“The Equalizer” (2014)

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★★★★☆

This is a remake of the classic 1980′s TV show starring Edward Woodward, but with Denzel Washington starring in the title role as “Robert McCall.” The locale has been moved to Boston which lends a different feel than a film shot in New York (where the original series was set).

Antoine Fuqua (“King Arthur”, “The Replacement Killers”) directs and as usual does a great job. The film has a great gritty look to it, all the characters ring true, and there are no lapses in the flow of the film. […]

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America Needs Smart Assholes

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Smart assholes started and founded this country. Paine, Revere, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton to name but a few.

They came from a variety of backgrounds – farmers, silversmiths, writers, diplomats, lawyers, and bankers.

And they were all smart … articulate … Assholes.

They didn’t take crap. Not even from the most powerful monarch of the most powerful nation of the day. They’d argue and debate and even finger-point. But at the end of the day, they channeled their Inner Asshole, came together against the common enemy, and worked for the betterment of what were then known as “The Colonies.”

The reason the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution still kick ass today is that they were both written by these same smart assholes. […]

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“Fury” (2014)

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★★★☆☆
As a long-time military history buff I was really looking forward to this movie. I was expecting a cross between “A Band of Brothers” and the 1943 Humphrey Bogart classic “Sahara.”

I was to be disappointed.

The production values can’t be knocked. The equipment is authentic, down to the last operation Tiger I tank in existence. The uniforms, weapons, tactics, and general sense of chaos all ring true. So in that regard, they got the “Band of Brothers” part done right. […]

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“Dracula Untold” (2014)

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★★★★☆
This is a very different kind of vampire movie. It takes a more historical view of the legend of Vlad The Impaler. In this story, Vlad is a prince in Transylvania and the Turks have demanded more tribute – including giving up his son to become a Janissary in the Sultan’s Guard. Handing over his son is the last straw for Vlad, and he slices up the Turks sent to retrieve him – igniting a way.

Vlad’s only way to protect his people is to make a deal with the vampire up on the hill (OK … mountain). […]

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“Lucy” (2014)

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★★★★½
I really don’t understand why there have been so many bad reviews for this film. Granted it’s a familiar theme, and there’s no new ground broken here, but it’s by Luc Besson … and that usually means a pretty good movie.

Scarlett Johansson plays “Lucy” – a girl who is in the wrong place at the wrong time and is dragooned into being a drug mule by a vicious gang leader in Taipei. The drug they stuff inside of her is some weird synthetic compound which causes insane kinds of cell growth. […]

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