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Train to Busan (2016)
Life-or-death survival begins.
Filmmaker(s): Yeon Sang-ho

When a zombie virus pushes Korea into a state of emergency, those trapped on an express train to Busan must fight for their own survival.

Ahead of schedule This is simply a hectic escape film, where all the attention is toward anticipating where the viewer thinks it is going and staying a half step ahead. I’d say it is remarkable in how well it succeeds; I cannot recall it ever...
Published April 20, 2024
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Dinotrux (2015–2017)

Half dinosaur, half construction truck, full-on fun! Watch giant Ty Rux, his little buddy Revvit and the crew come face-to-face with evil D-Structs.

Inner Toys My kids have outgrown this by a few years; I suppose it takes that long to have the tendency fade to dismiss it as trivial. I actually have a rather high opinion of this now. These types of things have three layers. There’s...
Published April 20, 2024
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65 (2023)
65 million years ago, prehistoric Earth had a visitor.
Filmmaker(s): Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

65 million years ago, the only 2 survivors of a spaceship from Somaris that crash-landed on Earth, must fend off dinosaurs to reach the escape vessel in time before an imminent asteroid strike threatens to destroy the planet.

Kylo’s Curse Peril by the numbers. If this were not Adam Driver, it would be even less interesting. We have two people, clearly intended to be as like modern humans as the creaky backstory allows. A man who has lost his daughter, and a newly...
Published April 20, 2024
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Murder in Paradise (1990)
Filmmaker(s): Fred Walton

A stressed-out, big-city cop seeks refuge in Hawaii, only to become embroiled in a serial murder case that appears to be identical to his last case in New York City.

Cheap Hotels If you study film, you study it all — at least for the elements I value. Sometimes these hack jobs that just don’t work, have all the structure of folding that the big boys use. It shows you that some conventions are just...
Published April 20, 2024
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Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)
We all share the same fate.
Filmmaker(s): Christopher McQuarrie

Ethan Hunt and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. With control of the future and the world's fate at stake and dark forces from Ethan's past closing in, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all-powerful enemy, Ethan must consider that nothing can matter more than his mission—not even the lives of those he cares about most.

The Women I’m sensitive to situations where women are the drivers. What we usually have in these kinds of films is a superhuman guy, often going ‘rogue’ (a movie term) dealing with bad guys. There’s a minor shift here where the opponent is not a...
Published April 2, 2024
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The Beekeeper (2024)
Expose the corruption. Protect the hive.
Filmmaker(s): David Ayer

One man's campaign for vengeance takes on national stakes after he is revealed to be a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as Beekeepers.

Unchoreographed Say what you will about the Wick movies, but at least the standard was on tradecraft. Wick’s movements through bad guys was designed within the scope of actual martial arts and arms training. I think that is the standard now for western fight scenes;...
Published April 1, 2024
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Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Some missions are not a choice.
Filmmaker(s): Christopher McQuarrie

When an IMF mission ends badly, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill his original briefing, the CIA begin to question his loyalty and his motives. The IMF team find themselves in a race against time, hunted by assassins while trying to prevent a global catastrophe.

Rebecca Again Tom does his badass stuff. I don’t know how far he can take this, and how long we will care. But there is something going on here in the MI universe. Now in this film we have history. The universe matters. A bad...
Published March 21, 2024
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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
Desperate times. Desperate measures.
Filmmaker(s): Christopher McQuarrie

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet—eradicating 'The Syndicate', an International and highly-skilled rogue organization committed to destroying the IMF.

The Woman After the disaster that I consider ‘Barbie’ and the very mixed feelings I have about ‘Wonder Woman’, I’ve been sensitive to how women are often portrayed in action films, how I feel about it, and what would be better. I completely forget what...
Published March 9, 2024
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Unstoppable (2010)
1,000,000 Tons. 100,000 Lives. 100 Minutes.
Filmmaker(s): Tony Scott

A runaway train, transporting deadly, toxic chemicals, is barreling down on Stanton, Pennsylvania, and proves to be unstoppable until a veteran engineer and young conductor risk their lives to try and stop it with a switch engine.

Unmovable Tracks If we cannot get movies that matter, at least we can get movies that engage, and this one does. This one does, and I think there are three devices consciously used. One is plainly obvious, the cinematic energy that Scott knows how to...
Published February 23, 2024
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The Tourist (2010)
It all started when he met a woman.

American tourist Frank meets mysterious British woman Elsie on the train to Venice. Romance seems to bud, but there's more to her than meets the eye.

Charade This film is quite an achievement, because it attempts to reproduce a form from 40 – 50 years ago, without any adjustment. The form is simple, being a variety of a con movie but without announcing itself. It involves a couple and adventure; only...
Published February 23, 2024
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