Archives for posts with tag: Chris Pine

Grade B+

 

Gal Gadot plays the title role in this retelling of the super hero’s origins and first encounters with humans.  Raised to be a super warrior on an island of Amazons, fearless Gadot trains with the expectation of one day fighting the god Ares, who is thought by the Amazons to come back one day and kill all the humans and Amazons on the planet.  When a soldier (played by Chris Pine) crashes his plane near the Amazons’ island, his story of a great and terrible war happening all over Earth is interpreted by Gadot that this is the doing of Ares.  Gadot follows Pine into the world of humans where her kind heart will be overwhelmed with the duality of humans (their savage and loving nature).

At first, Pine helps Gadot blend in with the crowd, trying to ease her away from what he considers her insane mission of going to the front line to seek Ares and kill the god of war.  But no one can tame her spirit; and when the innocent are suffering, Gadot’s disguise comes off and Wonder Woman comes out in all her glory.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Wonder Woman” is the scene when Gadot is in the trenches with the soldiers.  Upon hearing of civilians trapped behind enemy lines, she shrugs off her coat and goes into No Man’s Land alone, fully dressed in her Wonder Woman armor.  Beautiful, exciting, and dramatic, she charges forward ready to kick some serious enemy ass.

Stripped down to its basic essence, this is a love story between two very likeable characters.  The awesome special effects and thrilling, action set pieces are just icing to a substantial cake.

— M

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Grade B

Two brothers (played by Chris Pine and Ben Foster) rob banks in order to make the payments on the family ranch that is about to be foreclosed by a bank.  They need to come up with a certain amount, and then they’ll be done and will no longer have to worry about money — the family ranch has been found to contain a tremendous amount of oil that would provide an income to the owners of about $50,000 a month.  Using multiple vehicles to do their illegal transfer of wealth, Pine and Foster attack the banks early in the morning to minimize resistance and witnesses.  But Foster, an ex-con, has a wild streak; and he may be the one to provide the mistake that a Texas Ranger (played by Jeff Bridges) is depending on to get an edge on apprehending the brothers.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Hell Or High Water” is the scene when Pine and Foster are being chased by armed civilians after the brothers robbed a bank — this takes place in Texas, by the way.  Sick of running, Foster stops his vehicle, grabs a fully automatic assault rifle, and just lights up the vigilantes.  It is an awesome display of firepower from just one rifle and one man who knows how to use it.

“Hell Or High Water” is a good drama/action/suspense movie that will have some people rooting for the bad guys.  The constant reminders of unemployment, billboards of “easy” loans and debt relief to those desperate for money, and of course, what we know of the government’s and big banks’ roles in the great financial collapse a few years ago…it’s easy to want Pine to get away with what he is attempting.  Foster’s character, on the other hand, is different animal.

**SPOILER ALERT** I would have given this movie higher marks, but the shenanigan of Pine getting away with everything he’s done is just too much to let go.  The story offers a detailed but unsatisfying explanation as to why Pine remains free at the end, and it just does not ring true.  With so much damage done, no way the law would allow this to be swept away and be happy to pin it all on Foster.

— M

J.J. Abrams is on a roll with his second “Star Trek” movie being as good as his first.  “Into Darkness” has Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock) Karl Urban (Bones), Simon Pegg (Scotty) and the whole crew of the USS Enterprise going up against the genetically engineered, physically and intellectually superior Khan, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.   That’s right, Abrams has tackled and rebooted the story of Khan’s uprising, and he does it very well.

Cumberbatch (I hope this actor’s parents invested in martial arts classes for him, because that name invites all sorts of ass kickings in school) masterminded an explosion  in a Federation building, and an assassination attempt on many of the high ranking members of Starfleet, making him #1 on the Federation’s most wanted list.   Sent to kill him is Pine and his Enterprise crew.  You heard that correctly.  Pine is ordered to find and kill Cumberbatch.  There’s lots of cloak and dagger stuff going on here…who is really the bad guy, who is telling the truth — and how much of it — and hidden agendas and goals.  There are many surprises here that will please and shock many of us “Star Trek” fans.

One such surprise is one of my memorable, movie moments of “…Into Darkness.”  That is the scene when Urban is genetically modifying a Tribble, which explains why Tribbles multiply like rabbits, or cockroaches, or your most hated ethnic group.

