"Logan" is a very human superhuman movie, compared with other efforts of the genre, thanks to the intimacy and ferociousness of the chemistry between Jackman and 11-year old Keen, who didn't have to do a lot of talking to ignite fire onscreen. Admittedly, I was near tears at the end of the movie. The fight scenes are swashbuckling but not the "Iron Man" kind, the computer effects not too overblown. The movie managed to skirt away from stereotypes and thus gives us a truly dramatic action cinema. Could be the best superhero movie since several Batman flicks.
"JOHN Wick: Chapter 2" is a neo-noir action thriller. That's it. Great fight scenes as well similar to "The Matrix" but not too much to crow about the plot. This movie fits Keanu Reeves' driftwood dead acting style, as hitman John Wick, who goes on the run after a bounty is placed on his head. The only intimate side of the steely as bullet dude remains his relationship with his nameless dog. The movie also marks the first collaboration between Reeves and Laurence Fishburne since appearing together in "The Matrix" trilogy. Well-choreographed fights, like Hongkong Martial Arts movies of yore, I do love. And "John Wick" (1 and 2) got lots of these.
"GLOW." First season. Netflix. The series revolves around a fictionalization of 1980s syndicated women's professional wrestling circuit, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (or GLOW), which I loved. Admittedly. Yet this series? Not much. I lumbered all through 10 episodes, essentially due to lead actress Alison Brie's grip of her sheer comedic talent, but everything was predictably drained, backstories and characterizations and all. Yet critics praise the show. It received a 96 percent approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes, saying "With spot-on 1980s period detail, knockout writing, and a killer cast, GLOW shines brightly." Really. Entertainment Weekly gave the first season an A rating, calling it "a silly-smart masterpiece, with an ensemble cast entirely made up of breakout characters." It was silly, period. "Masterpiece"? Come on.
"IN a Valley of Violence" (2016), directed by Ti West. Stars Ethan Hawke and John Travolta. Plot: A drifter named Paul and his dog, Abbie, make their way towards Mexico through the desert of the Old West to start a new life. But then they made the random mistake of stopping over in a town called Denton. That's it. Paul had an altercation with the local baddie, the deputy, who then killed Abbie. Damn. You don't kill somebody else's dog. You know what I'm sayin'? Remember John Wick? I'd go berserk myself. You just don't kill somebody else's dog.
Yes, simple plot but this simplicity is rendered with understated class you'd be glued all through the excursion. Don't be so misled by the title though. This is not so violent, believe me. Topnotch ensemble acting. Well, Hawke and Travolta. But of course that's expected. And the support cast Taissa Farmiga and James Ransone. Remember them in "American Horror Story" and "The Wire," respectively?
"In a Valley of Violence" is fashioned after old spaghetti westerns, opening and end credits and all. But in the absence of a kickass Ennio Morricone soundtrack. No problemo. This apparently low-budget western is stripped of gunslinger whambam in favor of absurdist humor (“You, lay down and sleep. And you, lay down and dream on it!”) and non-stereotyped characterization/s. I mean, the bad guys here are just flawed, bumbling roaches. And the main dude isn't the suave pistolero that you'd expect. So if you got nothing big in the area of weekend movie/s, spare this one some time. Better than political argument on Facebook.
"BLOODLINE" Season 3 or its final season. Unlike the first two seasons which kept me glued due to tightly-drawn characterization and potent storyline, channeled via exemplary acting (especially Ben Mendelsohn, Kyle Chandler, and of course, Sissy Spacek), the last season was lumbering and slow. I labored through it; torn between simply quitting or hmmm let's see how they'd resolve all the shit. But then that's it? The last frame was oh well what???
This series was created by topnotch guys, Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman, who were also responsible with "Damages" and "The Sopranos," pretty awesome stuff. So they should be great. Yes, the first two seasons, sure. But like other series that simply got stuck on endgame, writers didn't know how to really end it all. In the case of say "Six Feet Under" and "Weeds," writers simply fastforwarded time and boom! Done. In the case of "Bloodline," I think they probably finally realized that they piled up shit so thick they didn't know how to make sense of all the crap later and just get over them. You know what I'm saying? So they left us viewers to hey what do you think? LOL! Okay, done.
SOME of the movies above are available on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.