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The Emporer’s New Groove (2000)
The Emporer’s New Groove (2000)
2000 | Animation, Family
7.2 (44 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Somehow it took me a full twenty years after release to see this movie. While David Spade has done some other voice over work of quality, this takes the cake. John Goodman is always a favorite of mine and the voice of Patrick Warburton adds another layer of hilarity in the role of Kronk.

There was a time in my life when I didn't really see much in the way of Disney releases as my focus was elsewhere. I do regret not seeing this sooner. It was a great story with wonderful voice acting and classic Disney imagination and imagery. Definitely worth seeing at any age.
Atomic Blonde  (2017)
Atomic Blonde (2017)
2017 | Action, Mystery, Thriller
Cast are great (2 more)
Soundtrack is awesome
Interesting tone
Predictable twists (0 more)
It's A Blast
This movie is directed by David Leitch, the guy who did the John Wick movies, so going in what I expected was essentially John Wick with a female lead. This movie turned out to be much more than that. There is an interesting narrative built around the fast paced action and the characters are all well rounded. Theron is brilliant in the lead role, MacAvoy is also fantastic as per usual. The rest of the cast including John Goodman, Sofia Boutella and Eddie Marsen are good too. The soundtrack and backdrop of this movie provide an interesting tone also and overall, it is a fantastic spy action thriller.
Captive State (2019)
Captive State (2019)
2019 | Sci-Fi, Thriller
John Goodman delivers a solid performance, visually appealing, (0 more)
Too grounded in reality, lacked originality, didn't feel satisfying in the end (0 more)
Not Captivating Enough - 6/10
Captive State is a 2019 sci-fi/thriller movie directed by Rupert Wyatt and co-written by Rupert Wyatt and Erica Beeney. It was produced by Amblin Partners and Participant Media with producers Rupert Wyatt and David Crockett. The film stars John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, and Vera Farmiga.

In 2019, Chicago is placed under Martial Law as extraterrestrials invade Earth. Attempting to flee the city, the Drummond family, breaks through a barricade to a tunnel exit. Before they can back up and reverse, the aliens attack, vaporizing both parents, with the children having survived in the backseat. Nine years later, 2028, the world has surrendered to the conquering alien forces, who have now become the governing authority. They are called "The Legislators" because all rules of governance and subsequent laws come from them. Walled off from the rest of the city and deep beneath the ground, they've had conscripted humans build them suitable habitats called "Closed Zones" where only high government officials are granted access. Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders), the younger son of the Drummond family is confronted by Chicago Police Commander William Mulligan (John Goodman) who believes he is a part of the resistance. Gabriel's brother Rafe Drummond (Jonathan Majors) was part of the resistance but died on a mission and murals are painted of him in Pilsen, the poor part of town, where Gabriel lives. Mulligan however is not convinced the resistance group, called Phoenix has been neutralized as believed and continues to work towards bringing them down.

This movie was not at all what I expected. I thought it was going to be better than what it was and that's because I didn't even have high expectations going into it. So from the previews/trailers it looked like it was going to be a bigger scale resistance. When I hear resistance fighting, I guess I picture more like fighting like Fallen Skies or like the resistance fighters in Star Wars. This was more of a political/spy thriller going back and forth between the point of view from members of the resistance and those tasked with bringing them down. It had sprinkling of sci-fi and aliens but was too grounded in reality to make it entertaining. It seemed very "done before" and lacked originality. John Goodman did a good job and so did Ashton Sanders but I feel this movie suffered from a bad plot to begin with. Or maybe it sounds good on paper but the delivery failed. Visually it was appealing, the aliens and ships and things looked wonderful but after watching seemed like it wasn't enough to leave the audience satisfied. I give it a 6/10.

