most of the cops on the scene. Evaluating the scene. Seeing that a card had been left behind for him specifically, before the commissioner chases him out. Back at the cave, Bruce has removed the contact with the camera inside. Going back through what he saw at the scene. Printing out images of the riddle and sypher. Writing in his journal everything that transpired during the night. When we met Alfred. Where they get into an argument over Alfred needing Bruce to be Bruce and do things for the company and Bruce having no time for any of that. Telling him he is not his Dad, as he walks away. Catching back up with Alfred after a shower. Who has been working on the sypher. Together they come up with the word drive. With Gordon, they go to the Mayor’s Garage. Finding a thumb drive in one, with the Mayors thumb attached to it. Inside, were pictures of the Mayor, with another woman outside of the Iceberg Lounge. A mafia club run by the Penguin. Batman makes his way over and brawls his way to a conversation. Penguin denies knowing anything about knowing the girl, but the bartender, Selina takes interest in it. Batman noticing her watching and when he recognizes her boots from a pair in the photo. Follows her out of the club and back to her apartment. Finding the girl there. Only he doesn’t go in. Watching Selina get into gear of her own and sneak out. Following her to the Mayor’s where he catches he busting in the safe. Stealing a passport. After a brief scuffle, learns that the Mayor had stolen the women’s passport and she is to traumatized to say what she knows, but he gets her to agree to take her back so he could talk to her. Only, when they get back. Find the apartment is trashed and she is gone. On the TV, the news is reporting the body of Commissioner had been found. Video had gone viral of The Riddler introducing himself, with Commissioner strapped to a rat maze. Adding to the mystery that would only get deeper from here, but where I leave it for now.
I adored the story so much. The mystery was laid out exactly right. Pacing and rising tension was perfect and climax that was well told and seeing the aftermath of everything after, was chef’s kiss. How a mistranslation was able to create so much confusion. Misleading you to consider Penguin, Batman and then finally, Falcone.
Riddler’s motivation was well told. Growing up in dilapidated orphanages with promises never kept. Showing how a corrupt Gotham create this villain and even how from his perspective, Thomas Wayne would appear guilty. Since he never got to explain what happened with the reporter and it was his foundation that was being pillaged by the corrupt officials.
Loved how the Batman was used here. Being early into his Crime Fighting, he had tech and detective abilities, but hasn’t quite put it all together. But did have the reputation, of something to be feared. When the Bat signal came out and everything would get tense and people were afraid. How he would rush into fights and tank damage, but would overwhelm his opponents with overall brutality. Putting the fear into not just bad guys but those he is trying to save as well, and all of this brutality and anger is starting to bleed through to when he was Bruce.
As much as I loved the portrayal as Batman, think Robert Pattinson may have shined his brightest as Bruce Wayne. Spending all his time, as Batman. Being around the violence and misery. All the while not seeing the positive impact he set out for, was making him miserable. Making him want to put on the mask and get back to it, and miserable even having to pretend to care about anything related to Bruce. By the end, learning that he was in fact making an impact just not the one he wanted. That the lesson he was preaching was one of vengeance and people gluing to that. That he would have to change and be better and I am really looking forward to seeing where they go from here on that note.
The fight scenes were great and cinematography was gorgeous. The score they had for batman was interesting in a good way. While The Batmobile was incredible.
Had already droned on about Robert Pattinson, he was great at the role. Lets take a moment to shine a light on the rest. Jeffery Wright was the perfect choice for Gordon. Him and Robert had some really good chemistry together. A lot of fun seeing them working together on the screen. Same with Andy Serkis’s Alfred, who I want to see much more of in the sequel. Paul Dano was incredible as Riddler. Bringing out the arrogance in the highly intelligent villain. Who seemed like someone who you’d encounter in the real world. Collin Farrell was perfect on making Penguin an interesting character. John Turturro was a surprise to see as Falcone, and knocked it out of the park, especially with Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle. Who played a good Catwoman. She had the moves, looked great, and left me wanting to see more of her in this world as well.
This is very much a mixed aspect of the movie. While I loved the cinematography. There were a few rough spots, where things were to dark for their own. Example, is toward the end at Falcone’s, when Batman was fighting through the hall. Only light from gun flashes. Which, is great, but the flashes were so rapid, that I was pretty much blind through most of it. This might have just been a my eyes kind of deal or might not be there when I watch at home, but for now. It’s in the mixed category.
