Tag Archives: ryan reynolds

Movie Review – Red Notice (2021)

I don’t know how it’s possible for a movie starring The Rock, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot to be a boring stinkfest but darned if Netflix didn’t find a way to make it happen.

BQB here with a review.

I don’t know how Netflix tricked me again, seeing as how I’ve written about how Netflix has tricked me before. They put out promos for awesome looking movies with big stars and you can’t wait and then it drops and it stinks.

The way I see it: Apparently, Netflix can hire big stars or great writers, but it’s rare for the company to bring both together.

Ironically, the plot sounds as awesome at the stars. Rival art thieves (Gadot and Reynolds) go to war over Cleopatra’s (she of Ancient Egypt fame) prized golden eggs, with FBI agent The Rock caught in the middle. Double crosses, triple crosses, globe trotting, heists, explosions, and Nazi secrets abound and yet…YAWN.

Why? Heavy on the exposition dumps. I hate exposition dumps. You hate exposition dumps. Writing 101. Show us. Don’t tell us. We go to movies for entertainment, not to be given a bunch of facts up front that we have to commit to memory so we can understand the plot later.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m too hard on these movies because Netflix made them but I don’t think so. If one really strikes my fancy, I’ll give it its due, like I did recently with Army of Thieves, but I think when it’s billed as a film with three top stars, you go in expecting a lot of razzle dazzle and instead well…imagine if like, a sophomore English major banged out a movie script in an hour but for some reason, was rich enough to hire The Rock, Reynolds and Gadot to star in it…maybe its not THAT bad but still. I expected more. I expected these three would look at the script and be like, “Um…keep the money. I don’t want to be in sucky movies.”

To be fair, the film has its moments, as many do. Its a fun distraction to eat popcorn to but there’s zero character development and I get it. Most of these flicks don’t have any character development but at least there’s an attempt. The biggest question left on the floor is how did a musclebound FBI agent end up as an art expert? What convinced him to use his art knowledge to fight art crime?

I do have to give it some points in that it let Gadot be the villain, which is a big change for her. Even so, Reynolds rattles off his “Who, me?” one liners. The Rock kicks ass. Gadot is that rare person who is both beautiful and kind, such that even when she applies an electro shock device to The Rock’s nards, it’s hard to believe she isn’t secretly concerned for her adversary’s safety.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, but I’m wise to this scam. From now on, I won’t get excited by these streaming service blockbuster ads because I know deep down, they’ll spend big on the special effects and actors, but skimp on the writing, so I will never again watch a…OH MY GOD! DISNEY PLUS JUST RELEASED A NEW HOME ALONE MOVIE?! I GOTTA GO WATCH THIS THING! THAT SOUNDS AWESOME!

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Movie Review – Criminal (2016)

A CIA agent’s memories are planted into a murderer’s brain in a last ditch effort to save the world from annihilation in this star studded thriller.

BQB here with a review of Criminal.

Be forewarned – SPOILERS will be implanted into your brain if you read any further.

Movieclips Trailers – Criminal (2016)

I have to admit it. I went into this film wanting to hate it. Kevin Costner is old as dirt and though that’s not something to make fun of him about because it happens to the best of us, his last action movie 3 Days to Kill was lame to the point where I wondered maybe he ought to start playing older respectable folk (like he did well in Man of Steel) and let the parts that involve running around to the youngsters.

Yet, he surprised me here as he was well suited to the part – a bumbling oaf who would never be able to pull off a spy mission without having a spy’s memories implanted into his brain.

Did that sound like a backhanded compliment? OK yes but it wasn’t meant to be. (Or was it?)

Ryan Reynolds is Billy Pope, a CIA agent who dies before he’s able to share crucial information with his superiors that could prevent a terrorist from destroying the world. Yes, the whole damn world is at stake.

This is Reynolds’ second brain transfer movie.  He and Sir Ben Kingsley swapped brains in Self/Less.  Super hero flicks and brain transfer movies are what Double-R is all about now.

