Pure Entertainment- listed in chronological order of release. These were what they were. No more, no less.
104- Hansel & Gretl Witch Hunters- Really, if you go see a movie with this title, you should know what you’re getting. A surprising character beat (Renner’s character has diabetes due to eating all the candy as a child), cool action, a winking sense of humor, Peter Stormare chewing scenery, bloody, cheesy special effects, and Gemma Arterton doing her best Kate-Beckinsale-in-leather imitation made for a fun 90 minutes.
103- Parker- Using a character from a series of novels by Donald Westlake, Jason Statham stars as a moral thief who goes after his ex-partners to get the amount he was owed for a job after he is shot and left for dead. Jennifer Lopez catches onto his plan and finagles her way into the scheme. A fun little thriller/ action film.
102- Last Stand- Arnold Schwarzenegger comes back to the big screen in a fun way! He is the sheriff in a small US town near the Mexican border where an escaped drug dealer is expected to cross over. Surprising plot choices, a sense of fun, great action, and surprisingly bloody- this film is a blast, however, it does overstay its welcome by about 15 minutes.
101- Gangster Squad- Josh Brolin leads a group of LA cops to do whatever it takes to take down a mobster trying to take over 1930’s Los Angeles. While it is based on a true story, this is a very fictionalized version of that story. It also stars Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Michael Pena and Nick Nolte. With that cast, it should explode off the screen, but unfortunately is nothing more than a fun 2 hour time waster.
100- Good Day to Die Hard- I wish that this film was more than it is. The initial car chase is fantastic, but, otherwise it just coasts by and Is nothing at all memorable. Bruce Willis is taking a paycheck, nothing more, and that hurts me to say it. Fun to watch but nowhere near the classic status of the original. Bonus trivia fact- My first film in Dolby Atmos.
99- Olympus Has Fallen- Basically, Die Hard in the White House. I enjoyed this film, but nothing more. I like the setup for the main character (in a tragic decision, he has to save the life of the President of the US and let the First Lady die) and I like the darkness of it all, it actually works against the film in not making it much fun. This is the bloodier, grittier, R-Rated
Terrorists take over the White House ‘ film of the year.
98- 2 Guns- Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg make a fun team as two undercover cops (from different agencies) who are both pretending to be criminals (unknown to the other) who rob a bank and try to discover who has set them up for the fall after the heist. The interplay between the two is fun and they elevate the material, but, 2 minutes after leaving the theater, the film evaporated from my mind. Enjoyable 2 hour film.
97- Getaway- This is an awful, horribly plotted film. Ethan Hawke stars as an ex-race car driver whose wife is kidnapped. He is contacted and told that he must steal a car and do specific tasks throughout the city one night and if he refuses, his wife will be killed. Selena Gomez is the owner of the car he steals who is also a computer hacker. Unbelievable to the extreme, but a very cheap knock-off version of a Fast and the Furious type of film with great car stunts and an amazing 90 second shot filmed from the front bumper of the car as it runs red lights and travels through the streets gives this film a major leg up.
96- Riddick- Nowhere near as good as the original Pitch Black, but still a fun film with Riddick being left for dead on a planet that has many threats to life, so he calls for a rescue ship which happens to be populated by bounty hunters looking for him. A tense scene involving a locker full of explosives, a tough Vin Diesel, interesting setup (almost a silent film for 30 minutes as he survives on the planet alone, except for his pet “dog”) help this, but it is nothing more than what the makers wanted- a pulp story brought to the big screen.
95- Escape Plan- Stallone is an expert of breaking out of prisons who is hired by a shadowy group to go into an unknown prison and attempt escape. Once there, he discovers that he has been duped and is being kept locked away with no “safe word” escape route. He enlists Schwartzenegger to assist in his escape and take down the cruel warden. While I enjoyed this film quite a bit, the ending was extremely rushed and Stallone’s “office team” is severely wasted, but otherwise a very enjoyable ride.
94- Homefront- Jason Statham again as an ex-undercover cop who moves to a small Louisiana town with his daughter to escape the wrath of a local drug kingpin. When he is discovered by the small town drug dealer who sells him out, the dealer he put away plots revenge. Waaaay overlong by 20- 30 minutes with characters who drop in and out for long stretches of time (and one that disappears entirely for no reason after the first 45 minutes or so), but an interesting film, nonetheless. It has a slight ‘Straw Dogs’ vibe to it. One of the “coulda” films- It coulda been so much better but its not bad for what it is.