Jim Jarmusch recommended Atomic Blonde (2017) in Movies (curated)

Atomic Blonde  (2017)
Atomic Blonde (2017)
2017 | Action, Mystery, Thriller

"Atomic Blonde, 2016. I’ve seen it three times. It’s directed by David Leitch, of John Wick fame. But this is my idea of the ultimate feminist action movie. Wonder Woman, I’m sorry, just didn’t do it for me, but Charlize Theron is definitely my idea of a female superhero somehow. She balances femininity, vulnerability, and total badass strength. So she is truly great in this film. And I would say, she usually is very strong. I love the way that Charlize Theron is rarely, if ever, like overplaying anything. And the film is ingenious; it takes place in Berlin, just 24 hours before the wall falls. It’s full of betrayal, violence, intrigue, and the idea of life and death become completely irrelevant when the wall comes down. It’s a really brilliant plot. And also James McAvoy, John Goodman, and Toby Jones deliver really engagingly creepy, supporting performances. The action sequences are all amazing, the visual effects, and hats off to Charlize Theron. I really love, Atomic Blonde."


Suswatibasu (1701 KP) rated Atomic Blonde (2017) in Movies

Dec 16, 2017 (Updated Dec 16, 2017)  
Atomic Blonde  (2017)
Atomic Blonde (2017)
2017 | Action, Mystery, Thriller
Great soundtrack (1 more)
Fabulous action
Storyline a little thin (0 more)
Charlize Theron makes this movie
This is definitely one of those marmite movies, in which you either love or hate it. At times, the female protagonist Lorraine, played by Charlize Theron, echoed Uma Thurman's character in Kill Bill - stylized sequences, strong female lead, a great 1980's soundtrack and cinematography - made for a good watch.

Where it fell short was the plot. It dragged in the middle of the film, where there seemed to be mindless violence for no apparent reason. The story follows Lorraine Broughton, who is sent to Berlin to find and deliver some priceless information back to MI6. She meets the local station chief David Percival and they get caught up in the normal Iron Curtain spy business you'd expect with people getting killed left right and centre.

The only problem with this is that if Theron’s character Lorraine Broughton had been a man, it wouldn't have changed a single frame of the film. I'd like to see an action film where the female lead isn't trying to be a man replacement or scantily-clad for the male gaze, I'd love to see a female lead being female.

Despite the incredible cast - Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman - the acting was adequate for the kind of film this was, but it could have been so much better.
Trumbo (2016)
Trumbo (2016)
2016 | Drama
What is it that makes, not a great, but even a good biopic? It is certainly no enviable task, trying to condense decades of a person’s life into a mere two hours. Choosing what to keep and what to leave, stringing events together so that they feel as though they are one complete narrative opposed to a series of vignettes. And then there are the inevitable purists who will write off the entire product based on a single detail either left out or composited due to running time or budgetary restrictions. Over the years, I have found myself wrestling with my opinion of Braveheart. Do I enjoy it for its epic qualities, or do I cast it aside as the wretched historical inaccuracies fly in the face of what is one of the most important times in a country’s past?


The answer is simply, and stolen from another great historical epic, are you not entertained? Film can and should be powerful and informative. It can and should influence our thinking and encourage an emotional response, but above all, it should entertain. Trumbo does all of the above, ticks all the necessary boxes on the list of what makes a great biopic and whatever historical inaccuracies lie within be damned. Director Jay Roach, writer John McNamara and an ensemble so good it has to be seen to be believed have made, if not the best biopic of the year (that distinction still stays with Steve Jobs for now), then certainly the most enjoyable.


Where I find myself in reviewing Trumbo is trying not to sound monotonous in singing its high praises. Whether you’re interested in a message or not, because there is a good one in there, it’s a film that demands to be seen just on the strength of the cohesiveness that comes from the writing, the acting and (I still can’t believe I’m about to write this about the man who made all three Austin Powers movies) the directing.


I could prattle on endlessly about how overwhelmingly good this cast is, but the names speak for themselves. Bryan Cranston showcases that he is not just the best thing on television, but also a big-screen powerhouse. Helen Mirren, in her inimitable fashion and with beautiful understatement, is a force to be reckoned with, seething venom and self-righteousness. Louis C.K. finally breaks out of his stand-up comic persona to give a truly heartfelt performance played with surprisingly restrained vulnerability. The chemistry between him and Bryan Cranston will no doubt leave you wanting more. And John Goodman… well, it’s John Goodman. He continues to prove that no matter how small a part he has to play, it will stay with you long after you’ve left the theater. Hands down, and these are only four out of a dozen terrific performances, there hasn’t been an ensemble this stunning since L.A. Confidential.


