24 Hours to Live (2017)
Ethan Hawke in a shoot ‘em up, no holds barred action thriller is just the type of movie that I would want to see. So I did. It appeared like it would have a lot of similarities to Crank (2006). Crank is off the hook in all senses of the word, so 24 Hours to Live sparked my interest.
The film is about a hired killer out for revenge after he is brought back to life after being shot. The medical treatment he received is only keeping him alive for 24 hours, so he must seek his revenge in a hurry.
The movie was directed by Brian Smrz and the noteworthy cast includes Ethan Hawke, Liam Cunningham, Rutger Hauer, Paul Anderson, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Tanya van Graan, Qing Xu, and Jenna Upton.
The movie was fun, but convenient at times. The action was sometimes a little choppy. Lots of good ruthless ideas. Some worked and some fell flat. Not enough follow through. The film was a bipolar rollercoaster of really good sometimes, followed by a sort of fizzle and then back to better again. In a strange way, the film felt like a financial rollercoaster also. Sometimes it felt a little cheap and B-rated, while other times really expensive and classy. It just could not hold its momentum. Along with that problem, it was occasionally a bit hard to follow. Overall, it just felt like it was lacking something.
Hawke is dual-wielding and he’s got nothing to lose. His role was awesome and he pulled it off well. He is the same old slick, and smooth likable guy. His character developed well, but the supporting cast, not so much.
Cunningham was very enjoyable, but could have been better. He just was not used enough.
The film was reminiscent of Crank (2006), minus the extreme intensity throughout and not near the same caliber film.
24 Hours to Live was a fun concept. It was an entertaining flick, but a bit disappointing because it did not reach its full potential. However, it was nice to see Ethan Hawke carrying an action movie by himself again.
I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
Crank: High Voltage (2009)
Running Scared (2006)
Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)
Training Day (2001)
Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)
Expendables 3 (2014)
Sylvester Stallone is at it again. He has gathered his Expendables for another go-round. The Expendables (2010) was good, The Expendables 2 (2012) was even better. Will this third time be the charm? The teaser trailer doesn’t reveal enough of anything, except for the fact that the boys are back and hopefully better than ever.
The movie was directed by Patrick Hughes and the noteworthy cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, and Robert Davi.
I especially like the addition of Gibson and Ford.
I think viewers will be in for an overload of blood, guts, and bullets.
The film is set to release on 08/15/14.
I was very skeptical about whether or not I would like Getaway before watching it. I normally enjoy Ethan Hawke’s films, and recently he has made some good choices, i.e. Sinister (2012) and The Purge (2013). However, Getaway appeared a little sketchy to me. I held off seeing the movie in theatres because I was very unsure about it, but I had to at least give it a chance on DVD.
The film is about an ex-racecar driver (Ethan Hawke) whose wife has been kidnapped. In order to try to get her back, he is forced by the kidnappers to drive and do whatever he is told while leaving a trail of destruction and evading cops all over the city. He is given missions with time limits attached. Along the way, he gets caught up with a young woman whose car he was required to steal. The two of them are in for a wild ride that will hopefully help him get his wife back.
The movie was directed by Courtney Solomon and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Jon Voight, Selena Gomez, Rebecca Budig, Paul Freeman, and Bruce Payne.
The film gets your attention immediately. It sort of has a Taken (2008) meets The Transporter (2002) feel to it, at first, but that quickly diminishes. The high-speed car chases start out flashy and exciting set to the tone of dramatic car chase music. Eventually the whole movie turns into one big car chase that will not end soon enough.
Getaway is actually pretty decent until the appearance of Selena Gomez. Her character enters and the movie slams on the breaks and crashes. Gomez brought nothing to her role in the film except for very poor acting skills and utter annoyance. I found myself quickly hoping that her character would just die off. However, I’m not even sure if her poor performance was her fault. Everything about the character that she played seemed unbelievable. The writers really dropped the ball when they came up with her part in the story. This sort of had a snowball effect.
The whole movie spun out of control. It stopped being fun and entertaining. Instead it just felt tacky and fake. The car chases were nothing new and the story stopped making sense. Things became too far out and predictable. Even though he still was, it felt like Hawke was no longer in the driver’s seat. There was nothing that he could do to steer the film into the right direction.
I thought that Getaway would at least be a fun ride to get distracted on for a little while. Instead, I wanted to get off before the ride was over.
I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Run.
Escape Plan (2013)
During the 80s and 90s, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were action movie kings. However, up until recent years, they had never made a movie together.
I watched Stallone being interviewed by David Letterman the other day, and Stallone revealed that he and Schwarzenegger used to absolutely hate each other. They would always have to one-up each other. Now, I’m thinking, wouldn’t it have been great if at some point when the two actors were enemies, they actually played enemies on screen. People definitely would have paid to see that. I know I would have.
Something must have helped Stallone and Schwarzenegger resolve their differences because Escape Plan is the third movie that they have made together in the last three years, and the fourth one is on the way in 2014.
Escape Plan is about a prison escape artist (Sylvester Stallone) who has made a career breaking out of maximum security prisons all over the US. One day, he gets a job offer that he cannot refuse that lands him in a prison that was built using a book that he had written as a guide to building escape-proof prisons.
The film was directed by Mikael Hafstrom and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, Faran Tahir, Sam Neill, Caitriona Balfe, and 50 Cent.
