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The Princess (2022)
Kicking butt and taking names
As an action movie junkie, I've grown up on the likes of Lucy Lawless, Cynthia Rothrock, Michelle Yeoh, Sarah Michelle Gellar, et al. I love a well-choregraphed fight scene, and I particularly adore a stubborn, beaten-up protagonist who just won't stay down.
This movie, like John Wick, Gunpowder Milkshake, Ava, Jolt, The Expendables, and others, is one long fight scene broken up by occasional flashbacks, minor soul-searching, villain monologuing, and the occasional bit of humour (though the overweight guard running up and down the tower was less amusing than the writers/producers/director seemed to think).
Story? Yeah, one we've heard a thousand times before, in various incarnations. So what? It's an action movie. I didn't watch it for realism; I don't care if no one would have spoken that way in a fantasy (read: medieval) setting, or if there wouldn't have been such diverse characters in whatever time period is being portrayed.
Joey King does an excellent job as the nameless Princess; the scene where she promised to make the villain's life a living hell spoke to me because it's exactly the kind of threat I would make, and I would mean it with every fibre of my soul. There were several moments where it was clear that the fighter was the actress and a stunt performer; not Tom Cruise levels, but enough to impress me with her stamina, skill, and what was clearly rigorous training. The fight scenes remind me of some of the particularly brutal battles in G. A. Aiken's Dragon Kin series, or Shelly Laurenston's Call of Crows series, and I am here for it.
Veronica Ngo's character was clearly there just to give a reason why a medieval European princess would be able to fight so well; what surprised me was how well the actresses meshed and played the role of battle sisters very well; possibly more, but that's not a focus here as much as their well-oiled moves in combat.
You think a 5'4" woman couldn't take down someone twice her size? Watch the type of fighting she does; it's not all fists and heavy strikes like a guy. Legs have a great deal more muscle behind them than fists, and the defenders of the realm use their feet quite effectively in amongst the swordplay, while there was a definite element of krav maga amongst the strikes. Sure, the hordes of soldiers vs one, sometimes two, defenders, were unrealistic - kind of like most OTT action movies. Again: so what?
The Princess reminds me very much of a honey badger; she'd probably be that kind of shifter, if they existed. Tenacious, stubborn, always coming back for more; that irritating thorn in the side that just. Won't quit.
There's a fair amount of gore and clearly a heck of a lot of killing; a lot of blood, and a lot of our heroine stabbing or being stabbed, beating or being beaten. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for more sensitive viewers, but if you're okay with Deadpool levels of violence, then have at it.
This one goes on the Always Rewatch list, not because it's particularly good, but because it's a heck of a lot of fun.
Extra Ordinary (2019)
Funny, Zany, gross
I went in with low expectations and found something that tickled my funny bone. What a fun movie - totally different from Hollywood's version of horror. No jump scares, but no shying away from gore and the creep factor, either. Basically small-town people dealing with the supernatural in their own ways. Charming and offbeat and weird and it totally works.
You wouldn't like her when she's angry
If you're someone who bottles up all your rage because it's impolite to spew it all over those angering you - isn't it great watching someone act out all your fantasies of dealing with the people who annoy you? Sure, I wouldn't want to actually kill someone, but there are more than a few tonsils walking around who deserve a smackdown. And Jolt delivers that in spades.
Admittedly, the plot is thinner than a ladder in sheer stockings, but as with Kate, also a 2021 release, who cares? It's entertaining, and I do love Kate Beckinsale's ability to kick behind while spewing profanities in that cultured accent.
Also, thank all the goddesses that Lindy doesn't constantly wear high heels. Looks like Kate Beckinsale's become rather enamoured of those chunky boots she wears in Underworld, and no wonder. Much easier to move in them, for one.
Plus, Stanley Tucci and Bobby Cannavale! And a rocking soundtrack, which I'm off to add to my playlist.
This action junkie reckons it hits all the right spots.
Give the lady some Boom Boom Lemon
Action junkies ahoy! If kicking butt is your thing, Kate has it in spades. No perfect assassin here, she gets her a** handed to her multiple times but gets up and keeps fighting even when it doesn't seem worthwhile.
Of course it's completely OTT, it's an assassin kill-'em-all fest, what do people expect? Comparisons to John Wick are inevitable. Neither movie is going to win an Oscar but then again, if you go into Kate, John Wick, Crank, Gunpowder Milkshake expecting depth and philosophy, you're watching the wrong kind of entertainment.
At its core, that's what this is. Entertainment. Lots of shooting, lots of fairly violent action (more Atomic Blonde than Black Widow), some emotional scenes that make sense in the context of the plot, such as it is. The twists could be seen coming miles away, so what?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead does a fine job as the cold-blooded killer battling a bout of remorse and out for revenge. Woody Harrelson is Woody Harrelson and the young Miku Martineau does a good job as the petulant, flighty, angry teen who develops what starts as a crush on - and turns into adoration of - Kate.
Heat up the popcorn and get your drinks ready. Action is about to ensue!
