John Wick

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

John Wick (Reeves) has suffered a loss. His wife (Moynaham) recently passed away, but after her funeral Wick is delivered a final gift from her, in the form of the most adorable beagle puppy ever. It’s like it was created in an adorable puppy factory. Anyway, this gift was intended as something for Wick to focus on instead of his grief, something to drive him past this unbearable experience and continue on with his life, so when he runs foul of low-life Russian gang member Iosef (Allen) with an eye for Wick’s vintage Mustang, and Iosef beats up Wick, steals his car and kills the dog, needless to say some vengeance is very much on the cards.
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Bram Stoker’s Dracula

In London, real estate agent Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) is sent to Transylvania to handle the transactions of Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), leaving behind his young fiancée Mina (Winona Ryder). Jonathan gets held up at the Count’s castle, and Mina longs for the man she loves, whilst her friend Lucy (Sadie Frost) picks between three suitors, the gallant Lord Arthur Holmwood (Cary Elwes), the dashing American Quincey P. Morris (Billy Campbell) and the sweet-but-awkward Dr. Jack Seward (Richard E. Grant). Oh, and Dracula is a vampire.
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My Own Private Idaho

This post was originally written as part of my Road Trip series over at French Toast Sunday.

Mike (River Phoenix) had a tough upbringing, not helped by being both homosexual and narcoleptic. Teenage and alone amongst the barren fields of Idaho, he moves to Seattle and becomes a street hustler and male prostitute, gaining friends amongst the small group of similarly disadvantaged youths in the same profession. Amongst these is Scott (Keanu Reeves), a Mayor’s son and the heir to his father’s fortune, but who is rebelling and living on the streets instead. When their squatting home is raided by the police, Mike and Scott begin a search for Mike’s mother, taking them on a journey back to Idaho, and eventually to Rome. Continue reading

Dangerous Liaisons

John Malkovich: object of desire? Talk about playing against type. As the Vicomte Sebastien de Valmont in 18th Century France, he is challenged by the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil (Glenn Close) to deflower Uma Thurman’s virginal bride-to-be Cecile. Deeming the task too easy, he instead chooses to bed Michelle Pfeiffer’s Madame de Tourvel, a virtuous, devout, happily married woman staying with the Vicomte’s aunt. The Marquise then drafts in Keanu Reeves’ Danceny to woo Cecile instead. If the plot sounds familiar, it’s because it was adapted more recently (and poorly) in the modern-set Cruel Intentions, which succeeded in dumbing down the many deceits and allegiances in the plot, but retains the deeply unlikable protagonists, too rich for their own good and revelling in destroying the lives of those around them.
More erotic than most period dramas, with necklines set to plunging and cleavages set to stun, this sees more bedhopping than a season of Desperate Housewives. Malkovich is on excellent form as the callous, vain and calculating lothario, deemed “conspicuously charming” and Close walks the line between on/off romance and hardnosed bitch, but every time Keanu opens his mouth you get the feeling Bill and Ted got their time travelling phone booth stuck in the reign of Louis XV, so thick and distracting is the slacker dude lilt he so desperately tries to hide.
Choose life 5/10

Speed

100th film! Although really I’d have preferred it to have been the 50th, seeing as it’s about a bus, rigged with a bomb that activates once the bus reaches 50 miles per hour, detonating should the buses speed drop below 50. The planter of the bomb is Dennis Hopper’s vengeful psychotic ex-cop Howard Payne, angry at Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels’ foiling of his first elevator-based hostage situation and eager for a paycheck he feels he’s been cheated. But you don’t care about the motive or who’s behind it, as Payne tells Reeves’ Jack Traven, “Your concern is the bus.” Whenever the film detracts from this central conceit, be it following the non bus bound cops trying to track down Payne or Hopper himself watching the action unfold on the ever present media, the pacing immediately slackens, so enticing is the central plot.

Point Break, clearly broken

Last night I watched Point Break again. This was only the second time I’ve watched it, the first being a few years ago, after the recommendation of Seargeant Danny Butterman. On first viewing, I found it very easy, and often more enjoyable, to stop paying attention to the film and do something else, and the same can most definitely be said of this second viewing. I’m going to place the blame for this mainly upon the shoulders of Keanu Reeves, as the improbably, but somewhat awesomely monikered Johnny Utah.

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