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RED SPARROW-Karl Sides

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RED SPARROW

Jennifer Lawrence- Dominika Egorova

Joel Edgerton- Nate Nash

Matthias Schoenaerts- Vanya Egorova

Jeremy Irons- General Lorchnoi

 

Jennifer Lawrence goes ballet to lethal killer in the new espionage thriller, Red Sparrow!

Dominika Egorova was the prima ballerina in the Bolshoi ballet. The Bolshoi paid for apartment, medical expenses for her disabled mother pretty much everything. She had everything until a horrific accident happened during a performance when the male lead landed on her leg, snapping it and ending her dancing career.

 

Dominika has no choice but to meet with her slimy uncle Vanya Egorova, commander of Russian intelligence, and offering her a way out. He also brought her a resent, giving Dominika a file with pictures and recordings of her understudy at the Bolshoi plotting with her lead to take her out. Dominika goes off sneaking into the theater and catching the two having sex in the steam room.  Dominika beats them senseless with a broom handle’

The next day she accepts her uncles offer to join “sparrow” school to work with Russian Intelligence. Young people are stripped of the morals and trained to do anything to get the job done at sparrow school. Dominika did well executing a young man with a faucet when he tried to rape her. She impressed the Matron (Charlotte Rampling) of the school who informed her uncle of her progress. Vanya reported back to General Lorchnoi that they have an asset now.

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FLICKANALYSIS

12 STRONG- KARL SIDES (The Flick Fanatic.com)

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12 STRONG

Starring: Chris Hemsworth- Capt. Mitch Nelson

Michael Shannon- Hal Spencer

Michael Pena- Sam Diller

Navid Negahban- General Dostum

HEMSWORTH LEADS A GROUP OF SOLDIERS ON AMERICA’S INTIAL RETALIATION FOR THE 9/11 ATTACKS IN THE NEW FILM “12 STRONG”

My favorite thing to see in a film is the line “Based on a true story”, so I was anxious to see the new film “12 Strong” which is base on the covert mission by the United States to retaliate following the 9/11 terrorist attacks by the Taliban.

Immediately following the twin towers tumbling, Capt. Mitch Nelson returns to his base to get his unit back together only to be told his unit has disbanded and he is riding a desk. Communications officer Hal Spencer retracts his retirement for one more mission with Nelson.

Once the unit lands in Afghanistan, Nelson is briefed by Col. Mullholland (William Fichtner) informing the captain he is going to lead his team to join Afghan rebels in the mountains to target Taliban camps for airstrikes. Nelson tells the colonel his team will complete the mission in 3 weeks with no casualties.

Nelson’s group lands in country and meets with General Dostum, leader of the Afghan rebels and hater of the Taliban, who has little respect for Nelson because “he doesn’t have killer eyes”. Nelson promises a 3-week time table only to find out they are going to do the mission on horseback and there are only 12 horses. Now with his unit split in half and outnumbered 100 to 1, Nelson begins his campaign with a reluctant General to destroy the Taliban.

Nelson and his unit target the first Taliban outpost and bomb it. When he sends in the soldiers his unit is ambushed by Taliban re-enforcements coming in from a road in the south. Nelson has it out with Dostum demanding all the information he has so not to be ambushed again. Nelson splits his unit again sending Sam Diller and 3 other men across the desert to flank the Taliban and cut off the re-enforcements coming down the valley leading to the city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

The film is very good and as I said based on actual events, that being said it is dialogue driven and slow at times. The battle scenes are great and I really liked the bond developed between Dostrum and Nelson that continues to this day. It was also very cool during the credits to show the actual soldiers who received no credit for the mission, but recently had a statue dedicated to their bravery at the Ground zero memorial.

 

Rating 4/6 horses

FLICKANALYSIS

The Commuter- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatic.com)

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THE COMMUTER

Starring: Liam Neeson- Michael MacCauley

                   Vera Farmiga- Joanna

                   Patrick Wilson- Alex Murphy

Liam Neeson has a $100k if he can track down a person on a crowded commuter train!

Michael MacCauley walked away from his job as a Chicago detective to sell insurance and enjoy life with his wife and sons. On the same day they took out a second mortgage on their house so their son can go to Syracuse University, MacCauley is fired from his job.

Michael meets an old police buddy Alex Murphy for beers. MacCauley explains his unemployment, no savings and that he has not told his wife, Murphy tells him to catch his train and go home and tell his wife.