It should also be mentioned that Michael Stuhlbarg, David James Elliott and Dean O’Gorman, who portray Edward G. Robinson, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas respectively, are unquestionably destined to go down as the unsung heroes of Trumbo. Their efforts, not just to imitate but to fully realize these Hollywood stars of a by-gone era, are a further complement to inspired casting and commitment to honoring the lives of the people portrayed on screen.


In short (and well done for making it this far through monotonous and truly well-deserved praise), if you have to see one film this Thanksgiving season that doesn’t star Tom Hardy as England’s notorious Kray brothers, see Trumbo.
Atomic Blonde  (2017)
Atomic Blonde (2017)
2017 | Action, Mystery, Thriller
Say hello to Mrs. John Wick
David Leitch is one of the most exciting film-makers of the current crop of directors working today. His brilliant John Wick reignited Keanu Reeves’ career in spectacular fashion and he’s worked behind-the-scenes on films like Captain America: Civil War and Jurassic World.

Just this year he signed on to direct Deadpool 2 after Tim Miller’s sudden departure. In the meantime, he’s treating us to another adults-only thriller, Atomic Blonde. But is this Charlize Theron-led vehicle as good as his previous work?

Sensual and savage, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is the most elite spy in MI6, an agent willing to use all her skills to stay alive during impossible missions. With the Berlin Wall ready to crumble, she travels into the middle of the city to retrieve a dossier and take down an espionage ring. Once there, she teams up with an embedded station chief (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

Charlize Theron is fast-becoming one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars after decent turns in Fast & Furious 8 and Mad Max: Fury Road. In Atomic Blonde this is no exception. She commands the screen in each and every frame, oozing class and showing the world she is a first-class action superstar.

The rest of the cast are also exquisite. James McAvoy can do no wrong this year after his out-of-this-world performance in Split, and his David Percival here is fleshed out, well-written and beautifully acted. Elsewhere, John Goodman and Toby Jones add even more prowess to proceedings.

Add to this some stunning cinematography and you’ve got a recipe for success. Atomic Blonde relishes the era in which it is presented with a magnificent soundtrack and beautiful direction. Leitch makes the film feel very much alive, with brutally realistic action shot without needless shaky cam or over-the-top scoring.

Unfortunately, the story is less successful. If Theron is the living, beating heart of Atomic Blonde, the script nearly strangles her. It is nearly impossible to truly understand what is happening on screen as the plot throws more twists and turns at the audience than Spaghetti Junction. Ordinarily, this would be great, but here it’s distracting and nonsensical.

Nevertheless, this is a vastly entertaining film, very much in the same vein of John Wick. In fact, it’d be fantastic if we could see these two characters brought together in a crossover of epic proportions.

Overall, David Leitch hasn’t quite recaptured the success of his first feature film but has managed to craft a highly stylised and quick-moving thriller that feels very real and utilises its exceptional cast incredibly well, with Charlize Theron being an absolute delight. It’s just unfortunate the plot is a bit of a damp squib.
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
2018 | Sci-Fi
A fun "who-will-survive" flick
During the Super Bowl, a "surprise" trailer dropped for a new entry in the Cloverfield family of films. The good news is that the film was dropping on Netflix the next day, so fanboys immediately jumped on-line and then started hating on it (again, on-line) because it wasn't exactly what they thought it would be.

Which is too bad, for THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX is a very fun, very well made, very well acted "10 Little Indians" style Sci-Fi film (you know, the type of film where a finite group of folks are marooned someplace - like and island or an isolated, creepy mansion and are picked off one by one). This time, they are on a space station, and when an experiment goes awry, bad things start to happen.

I stated that this film is another entry in the "Cloverfield family of films", so let me explain that. The overseer of these films is none other than JJ Abrams and he has stated that there will be a series of films - very different in style, type and substance - that will (somehow) be related in the Cloverfield Universe. And, so far, he has fulfilled his promise (at least to me) - for those that just want "more of the same", he has alienated.