Earlier this year, Stallone and Schwarzenegger both proved that they can still be action heroes, even in their upper 60s. Stallone did it in Bullet to the Head (2012) and Schwarzenegger did it in The Last Stand (2013). Escape Plan was better than each of those movies. Each actor looked better physically, and they both carried themselves very well. Maybe it was because they were both in the film together and they continued to try to outdo each other again. Whatever it was, it worked.
Escape Plan exceeded my expectations. The movie was a welcome, unpredictable surprise. It had a lot of original ideas mixed with a few classics, for old time sake.
Caviezel and Jones had very fun supporting roles. 50 Cent somehow manages to keep weaseling his way into films, and I swear that he is always trying to ruin them. He was terrible, as usual.
It was delightful to see Sly and Ahnuld cracking skulls in the same movie. If you were ever a fan of their movies in the past, you won’t be able to help but like this movie.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
(Nicolas Cage) stars as Will Montgomery, a bank robber who gets left behind by his partner Vincent (Josh Lucas) and the rest of their crew after successfully stealing 10 million dollars from a bank. Before being arrested, Will dumps the money and therefore only goes to jail for 8 years.
When Will gets out of prison, Vincent wants his share of the 10 million dollars and will do anything to get it, including kidnapping and threatening to kill Will’s teenage daughter. Vincent gives Will 12 hours to get him the money or his daughter dies.
It was a pleasure to see Josh Lucas playing a bad guy. He has always been an underrated actor in my opinion. He did a wonderful job being creepy.
Although the storyline is not much different than your standard kidnapping or bank robbery, Nicolas Cage and Josh Lucas bring a certain level of prestige to the film with a couple of unique plot surprises along the way.
There is enough action and chases interspersed throughout the movie to keep you intrigued and wanting to know what will happen next.
Nicolas Cage has been involved in creating a lot of trash in the more recent years. For a while it was one poor excuse for a movie after another. This is unfortunate because he is one of my favorite actors. But I guess that is what happens when you dig yourself way into debt and are forced to take any and all roles offered to you just to break even and keep your head above water. I have always wondered how someone as talented as Cage, with as much fame and fortune, and as many awesome performances in so many excellent movies (for example: Lord of War, The Weather Man, National Treasure, Matchstick Men, The Family Man, Gone in 60 Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Leaving Las Vegas, Kiss of Death) could just flush it all down the toilet.
I won’t pretend to know what caused the downturn of this movie Icon. I heard that he had owed millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS and I’m sure that was a big motivator to accept any garbage role that came his way.
It became about quantity rather than quality (for example: The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, Astro Boy, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, Drive Angry, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance); anything to make money to pay his debts. According to imdb.com Cage is involved in 12 more movies that are expected to release in the next couple of years.
Within the pile of rubble that is Cage’s last 7 years of film making, you will find a few glimmers of hope. These are just a few reminders that Nicolas Cage can still make good movies, they are few and far between, but he still has the ability (for example: Next, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing, Seeking Justice, Trespass, and Stolen). Arguably none of the movies on that list were fantastic, but they were still solid movies in their own right, and all worth seeing. The only big hit on that list was National Treasure: Book of Secrets and that is because it was the sequel to a much better movie.
Here’s to hoping Cage can get his life together so that he can start making greatness again. Stolen is just another example of hope that better is still to come for Nicolas Cage.I give
Stolen a 7 rating on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
Red Dawn (2012)
One night the power goes out in Spokane, Washington, and apparently much of the surrounding area of the country.
The following day, the quarterback of the local High School football team Matt Eckert (Josh Peck) is awakened by the walls around him shaking. He and his brother Jed (Chris Hemsworth), who is a veteran of the war in Iraq run out of the house to investigate. They are shocked to discover planes flying overhead, parachutes falling from the sky carrying heavily armed North Korean soldiers, and their city under attack.
They flee in Jed’s old pickup truck. The streets are littered with residents of the city running for their lives. They dodge bullets, explosions, and drive through and around flames as they try to escape to safety. In the midst of it all, they almost collide with their father’s police car. He had been out the night before dealing with security of the city during the power outage.
Their father orders them to get out of the city and to their cabin in the woods. On the way to the cabin they join up with some friends and they witness other friends and their families getting captured or killed.
The cabin becomes one of many different places where they hide out and take refuge. They scrounge up any weapons and food that they can find and come together as a group to fight back against their attackers.
With Jed as the leader, they call themselves the Wolverines and carry out missions to try to weaken the North Koreans and save the city and its captives.
This is an updated remake of the 1984 film of the same name. In the original version, a small town in Colorado was under attack by the Russians. In the 2012 version it is suspected that the North Koreans had help from the Russians to attack the U.S.
This new version is an entertaining action film that keeps your attention throughout. The actors in the movie are mostly younger adults who are more known for the movies that they have been in, rather than being recognized for their acting ability. The most popular actor in the movie is Chris Hemsworth, who is more known for role as Thor in the movie Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012) than he is for his ability to act. With that being said, this is the type of film that relies more on story and action than it does on acting. The actors do not get much of a chance to act before they are thrown into a battle of life and death. It is my opinion that a few of these actors are still developing their craft and may one day have a breakthrough role that boosts them to real stardom.
The story concludes very abruptly and almost too conveniently, leaving the viewer with a few questions unanswered.
Overall it was a fun movie to watch. It was interesting to see which direction the updated version would take in comparison to the original 1984 version.
By keeping the story localized and not showing what was happening all over the country, it made the story more believable and therefore more enjoyable.
The movie is worth seeing in the theatre and will definitely be worth catching on DVD.
I rate Red Dawn (2012) a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.