Over the Moon (2020)
No surprises in the plot, but the animation and singing are wonderful
I went looking for this movie because of John Cho and Sandra Oh. They don't have particularly big roles, but I'm glad I found it anyway. Anyone who's complaining about the music and singing clearly hasn't watched a lot of animation over the past years; kids are going to love this one.
The animation was outstanding and reminded me a lot of Home and Moana (maybe it's the big eyes). Fei Fei wasn't the easiest character to like, especially the way she treated Mrs Zhong and Chin (to be fair, he was rather annoying, but I guess that's what some kids do); but she had her moments. Especially once they got to the moon, and the adventure really kicked off.
Yes, there were a few things that made no sense - and can people PLEASE stop running around with vitally important objects clutched in their hands instead of tucked away in a pocket or bag? - but I was willing to overlook them because honestly - fantasy.
All in all, a visual feast, wonderful representation, lovely singing, a fair amount of both humour and pathos, decent scripting. Very enjoyable and worth watching again.
Supernatural: Baby (2015)
Brilliant episode but not a favourite
Yes, it's a fantastic episode in terms of acting, direction, grit. It's great to see things from Baby's point of view, finally.
Still, as much as this is an excellent episode, I couldn't get into it. It was just ... miserable. Yes, some good quips, the dialogue was some of the best ever, the music was fantastic.
But this one is not going on my rewatch list, and I honestly cannot understand how this could be ranked as the second-best of the lot.
SG.U Stargate Universe (2009)
Unlikeable characters bring down the show despite good acting
The acting is excellent, the script is pretty good, but quite honestly, I don't need my Stargate this dark, edgy and plain mean. I don't want O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, and the rest painted with the same brush as this bunch of hateful narcissists. Just because there's a Stargate in the title and on the ship doesn't mean this has anything to do with the real Stargate shows.
Call me an obsessed fangirl of an old-school show, I don't care. I prefer my sci-fi to have some heart, some hope, some humour. Maliciousness and mean-spirited behaviour don't do it for me.
I can appreciate that they're good actors working with decent scripts and sets. I can't get over that these whiny, self-obsessed, selfish brats - some of whom enjoy having sex while in the bodies of other people so they can basically cheat on that person's partner - are supposed to have been the best of the best. Snark? There's no snark. There's bullying and whining and ego trips and backstabbing. Is this high school?
I stopped watching after Time because it was pretty satisfying to see them die over and over. Just what they deserved.
Charlie's Angels (2019)
A worthy addition to the franchise (which, let's be honest, has never been high-brow entertainment in the first place). I grew up watching the TV series and thoroughly enjoyed the first remake with Drew, Cameron and Lucy (the second was way worse than this latest version). The little nods to the previous instalments were pretty fun (though whoever did those terrible photoshops of Patrick Stewart should have their eyes seen to).
The action sequences were decent, the chemistry between the Angels was good (except for that crying scene, what was up with that?), the music was great. Sure, the script wasn't amazing, but just like Hobbs & Shaw, when I watch this kind of action movie, I'm not expecting Shakespeare. I'm expecting action and chemistry, and there's plenty of that, with a fair amount of humour sprinkled in.
As for all that so-called man-hating, where is it, exactly? The guys played their parts well and there was no hating that I could see. No man was emasculated, so what's all the moaning about?
There are some cute little scenes (the lab with Jane, the discussion about Birdman and Batman, the ferry) that are grin-worthy. Naturally everything is OTT, though a bit more camp wouldn't have hurt. Kristen Stewart clearly had a heck of a lot of fun with her role, and the camaraderie with Naomi Scott, Ella Balinksa and Elizabeth Banks definitely worked.
All in all, a solid addition to the list of movies I'll happily rewatch.
Eureka: Momstrosity (2010)
Give us a break
I miss the old characters and their relationships. This new timeline is just annoying and Momstrosity is the worst of the lot - so far. Grant is as arrogant and irritating as Gaius Baltar was in BSG. Kevin - what a pain. Autistic Kevin was far more relatable than this whiny little know-it-all.
I still love the show; I just can't wait for this out-of-time nonsense to end.
The Breaker Upperers (2018)
I enjoy a good girl-buddy movie, and this one's right up near the top of my list. It's certainly no American-style comedy, so keep that in mind if you're expecting a Hollywood romp. It may look low-budget because there aren't any big sets as such, just people's homes, a police station, and sports clubs, but that adds to the charm when coupled with the rapid-fire patter of the leads. Pretty much the only bit that rang a bit false for me was the strip scene - fun though it was, the complete lack of interest from the rest of the office was a touch unbelievable. Other than that, if you're looking for warm, if raucous, humour that doesn't involve bodily fluids, give this one a try. It certainly left me with a grin on my face.
Much better than expected
The opening scenes gave some indication of just how gritty this was going to be. I appreciated Noomi Rapace's fight scenes - she wasn't a superhero with wild martial arts skills, much as I enjoy those; this was totally brutal, dogged, vicious fighting. Even more raw than the original Bourne. Even the spoiled rich kid turned out to be someone I could root for - eventually. The acting was certainly decent enough - I could imagine these being real, fairly unlikeable people, with some character growth to reveal traits that made them worth caring about. Worth a watch.