The first film, CLOVERFIELD, is a "found footage" film about a giant monster (think Godzilla) rampaging through modern day New York City. Of the 3 films,thus far, in the Cloverfield family, this one (for me) was the least effective (especially because I am not a big fan of "found footage" films). The 2nd film was 2016's 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE and was a very effective psychological horror/drama starring John Goodman as a fellow who has rescued/captured (kidnapped?) Mary Elizabeth Winstead and has locked her in his survival bunker in order to - he says - save her from the monster above. The film effectively goes back and forth with wondering what is scarier - the monster above or the monster (Goodman) below. If you haven't seen 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, I highly recommend it.

The third installment, then, is THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX, a prequel of sorts about a group of scientists aboard a space station conducting a desperate, highly dangerous power experiments to solve the world's energy crisis. When something goes wrong, bad things happen. And since this is in the Cloverfield family, you gotta know it has some connection with how the Cloverfield monster got on Earth.

But this film doesn't really concern itself with the Cloverfield monster - which is what I think is angering the "fanboys" - this film is about the survival of the charismatic, international scientists that are stranded on this space station after the accident. Almost every one of the actors in this film are "oh...that guy" type actors - all very good. From German actor Daniel Bruhl (RUSH) to Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang (CROUCHING TIGER...) to Englishman David Oyelowo (SELMA) to good ol' John Ortiz (a million different things) - the cast is strong, fun to watch and easy to root for. They all are in service to the plot devices (and predicaments they are in) and they serve the plot (and the film) well.

Special notice should be made for Chris O'Dowd (BRIDESMAIDS) who brings some much needed levity via his deadpan humor approach to everything as the ship's handyman and, especially, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (BELLE) as the heroine of the adventure from through who's eyes we encounter the events of the film.

I have stated before that I am a sucker for these types of "10 Little Indians who-will-survive" films and this one is no exception. Go in with no preconceived notions, roll with what the film throws at you and you'll have a good time time, too.

THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX is now streaming on Netflix.

Letter Grade: B (it is the very definition of a "B" movie).

7 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Atomic Blonde  (2017)
Atomic Blonde (2017)
2017 | Action, Mystery, Thriller
The beginning of the end of the Cold War,1989. East and West Germany still separated by more than just a wall. An MI6 agent sent to retrieve a knock list two weeks prior has been killed and the list is missing. It contains information on every agent for each agency who have representation in Berlin. MI6 sends in Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), specialist in intelligence collection and hand to hand combat. She would have to work with the section chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to retrieve the list before it falls into the hands of the competition.

Lorraine’s fight scenes, carefully choreographed to deliver efficiency in movement where not one strike is wasted. The action sequences truly drives the pace of the storyline. one would think that this is just the average action film but it’s not. This film’s storyline has very good pacing although there are points of slight foreshadowing, but it keeps one guessing about peoples loyalties even after it is established…or is it?

Charlize plays Lorraine with the coolness on par with 007, but with a realistic enemy. McAvoy’s Percival is the agent that has spent so much time in Berlin where he has become entrenched in the role of a black-market trader so familiar with the east/west that he believes he knows how to run the game. He toggles back and forth from East to West like an eel slithering through the hands of fishermen.

We also see a few familiar faces playing key appointments in the spy game. Toby Jones as Eric Gray, Lorraine’s boss and John Goodman as Emmet Kurzfeld, the CIA attaché to this mission with MI6. Sofia Boutella, who we have seen in Kingsman and The Mummy plays Delphine Lasalle, the fledgling agent from France documenting Lorraine’s every move.

The film is set to the steady rhythm of 80’s electronic New Wave. The soundtrack in this movie does not function solely as accompaniment. Each scene is accentuated by songs carefully curated to enhance each moment as a supporting character.

Based on Antony Johnston’s 2012 Graphic Novel “The Coldest City” Director David Leitch (John Wick & Deadpool 2 ) gives us an ass kicking female protagonist that is clever, darkly witty and can take on pretty much anything that comes her way. The stunts are filmed with an experienced fluidity and the movements are crisp, definitely a benefit from Leitch’s stunt expertise.

So far, the summer blockbuster season can be named the point where female action heroes can hold the attention of the viewer, no longer seen as the frail victim or second fiddle to the man. She can take care of business and put the hurt on anyone that comes at her as well as share with the audience that she has emotional depth.

My attention was captured from the first shot to the ending credits.