So I spent New Years Eve drinking and watching movies. Here’s some quick-reviews of what I watched. Or at least what I can remember of what I watched. Or what I think I remember of what I watched.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
This is a visually impressive movie. It really looks great. Billy Connolly is in it as a leader of one of the armies and, for me, he steals the whole show. Christopher Lee also makes an appearance – the only member of the cast to actually have met Tolkein. But aside from that, I just found this thing boring and bailed after about ninety minutes. It was like “We must face this army! OK. Oh, look, another army! We must defeat that army now! OK. Oh. Wait a second, over there – another army we must fight.” It just got old and I really stopped giving a crap. If you’re a fan of these kinds of movies, then you’ll love this one. I just found it repetitious.
Keanu Reeves plays a retired hit-man who has some Russian mob guys cross his path – beat the crap out of him – steal his car – and kill his dog. This sets of the expected Rain of Vengeance against the crime family. It’s all well done and makes with the Ultraviolence just fine. Reeve’s scenes are always cast in cold blue lighting. The Russians more in warmer red tones. It’s not something you see done often. The scenes in the Continental Hotel – which is a kind of safe haven for hit-men – is pretty cool too. The reason I gave it only an above-average rating is that there isn’t all that much depth to the film. Everyone in this film is a cold-blooded killer and, as such, you really don’t get too wrapped up with carrying if they live or die. But if you like a good vengeful killing spree flick, this is for you.
We Still Kill The Old Way
This is a UK film and so you’ll probably only find it online – by one means or another. The brother of a retired London crime boss is killed by a gang of punks, and the old-timers who used to run that part of the city come back to take care of business. Ian Ogilvy (one of the actors who used to play “Simon Templar”, aka “The Saint”, back in the 70’s) is the returning mob boss and is perfectly charming and violent. What makes this movie different is it’s about the characters. The old-timers and the cops trying to cope with the rising violence are interesting to watch. The script and direction are great. The ending is a little sappy, but it’s better that way than with the typical bullet-riddled shoot-out.