Gary Oldman, as CIA boss Quaker Wells, enlists Tommy Lee Jones’ Dr. Franks to step up an experimental memory transfer process that’s he’s never tested on humans before.

The guinea pig is Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner) a convicted criminal who, due to a brain injury as a child, has no concept of right or wrong or how to behave in society.

He’s very dangerous but he’s not Hannibal Lecter.  Lecter knew what he was doing.

Jericho, on the other hand, is basically an old feral animal. If he wants something, he takes it. If someone gets in his way, he kills them. If he wants to do something then he does it without a grasp of why he shouldn’t.

Costner shined in this part, playing Jericho as a broken down ignoramus who, thanks to the memories of nice and noble Billy Pope, suddenly develops knowledge and skills he can use to defeat the evil terrorist Heimdahl (Jordi Molla).

Gal Gadot leaves her lasso at home to play Pope’s wife and help Jericho on his mission.

Michael Pitt, who you may remember as Jimmy Darmody in Boardwalk Empire, plays “the Dutchman” i.e. the man who can help Jericho save the day.

In short, when I go to a movie wanting to hate it and come out liking it, it’s a rare surprise.

Is there the occasional plot hole? Sure. One thing I noticed was despite what a dangerous monster Jericho is portrayed as, the various agents don’t seem to put a whole helluva lot of effort into his security…but…hey.  It’s an action movie.

Go see it.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy

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Movie Review – Deadpool – (2016)

Swears, gratuitous violence and naked chicks in a superhero movie!


BQB here with a review of DEADPOOL!


Oh my God.  This movie was like a space shuttle launch.  So much had to happen before it could finally happen.

  1. Fans had to convince Hollywood that super hero movies are profitable by showing up en masse.
  2. A new generation had to grow up, become adults, and be cool with a super hero on screen who does and says horrible, horrible things.
  3. Hollywood had to be convinced that there was an adult audience for a raunchy R rated super hero movie, because films about heroes in spandex fighting evil are traditionally geared toward kids.
  4. And to top it all off, this movie was first teased in 2009 when Ryan Reynolds was in that horrible, godawful Wolverine movie!!!  (Remember the one with Will. I. Am?  God that was awful.)

And it’s here!  It’s finally here!  And it’s got sex, violence, ridiculous amounts of swearing.  Filthy jokes galore.  You get to see Morena Baccarin’s boobs for like a second (actually they might be stunt boobs – I can’t confirm.)

Come to think of it, that’s what surprised me the most.  A Marvel movie with boobs.  And not just Morena’s or her stunt boob double.  More naked chicks.  More boobs.  And a cooter.  That’s a scientific term.  A cooter in a Marvel movie.  Who knew it was possible?

The 50 cent tour if you’re not up to speed on Deadpool.  Wade Wilson (aka Ryan Reynolds) a mercenary with a sense of humor, is diagnosed with cancer.  His girlfriend, played by Morena, who is his match in the humor department (I hate to be cynical but only in the movies, either that or I’ve never met a woman with that kind of humor but I’m not sure she exists.)

So he volunteers for an experimental procedure and yadda yadda yadda…it does not work out as planned.  A villain gets involved, X-Men Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead pitch in, shit goes down.  It’s pretty epic.

I won’t spoil it anymore but on top of the firsts mentioned above (first R rated super hero movie, first Marvel movie with a cooter) it is, I think unless someone can correct me, the first movie of its kind to be crushing the box office on a Valentine’s Day Weekend.

What the shit.  There weren’t any women who would have wanted to go see a movie like Deadpool with me on Valentine’s Day weekend back when I was a Funky Hunk, I’ll tell you that.  And it wasn’t me.  Well, it was but it was mostly because chicks just weren’t into those kinds of movies.  Women have seriously mellowed out that some studio exec was convinced this would be a good Valentine’s weekend date movie and be correct.

Funny.  Lots of action.  Lots of heart.  My one complaint is the best jokes were spoiled by the trailers but it’s still great.