But that is all I got for you. This was a thrilling, psychological ride, with a ton of good action and horror themed moments. Actors and actresses did a ton to flesh their characters out and left them with places to grow and move forward from here. Go forth and check it out. Keep the Joker in the asylum and bring me the Court of Owls. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
AEW PPV are always hard to try and predict, for the best of reasons. You can make an argument on nearly every match on who should walk away with the win. While at the same time. A spicy story waiting the one who doesn’t at the same time. Revolution is staked with blood feuds, match of the year candidates and overall fun matches on paper. Stifled with potential from top to bottom. So, lets pull out the tin foil hats and try and predict the show shall we.
Hook vs QT Marshall
We will start with the softball choice here. Hook is the man. Riding a wave of momentum that isn’t stopping now.
Winner – Hook
Kings of the Black Throne vs Death Triangle and Erick Redbeard
The reason this didn’t go up yesterday. Had a feeling they weren’t done and they gave us this six man. With the return of Erick Redbeard to sub for the injured Fenix and glad to see him. This will be a fun match on the Buy In and while it could go to Death Triangle and Redbeard. House of Black need it much more.
Winner- Kings of the Black Throne
Leyla Hirsch vs Kris Statlander
Well, easy choices gone now. Kris took the first match, which is what kicked off this rivalry and sent Leyla to the dark side. Both of these two are incredible and could be top of the division in no time. Could have Leyla win to lead to a more brutal rubber match. Kris is teasing showing another side of her. With the orphan comment could be teasing a double turn, but Leyla just turned…. More words to try and stall. Can’t even go with my heart cause I love them both… Screw it..
Winner – Leyla Hirsch
Andrade El Idolo, Isiah Kassidy and Matt Hardy vs Sting Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara
Before Rampage. Believed it was going to be a slam dunk. Win for the good guys and set the table for the Hardy Boy reunion. Now I am not to sure though. They could have Matt Hardy wonder off. Doing the erratic thing still. Make it appear it’ll go the way you think. For Darby and Sammy clash from what happened on Rampage. I am going to go for that actually.
Winner- Andrade El Idolo, Isiah Kassidy and Matt Hardy
Eddie Kingston vs Chris Jericho
There is a universe, where Eddie loses this match. Sending him into a bit of a spiral. Having to regroup and think about what he wants. Finding his motivation and coming back and going on a tear to the belt. Getting the emotional moment of winning the Championship. In this world, Eddie is winning this one, and starting the momentum to the Championship now.
Winner- Eddie Kingston
TBS Championship Match – Tay Conti Vs Jade Cargill (Champion)
While Tay could make for a good choice in giving Jade her first loss. It might be too soon. Jade has continued to improve by leaps and bounds and really making this run just what this belt needs. Not quite the time to pull the plug on it.
Winner and still TBS Champion – Jade Cargill
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match – Keith Lee vs Wardlow vs Ricky Starks vs Will Hobbs vs Orange Cassidy vs Christian Cage
Sweet Death how am I suppose to choose. Match is just going to be awesome. Some much destruction. People are going to be launched left and right. Can never sleep on Orange. Hobbs can make a break at any moment. Twenty Twenty Two can be the year of Starks, Christian is a legend, and how can one not bask in the glory of Keith Lee. Keith Lee is a difficult choice to go against, but We got Wardlow. The wave of momentum is really starting to pick up and story of him and MJF is simmering. Match is going to be insane, but at the end of the day, going with….
Winner – Wardlow
AEW Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match – reDRagon vs Young Bucks vs Jurassic Express (Champions)
It is coming due for a heel team to collect the tag team belts. That won’t be tonight thought. the reDRagon Young Buck story doesn’t need the belts. Think they are going to cost themselves the match and the belts stay where they are.
Winner – Jurassic Express
Bryan Danielson vs Jon Moxley
Hey, another match that I have no idea where it can go. Think the American Dragon is going to get the win after a hard fought battle. Setting up not just the team, but the fallout later and Mox finally getting the win he has never had after a long drawn out story.
Winner – Bryan Danielson
AEW Women’s Championship – Thunder Rosa vs Dr. Britt Baker (Champion)
This story can go in so many ways. I genuinely have no idea which way they can go. Going to go the way that sets up a rematch at St. Patrick’s Day Slam the easiest and most interesting.
Winner and new Women’s Champion – Thunder Rosa
CM Punk vs MJF Dog Collar Match
What a fucking feud. The promos and interactions have been nothing short of legendary that will be looked back on in, how to set up feuds, for years to come. It doesn’t feel right to go against him, but an MJF loss would send him spiraling against Wardlow and Punk could move on. Tired of the distractions and wanting his title shot.
