Ava is a deadly assassin working for a black ops organization, taking on high profile hits. When a job she’s given goes horribly wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival – Tate Taylor has sharpened his filmmaking skills with 2011’s THE HELP, 2016’s thriller THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and last years horror MA so I was more than excited and slightly intrigued to see how he faired with his first foray into action films : having watched both movies in recent weeks I found AVA more enjoyable than The Old Guard (which I did enjoy) It’s just that AVA packed the sharper bite, the pace was better and the action scenes were gritty and uncomplicated with Stephen Goldblatt the DP contstantly working his magic with each shot : I also enjoy seeing an actor a little out of their comfort zone so watching Jessica Chastain take on this troubled assassin in a lead kick-ass action role was rather fun, of course Jess looked great and the role was certainly no stretch : AVA is packed with delicious fight scenes with Colin Farrell involved in more than one titantic tussle with the hotel room scene nearing the end of the movie one of my favourites : also there’s this terrific supporting cast with John Malkovich as Ava’s handler, Common (a little under used in my opinion) as the ex-boyfriend, Geena Davis and Jess Weixler as Ava’s mum & sister respectively and Ioan Gruffudd & Joan Chen in small but scene stealing roles : the film’s story follows a familiar path, betrayed assassin seeking justice (so there’s nothing new on that front) but if like me your a sucker for action movies that use less brain power, entertain with a fiesty lady holding the reigns to boot then Tate Taylor’s AVA won’t disappoint ★★★★
ps…. a little bit of trivia for you: the film and lead character was originally titled EVE but for some unknown reason the studio changed it to AVA
Saturday Night Live’s Taran Killam directs Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cobie Smulders and Bobby Moynihan in action comedy KILLING GUNTHER and judging by the below trailer this could be one hell of a night eating popcorn and chuckling your way through some rather stupid but fun slapstick comedy – Arnie plays Gunther (the world’s greatest hit-man) but is in deep deep trouble, a bunch of disgruntled assassins decide they want him dead and that’s where the fun really starts…..
Let me start by saying how much I loved Kyle Newman’s love letter to Star Wars the brilliant 2009 picture Fanboys, so obviously upon hearing Newman was involved in directing a new picture with a whole bunch of his acting mates on-board I was giddy with excitement.
Barely Lethal is one of them movies that could have & should have been so much better – I’m not saying Newman is out of his film making depth but presenting us with an action movie with little bite, characters that have no chemistry, music from Matteo Messina that’s just horrible & a picture that fails to get the best out of it’s talented cast does not help the arguement – maybe the film is a victim of previous and much better executed versions of teenagers trained to be assassins, kicking ass whilst balancing everyday life style of movies but whatever the excuses Kyle Newman has delivered a real stinker of a picture, lets hope his next effort (Chewie or the planned Fanboys sequel) is better and he does not wait for another six years to do either.
Overall – In my opinion Barely Lethal should have committed to it’s darker, grittier premise, for me there should have been far less Mean Girl and much more Hit Girl – don’t get sucked in by it’s stellar star cast, Newman’s Barely Lethal is one big letdown, save your dollars and check it out when some TV channel shows it for free ★★½
THE COUNSELOR (2014) – Movie Review ★★½
The Counselor stars Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz, Rosie Perez & Brad Pitt – the movie follows a lawyer knows to his friends & colleagues as The Counselor who is rich and successful yet finds himself deep in an extremely complex drug plot that involves the Mexican Cartel, some pretty unsavory characters and a middle-man known as Westray played by Brad Pitt – when the plan The Counselor’s involved with goes south he must try and protect himself & his soon to be wife after the Drugs Cartel start eliminating those who have doubled crossed them – VERDICT since 2001’s Black Hawk Down and the wonderful Matchstick Men in 2003 I have found Ridley Scott’s directorial efforts to fall between average & very poor and The Counselor sadly falls in the latter – despite containing a delicious cast and at times some incredible cinematography by Dariusz Wolski (Crimson Tide & Dark City) the film is a 2hr 18mins mixture of the bizarre, the disjointed and is amongst the dullest big screen events in the last few years – The Counselor’s memorable moments such as Diaz orgasmic moment on a car windscreen (yep that happened), the colorful outfits & delightful hairstyle of Javier Bardem & a couple of well executed be-heading’s are quickly forgotten, swept away in the nonsensical over complicated nature of the film’s script – overall The Counselor only adds to the list of recent movies that fall below the quality expected from one of cinema’s greatest filmmakers – it contains some horrible acting performances & a script by the ever reliable Cormac McCarthy who wrote No Country for Old Men and The Road that is a tiresome, sloppy, yawn-fest that contains numerous, meaningless exchanges between characters that you find awkward, cold and pretty much unlikeable – sadly The Counselor is yet another Ridley Scott disappointment so now my hopes on this great filmmaker returning to form rest firmly with his next big screen outing the biblical EXODUS that lands later this year and stars Christian Bale….
With the brilliant Hatfields & McCoys, Man of Steel and next years Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit it seems Kevin Costner is back headlining the movie world once more and that makes me a happy man – in 3 Days to Kill he plays Ethan Runner a secret agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter whilst eliminating the bud guys – the film is directed by McG who’s credits include Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation and We Are Marshall and starring alongside Costner is the gorgeous Amber Heard, the ultra talented Hailee Steinfeld and the Danish beauty Connie Nielsen – the film has a dark comic feel to it with Costner rocking the action scenes & Amber Heard looking deliciously sexy as always – check out the trailer…. Enjoy!
3 Days to Kill – US (21st February) – UK (N/A) – Australia (13th March)
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Breacher a DEA agent who’s team has been targeted by a mysterious assassin in David Ayer’s SABOTAGE – judging by this trailer, the pretty awesome cast and Ayer’s previous movies that include Street Kings, Harsh Times & End of Watch SABOTAGE looks one hell of a ride and has my action juices flowing quicker than Niagra Falls
The Sabotage cast also includes: Mireille Enos (The Killing), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Terrence Howard (Iron Man), Josh Holloway (Lost), Sam Worthington (Avatar), Max Martini (Pacific Rim) and Olivia Williams (Sixth Sense) – Here’s the action packed trailer…. Enjoy!
David Ayer’s Sabotage hits our cinema screens in April 2014
Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & Sebastian Stan star in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Enjoy this new trailer for Captain America’s latest adventure that lands on the big screen next April….