Another memorable, movie moment of this title is what happens to the Pike character.   I won’t go into details, but it was a shocker for me, as it completely goes against the timeline of the “Star Trek” stories that come after the Abrams movies.  But I recall in the first Abrams “Star Trek” movie (I could be wrong, because I’ve only seen that movie once, years ago) that the events of that first movie had altered the future of the characters.  So we better be prepared for other changes in the movies that are to follow.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Star Trek: Into Darkness” is the scene when Pine is explaining to Quinto why Pine violated the Prime Directive in order to save Quinto’s life.  It is something Pine had been trying to tell Quinto throughout the movie, but he is always interrupted; and Quinto always looks confused as to why Pine did what he did.  But in this scene, Quinto finally gets it, and tells Pine “because I am your friend.”  This exchange between the two is made more powerful because of the dire situation one of them is in.

Friendship.  The adventures we have with our friends, the good times and the bad, the sacrifices we make and are willing to make for the ones we care about.  This is what brought us to all the “Star Trek” movies and shows, and keeps us coming back for more.  And I will be back for another Abrams “Star Trek” movie should he make another, because Abrams gets it.

M

Tom Hardy and Chris Pine play best friends who happen to be spies who have no relationship entanglements.  Reese Witherspoon is the woman who accidentally comes between them.  The ground rules the spies set for themselves before they vie for the same chick gets tossed out the window as both men start to fall for Witherspoon and each one wants their Reese’s pieces.   Welcome to “This Means War.”

In this corner we have Pine, a super bachelor with a kick ass bachelor’s pad (that I wish I have)!  He’s slick, so slick some women may consider him slimy.  He’s an overgrown kid who just wants to have commitment-less fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

In that corner we have Hardy!   British: used in this movie as a four letter word and is not fully explained, which makes it more funny.  He’s a romantic, looking for “the one.”  But he’s got this weird thing going on with some of his front teeth, like a few are bigger than the others.

In the middle of the ring we have Witherspoon: single, beautiful, a big heart, a romantic, and also looking for her true love.

Who gets who?  I won’t tell, so just watch the movie!  It’s fun, lighthearted fare.   It’s a mish mosh of romance, action and comedy.   At about 97 minutes long, the movie moves fast; but slows down just enough to develop the characters to make it all work.   I was surprised at the short, action sequence at the end.   I guess I’m used to overlong, overblown endings of action flicks.  Damn, you, Michael Bay, for getting me hooked on 45 minute, non-stop action finales!

So what’s my first runner up for the most memorable movie moment in “This Means War?”  The scene where Witherspoon is in her kitchen singing along to “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.  She is so cute dancing around her place shaking her cute, little butt to the music as Pine and Hardy infiltrate her home to plant surveillance equipment to give each one a leg up on how to win her heart.

And for the most memorable movie moment:  when Hardy teaches a bullying father a lesson in humility.  Okay, we have to go back to a scene where Hardy’s son (from a previous marriage) is fighting the son of a bullying father in a martial arts class.  Hardy’s son gets beaten like a black driver gets beaten by the NYPD.  The bullying father yells and screams his adulation at his son while Hardy is trying to make his own son feel better about the match.   Hardy, bent over so he can talk closely with his son, suddenly gets a hard slap from the bullying father.   The face Hardy makes at the bullying father is similar to the one I make when I gas up my car and see that the prices went up again.  Bullying father scolds Hardy and tells him “pain is weakness leaving the body!”  Hardy’s son walks away and Hardy decides to take the high road and go after his son instead of making the bullying father answer for being an idiot.  Oh, it was painful to watch, because you knew Hardy could have destroyed the bullying father.

Well, later on there is a rematch of the sons in the dojo, and Hardy’s son — obviously taught some moves by his father — beats the son of the bullying father.   And when no one is looking, Hardy gives extremely fast, “Fist of The North Star” punches to the bullying father within a fraction of a second, stunning him and giving him so much pain he can barely breathe.  Revenge!   Hardy, being the gentleman, helps the bullying father to sit down, and tells him that “pain is just weakness leaving the body.”   Hell, yeah, I like this guy!  Despite his two Chiclet-sized front teeth.

Revenge is a dish best served anytime you can get away with it.

M

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