Winner – CM Punk
AEW Heavyweight Championship Adam Cole vs Hangman Adam Page
I refuse to make the obvious joke. This match has it’s work cut out for it, to follow everything we have seen this far, but if anyone can do it. Think these two can. Don’t see Hangman’s time come to an end just yet and Cole can take his first loss.
Winner – Hangman Adam Page
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
So, this one kind of snuck up on me. Despite the fact that streaming services have been putting out some banger movies. I have continued to overlook them. Like an idiot that I am. Fortunately, saw a trailer for this one and marked it on the calendar. What I saw was very enticing. Snowed in group, with one of them being a kidnapper, and one of them is Dennis Haysbert. That is all I needed to see. Now, let’s dive in and talk about it, shall we.
The movie kicks off at an Inpatient NA Meeting. Fellow Jade telling a story that Darby is uninterested in. Having heard this story from her already. This is Darby’s 11th day on seventh stint through Rehab and she is having doubts about being there, but is here on court order. The meeting is interrupted by a phone call for Darby. Telling her that her Mother is set to go into surgery for a brain aneurysm and that she should call her Sister, Devon, but they won’t let her call because of facility rules and that she has lied about reasons to call people before. That night she goes to Jade and blackmails her to use her cellphone. Getting ahold of her sister, who will not help her get out. Not having time to deal with her issues at the moment. Telling her to stay in rehab, but Darby breaks out. Stealing Mike’s car and find a baggie of cocaine in the car. Trying to get ahold of Devon, but she isn’t answering. After awhile and the storm getting worse and worse. She pulls aside to check the phone that keeps going off. Finding texts from Devon telling her to not come. Taking a moment to fantasies over taking the drugs she found. When a cop snaps her back to reality. Informing her that the storm has shut down the roads up ahead and she could either go back or stop at the rec center that a few others have gone to. When she gets there, finding an old couple, Ed and Sandi. Lars who is playing with matches, and Ash who is asleep. When Ed says that he had a bar for a moment out by the tree. She goes back outside to try her luck. When she is outside, hears a loud sound and a scream. Finding a child tied up in a van. Promising to come back for her. Darby slowly makes her way back inside, after Ed comes out. Looking around the room. Can’t get a signal to call for help. Up to her to try and figure out whose van it is and how to get the girl to safety and that is where I will leave it for now.
I really enjoyed a lot of the aspects this movie had to offer. It wasn’t some action spectacular, but focused on psychological components and human character. Everyone feels like they are grounded in reality. Darby is a flawed person who is doing the best she can to overcome her struggles and fears of losing her Mother. Finding herself in this situation and doing what she is capable of to try and save the girl and that bad people can come in different shades. Spoiler on that aspect in three. Two. One….
Okay, so this movie, both got me and didn’t get me in both senses of the word. I thought at first they were making Lars way to obvious. Playing with the matches and outburst during the card game. So, bit of a surprise when they revealed him first. Ash, not so much. Way to early and Lars was not going to be a lone wolf by any means, and of course his partner would be the first one she talked to. Only to turn it around and have a shocking surprise in that Sandi was involved as well. Seemingly coming from nowhere. Poor Ed, I feel so bad. Not only because I suspected him from the trailer, but was such a good guy. Believe he could have won their money back. I would have played Poker with him. Speaking of which…
I really liked the Idea of the playing BS instead of Poker. Being a game with the same deception reads that poker has. Darby’s addiction issues, allowed her to be apart of the game without having to gamble and focus solely on her mission of trying to figure out whose van it is.
Havana Rose Liu stole the show here. Playing up every part of who Darby is. Seeing the struggles she is having with her addiction at the start. To how much she wants to just go home and be with her Mom. Powerful scenes of whenever she is handling the drugs in the car and bathroom. Seeing on her face a wealth of emotions. Both good and bad, Havana killed it here. Dennis Haysbert was great as per the norm. Dale Dickey was great. A great amount of chemistry between her and Dennis. For such a young kid, Mila Harris did a great job as the kidnapped Jay. Danny Ramirez had a a lot flair and charisma as Ash and David Rysdahl was good as Lars.
While this movie wasn’t loaded with action. The attacks were pretty brutal, especially when the nail gun started getting utilized. Darby getting her arm nailed to the wall and having top remove it with the hammer and Lars getting a nail to the head was brutal…Well done all around.
I don’t have anything negative to say. I know it is a shocker, but this was a really good movie. Psychological thriller that had a great pace. Loved how grounded it felt. Performances from a group of people who brought it all together perfectly. Would gladly suggest giving this one a shot. Final Grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!