Hardcore Henry: A First-Person Action Extravaganza

Hello everybodies! Ever wanted to murder everyone and not have to face the consequences? Check out Hardcore Henry.

HARDCORE HENRY

Hardcore_(2015_film)

DIRECTED BY: Ilya Naishuller

STARRING: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth

GENRE: Science fiction, Action

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: United States, Russia

Hardcore Henry is an action film told from a first person perspective: You remember nothing. Mainly because you’ve just been brought back from the dead by your wife (Haley Bennett). She tells you that your name is Henry. Five minutes later, you are being shot at, your wife has been kidnapped, and you should probably go get her back. Who’s got her? His name’s Akan; he’s a powerful warlord with an army of mercenaries, and a plan for world domination. You’re also in an unfamiliar city of Moscow, and everyone wants you dead. Everyone except for a mysterious British fellow called Jimmy. He may be on your side, but you aren’t sure. If you can survive the insanity, and solve the mystery, you might just discover your purpose and the truth behind your identity. Good luck, Henry. You’re likely going to need it…

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Haven’t you ever wanted to watch a movie from a first person point of view? While we were able to snag a taste of this with the enhanced FPS scene in Doom, it was about time someone had stylized a whole film that way, Now how is it? Meh. Hardcore Henry isn’t much more of a showcase of this style and technology. On the surface however, Hardcore Henry is a fun, gory, action film that isn’t afraid to throw some punches.

hardcore-henry3-1200x675Once you get past the first-person aspect though, you don’t have quite the same film. The story is mediocre at best, as it relies to heavily on tropes of the action genre to create a fluid picture. Don’t even get me started on the sub-par acting, as most of the cast could have done much better. That is just on the surface however, as the first person view quickly becomes a problem. This style is cool for the first 30 minutes, but quickly devolves down to nothing more than a gimmick. Then again, that is what it all was to begin with…just a gimmick.

PROS:

  • Showcase of FPS style and tech.
  • Fun, gory, action film.

CONS:

  • Lukewarm story.
  • Disappointing acting.
  • FPS becomes nothing more than a gimmick.

SCORE: 5.5 / 10

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The Hateful Eight: A Bloody Stay at a Civil War B&B

Hello everybody! For this week’s “New Movie Show” we have the latest film from Quentin Tarentino, The Hateful Eight.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The_Hateful_Eight

DIRECTED BY: Quentin Tarentino

STARRING: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern

GENRE: Western, Mystery

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United States 

hateful-eight-samuel-l-jackson_0Some time after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Along the road, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (an infamous bounty hunter) and Chris Mannix (a man who claims to be Red Rock’s new sheriff). Lost in a blizzard, the bunch seeks refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery. When they arrive they are greeted by unfamiliar faces: Bob, who claims to be taking care of the place while Minnie is gone; Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock; Joe Gage, a cow puncher; and confederate general Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside, the eight travelers come to learn that they might not make it to Red Rock after all…

Alright Tarentino, let’s see what you have to offer this time around. I would like to applaud the entire cast (except for one individual) as they performed extravagantly and matched each other beat for beat. For a very character-driven film, I was worried that they wouldn’t bounce off each other as well as they did.  I don’t normally talk about the cinematography of a film over here on Media in Review, but Tarentino made that mountain look amazing and dangerous all at the same time. Beyond that, the dialogue is absolutely perfect. There is a reason Tarentino is known as the “King of Dialogue”. KurtRussellSamuelLJacksonHatefulEight

While the film does take place after the civil war, Tarentino overdoes it just a bit with the racial slurs. While this has become a Tarentino staple in his last few films, this time it actually made me uncomfortable watching it unlike in Django Unchained. Tarentino definitely got his point across about how much racism has changed since the civil war into the modern world. Also Channing Tatum, why were you in this film? You weren’t here very long and I am glad you were disposed of quickly.

PROS:

  • Main cast performance.
  • Supporting cast performance.
  • Cinematography.
  • Well-written dialogue.

CONS:

  • Uncomfortable racism.
  • Channing Tatum…

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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Funny Games: When Meta Meets Psychopaths

Hello one and all! For this week’s movie club we have the metal thriller Funny Games.

FUNNY GAMES

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DIRECTOR: Michael Haneke

STARRING: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart

GENRE: Psychological Thriller

YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy

In this exploration of our violent society and how depictions of violence reflect and shape our culture, a middle-class 20090930194639!Funny_Games_USfamily submits both physically and mentally to the torture, violence, and death foisted upon them by two young, unexpected, white-gloved visitors at their vacation retreat near a lake.

This is film is definitely one that I wasn’t planning on watching, but y’all requested it so here it is. The film is held up by strong performances from the main cast and an interesting take on the hostage/break in genre. The best achievement Funny Games was able to gain was to completely encase itself in meta. The films characters acknowledge that they are in a film, talk about plot structure, as well as have an entire scene designated to all of this meta. But I’m not going to ruin it for you this time.funny-games-main-review

Haneke wants the Americans who have made Hostel and Saw such hits to see this movie and renounce their love of horror, but the only people who will see this and stay the whole way through are film critics, who will be fascinated by Haneke’s use of style and possibly sucked in by his message. Funny Games is a movie that lives and dies on its gimmick, and when you figure out that all it’s doing is toying with us, there’s nothing left worth watching.

PROS:

  • Meta.
  • Main caster performances.
  • Interesting take on Hostage genre.

CONS:

  • Horror?
  • Toys with the audience.
  • Only has its gimmick for merit.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

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