Michael runs to met his commuter train and as he boards he is pick pocketed and loses his cell phone. Michael sits down in a front car and begins to read a book when a strange woman named Joanna sits down in front of him and begins to ask him Hypothetical questions. Joanna next tells MacCauley that she knows he was a detective and it should be easy for him to find the one person on the train that doesn’t belong (not a daily commuter) and tag them with a GPS tracker then he gets $100,000.

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FLICKANALYSIS

The Shape of Water- Karl Sides (The FlickFanatic.com)

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The Shape of Water Review

Starring: Sally Hawkins- Elisa Esposito

Michael Shannon- Richard Strickland

Richard Jenkins-Giles

Octavia Spencer- Zelda Fuller

Doug Jones- Amphibian creature

You can find love anywhere…even in a fish tank!

Guillermo Del Toro has a way to tell a story on the big screen and his films (The Orphanage, Hell Boy, Pans Labyrinth) are always entertaining, so I was anxiously awaiting his new film,” The Shape of Water”.

Elsa Esposito is a lonely mute woman whose only friends are her homosexual neighbor and co-worker Zelda. Elisa and Zelda are a cleaning crew at a military research facility in the 60s during the height of the Cold War. The Army wheels in a super secret project that turns out to be an amphibian man and the man in charge is Richard Strickland, a ruthless jerk. Strickland just wants to study the effects of pain on the creature as he constantly sticks it with a cattle prod. Dr. Hofstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) wants to learn about the creature and is secretly a Russian spy going to give his data to the KGB/

Elisa decides to have lunch next to the tank on day and sets an egg out for the creature and he liked it and her, they instantly had a bond. The Army decides they are going to cut up the creature to see how it ticks after Strickland loses a few fingers to the beast’s razor-sharp claws. Elisa overhears the plans and goes to her neighbor Giles to help save the creature. Dr. Hofstetler sees them breaking the creature out and helps them and gives them chemicals to add to the water to help keep the creature alive. The amphibian man needs salt water to survive. Hofstetler tells Elisa that she will need to release him as soon as possible.

Strickland finds his creature has been stolen and starts a man hunt for his fish and the cleaning lady that took him.

The Shape of Water is a MUST SEE this year and one of my favorite films of 2017. Michael Shannon is the perfect bad guy and Sally Hawkins is great as the lead. Doug Jones is the creature that resembles the merman in the Hell Boy series Del Toro already did. The Shape of Water is a new spin on falling in love with a fish, you can call it a fantastical update to the comedy classic Splash.

Rating

6/6 Hard Boiled Eggs

 

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KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatic)

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KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Eggsy and the Kingsmen are reloaded to save the world again!

Eggsy (Egerton) is a Kingsman agent after taking down Valentine and his killer cell phones, Eggsy is accosted outside the Kingsman shop that serves as a secret base by a familiar face. Charlie (Edward Holcroft), a Kingsman recruit that washed out and was working with Valentine, shows up with some goons to take out Eggsy. A car chase ensues and runs through London to Hyde Park where Merlin (Strong) tells Eggsy to take them out. Eggsy beats Charlie, crashes his car throwing Charlie through the front windshield leaving only a mechanical arm.

Charlies mech arm plugs into the car and downloads all the Kingsman information. Charlie is now working for a new psycho, a drug kingpin named Poppy that runs the golden circle. Poppy brands her people with a 24-karat circle hence “the Golden Circle” name, she puts her enemies through a meat grinder. Poppy’s plan is to lace her drugs with a disease that will kill the users in a few days without the antidote. Poppy also attacks all the Kingsman agents and bases killing everyone except Merlin and Eggsy who were not at their homes.

 

Merlin and Eggsy launch disaster protocol that takes them to Kentucky and recruiting their fellow agents called the Statemen. Tequila, a problem agent smokes some pot and comes down with Poppy’s “blue rash”. The Statesmen also had another surprise, Galahad (Firth) is alive and after Eggsy triggers a memory, he is back in action. Galahad and Eggsy must find the antidote before millions die.

 

Just like the 2014 original, The Golden Circle features a ton of action and jaw dropping special effects. The opening car chase and a sky tram used in a downhill ski slope are just a couple of examples of the action in this installment. Moore is great as the homicidal drug dealer. There are supporting roles by Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum as the Statesmen that are very good. The best highlight is a cameo by Elton John who plays himself, a captive of Poppy that is there to play for her and help the Kingsman.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a fun follow-up to the original. It is easy to see it is based on a graphic novel, but has enough action and humor to entertain for 3 hours.

Rating 4/6 umbrella guns!