Ryan Reynolds really shines in this.  And as you know from my #OscarsSoPretty rants, you know I’m very biased against good looking people.  Don’t get me started or I’ll rant all day about pretty person privilege, how the attractive have life handed to them on a silver platter, etc. etc.

RR shows he’s more than a handsome face.  He’s got the charisma and sense of humor of a genuine ugly dude who needs to work for it and that’s a compliment straight from good ole BQB.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Come for the jokes.  Stay for the cooter.  Oh and stay for the credits.  There’s another Deadpool movie on the way, though Deadpool told me not to tell you.

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Movie Review – The Woman in Gold (2015)

Nazis.  Damn they sucked.

The Woman in Gold

The Woman in Gold

Bookshelf Q. Battler here with a review of The Woman in Gold.

Based on real events, the film follows the story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) and Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) in an underdog against the odds quest to return a famous painting once stolen by Nazi’s from Maria’s family.

The year is 1998 and Maria is an elderly boutique owner in California.  Young Randol (Randy) is the son of an old friend of Maria’s.  Randy’s a newly minted lawyer and having a rough go of it.  His practice just went under, he and his wife (played by Katie Holmes) just have a newborn baby, and he’s just managed to secure a position with a big time law firm.

It all begins with some polite free advice – Maria consults Randy about what to do in light of the fact that the Austrian government has been making an effort to return artwork stolen by the Nazi regime to their rightful owners.

The painting in question?  The much admired “Woman in Gold” painted by artist Gustav Klimt.  Over the years, it moved from Nazi hands to a public art gallery and has become beloved by the country as “the Austrian Mona Lisa.”

The Woman in Gold – Movieclips Trailers

But to Maria, it’s a picture of her dear Aunt Adele.

The movie switches back and forth from past to present.  Randy and Maria take on a government that doesn’t want to return the painting.  In the past, young Maria once lived a happy life in a prominent Jewish family, where her father played the cello and there was much singing and dancing by all.

Alas, the Nazis come to power, roll into Austria, and Jewish people are robbed blind, their homes stripped of possessions.  Nazis takeover Maria’s home and haul off all the artwork inside, including the portrait of Adele.

They’re forced to undergo all manner of humiliations, often cheered on by onlooking non-Jewish Austrians.

Maria’s family had worked hard for what they had and the Nazis took it all.  So many decades later, for the elderly Maria, the fight for the painting’s return isn’t so much about the painting itself, or about the money (its worth at the time was 150 million), it’s a desire for the Austrian government to admit it did wrong – that Austrians welcomed the Nazis into the country with open arms and openly supported the mistreatment of Jewish citizens.

In the past, we see young Maria and her husband make a heroic and daring escape out of the country, after which they make their way to America.  For the rest of her life, Maria feels resentment at those who turned Austria into a place she had to leave.  She also feels guilt for leaving her family behind, and is angry at those who made her do so.

In the more recent past, the late 90’s, we see Randy go from viewing the case as a nuisance, then a chance to make some loot when he realizes how much its worth, and finally a chance to right a past wrong.  Randy puts his career on the line and loses everything in pursuit of the case.  Meanwhile, Maria goes from wanting to pursue the case to wanting to forget it all.

It becomes an international and complicated case as Randy battles the Austrian government in Austria, and later before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Do they win?  Well…that’s a spoiler in gold, isn’t it?  Ha ha ha.

This was an interesting and enjoyable film.  It’s not getting a lot of press. It’s a film I like to call “Oscar-ish.”  Hollywood often makes Oscarish films, movies about serious subjects and give actors a chance to flex their serious role chops but for whatever reason, they don’t end up in the Oscar running.  That’s not to say this film won’t, though it is rather early in the season.

It’s also a story that needed to be told.  I’m often amazed that even after so many WWII movies, even today there are stories that are still emerging.  Maria’s family had worked hard for what they had, contributed to their society and the thanks they received was the government and their fellow citizens cheering on the Nazis in their anti-Jewish reign of terror.

Go see it, noble readers.


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