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Gringo (2018)


Gringo (2018)

I did not expect much from a movie titled Gringo.  From the trailer it appeared like it would be a fun, goofy, action, dark dramedy.  Sometimes it is OK to watch dumb humor and that is what I expected with Gringo.  How many other movies where the title is a racial slur would you expect to be any good?

With a cast that includes the likes of Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Sharlto Copley, and Amanda Seyfried, it would be hard to go wrong, right?

The movie is about how an average business trip to Mexico for Harold Soyinka, quickly takes a turn for the worse and he finds himself in a tangled mess between a drug cartel, the police, and his backstabbing boss.

The movie was directed by Nash Edgerton and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes David Oyelowo, Thandie Newton, Alan Ruck, Kenneth Choi, Melonie Diaz, Harry Treadaway, and Yul Vasquez.

This is one of those movies that overcompensates in the trailer to make the movie look a lot more entertaining than it actually is.

I has its comedic moments, but not very many of them.  If has some action, but not very much of it.  You get to like the characters, but on a little bit.  I was actually shocked at how not funny this movie was.

How do you assign the comedy genre to a movie that is not very funny?  This has become more and more common for Hollywood, these days.  There are too many subgenres.  This is an example of a movie that is trying to be too many of those subgenres at once.  It wants to be a comedy (dark, stupid, witty, goofy), drama, and action.  You cannot always have your cake and eat it too.  You cannot lump all of those genres in to a film and always expect to pull it off.

This movie bleeds with underused talent.  It is a comedy for actors that are not known for comedy and it shows because they have a lot of trouble actually pulling off humor of any kind.

Sharlto Copley stole the show.  He managed to bring the most amount of comedy and entertainment to the film, even though it still fell short.

The movie was just not very fun.  I found myself a little bored about two thirds of the way through.

Overall, Gringo is a poorly written “dramedy” with a little bit of action.  Even the cast cannot save this film.  It is worth a rental if you are curious about the movie, but do not waste your money in the theater unless you have a MoviePass.

I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Masterminds (2016)

We’re the Millers (2013)

Keeping up with the Joneses (2016)

The Hangover (2009)

The Hangover II (2011)

The Hangover III (2013)

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Due Date (2010)

Hall Pass (2011)

Office Christmas Party (2016)

Bad Words (2013)

Identity Thief (2013)

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Game Night (2018)


Game Night (2018)

If you are a fan of games like I am, then this movie probably looks like fun to you.  The concept of diving into the unknown and stirring up your plain everyday life sounds great, doesn’t it?  Of course it does.  That is why I had to check this movie out.  Because, it is about exactly that.  It is about a game night filled with endless possibilities, mystery, and excitement.  Also, the trailer for the film is pretty funny and I wanted to see more.  The next best thing to playing a game is being a spectator.

This movie is a comedy about a group of friends that get together for a regular game night.  Their most recent game night gets a huge upgrade when one of the friends surprises the others with a real life puzzle.  One of them will be kidnapped and it is up to everyone else to find that person by following the clues left behind.

The film is written by Mark Perez and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.  The noteworthy cast includes Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Michael C. Hall, Jeffrey Wright, Danny Huston, and Chelsea Peretti.

There have been a lot of comedies in recent history that have fallen flat.  The humor often is just not there or it is not consistent enough to warrant the genre of a Comedy.  Game Night is not one of those movies.  It is all kinds of funny.  It takes a little while to get going, but then it does not stop.

This film feels like a fun game.  The title is fitting, but for a couple of reasons.  The obvious reason is that it is about a game night, but more importantly the movie itself actually feels like a game night.  It is a great movie to see in the company of others (as comedies often are).  See this movie on movie night and it will feel just like a game night.  All the ingredients are there.  The excitement, the fun, the laughs, and the good time are all a part of it.  Buy some snacks at the concessions and you got yourself some good old-fashioned entertainment.

There is a comfortable assortment of humor in this movie; witty, dark, sarcastic, situational, and stupid.  It is a tasteful variety that is sure to make anyone laugh.

The film had a bit of a The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997) feel to it.  The characters think something is fake when it is actually real and hilarity ensues.

I felt like the cast all did a superb job in their roles.  The casting department compiled an enjoyable bunch of characters.

Bateman continues to prove his versatility between comedy and drama.  Not a lot of actors are capable of drama and humor at the same level.  Jason nails it!

McAdams, who is not known for her comedy, manages to pull it off because there is also just the right amount of drama in this film.

Chandler keeps up the trend of being always likable no matter what part he is playing in an acting role.

Michael C. Hall had a great cameo performance.  I think it worked well in this film because of his excellent history as the phenomenal Dexter in the well-known Dexter (2006) TV series.

Plemons continues to prove himself as a solid actor every time that I see him in a movie (which has been a lot lately).  In this one, he hysterically steals the show.

If you are looking for an exciting comedy, Game Night is totally worth it!

I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

The Hangover (2009)

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Wedding Crashers (2005)

Dead Man Down (2013)


Dead Man Down Poster

Dead Man Down (2013)

Dead Man Down is a tale about grief, pain, and especially revenge.  The film is a bit of a puzzle.  I especially enjoy movies that make you think and figure things out for yourself instead of spelling it all out for you.  This story pieces itself together little by little as events unfold and eventually everything becomes clear.  By doing this, the movie keeps your attention because you are focused on what will happen next.

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Colin Farrell plays a man who is blackmailed by his neighbor (Noomi Rapace) after she witnesses him commit murder.  She now wants him to kill for her and get revenge on the man who has wronged her.

The film is directed by Niels Arden Oplev who is most known for directing the original foreign version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009).

Although the movie was filmed in New York, it has a foreign independent movie feel to it.  This is not only because there are a number of foreign actors and actresses in the film, but because the whole movie has an almost exotic feel to it.  Instead of focusing on landmarks to tell the viewers where the story is taking place, this movie almost does the opposite.  You can tell that it takes place in a big city, but the filmmakers decided to film in less obvious parts of the city.  Instead of getting big helicopter views, they give you a view from a rooftop or a balcony.  It seems like the story is intentionally confined to a smaller area.  Maybe this makes it easier for people all around the world to believe that what is happening in the film could actually be happening in their home town.  It is just an interesting aspect of filmmaking that I have never thought of before.

dead man down farrell

I like Colin Farrell but I am always a little leery of his movies because they are usually hit or miss.  Lately he has been choosing his characters a little more wisely (Seven Psychopaths (2012), Total Recall (2012), Horrible Bosses (2011)) and this movie was no exception.  His character is a no-nonsense tough guy and he plays the part well.

dead man down terrence howard

Terrence Howard brings a lot of energy and charisma to the film.  He has a very Denzel Washington-like way of taking over the scenes that he is in and making his presence known.  I think that this is his best role since The Brave One (2007).

After watching her delicate performance in the movie, Noomi Rapace has convinced me that I should check out her Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (2010) that she is most known for.  Her character in Dead Man Down seemed very genuine.

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Armand Assante has basically a cameo appearance.  I was a little bummed that he wasn’t in more of the movie.

The movie was a little drawn out at times.  Some of the action sequences seemed a little convenient.  The story might be a little hard to follow if you’re not paying attention.  But, overall it was an entertaining and unique film.

I rate this movie a 7.5 out of 10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

dead man down walking together