Tag Archives: Vincent

Setup… Really?

Basic.

It is not wrong when I say that 50 Cent is the best actor in this film. Nor is it wrong to say that I watched this movie for 50 Cent and 50 Cent alone. He is my guilty pleasure actor. No matter what he does, I have to see it. He got me through some thuggish times in 8th grade…

Setup is the story of 50 Cent, better known in this film as Sonny. One of the most un-hoodrat names I’ve ever heard, but what can you do? Sonny has two friends, Vincent (Ryan Phillippe) and Dave (Brett Granstaff). They plan a heist and do the job. On a dock somewhere nearby, they stop. Vincent gets out and betrays Sonny and Dave by shooting them in the chest. For Sonny, this means revenge. For Dave, this is a metaphor for his career. Goodbye Dave.

This film, although a 50 Cent joint, was so unremarkable to me. The people that they robbed were planned ahead of time and “set-up” 50 and the gang. Vincent/Phillippe is a whiny, strange wigger biatch who deserves what he gets coming at the end. His lady gets glass coffee tabled and this strange Hispanic assassin who does it comes up like a deadly fairy. And here we go with another Lucky Number 7leven situation again. Bruce Willis comes in as this eccentric, unemotional crime boss, Jack Biggs. His part is simple, and, more importantly, basic. I could not even say that his acting was decent in this film. 50 Cent blew everyone out of the water.

Let's cheers to my horrible acting, for I am Bruce Willis.

One scene I will say I enjoyed in this movie was the Randy Couture scene. This MMA fighter is the biggest fool of them all and, when they say don’t play with a loaded gun, he does. In one of those corny lines (“Don’t shoot yourself”) Randy thinks his massively shaved head will shield any incoming projectiles. Lesson is, you will end up in some strange chemical factory chop shop were you go through this darkly satirized meat grinder.

Three big old gangsters, in a van. Bye Dave.

The mob guys are lame and there’s this odd standoff between the gangsters of the street and the high end Italian gangsters (if that was what they were going for…). The plot is basic, the characters are basic, and 50 Cent steals the show. I don’t know what more to say. That arms dealer was mad funny though. I give him props for making one of the darker scenes of the movie really funny. But you can’t make one good 5 minute scene and an hour and 35 minutes of crap. It just can’t make up for it. But I gotta give my props to 50 Cent. He pulled this up from a 1 out of 10 to a 2.6 out of 10. Way to go.

Word! Randy Couture!

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The Gravedancers: Oh Boy Sid…

Unrest in peace my ass...

Selected as one of the “8 Films to Die for” in 2006, The Gravedancers attempts to legitimize itself by considering whatever made it scary in its straight to DVD release as a big deal. What was most frightening about this movie was Marcus Thomas’s acting. Playing Sid Vance, this man’s career should’ve been torched just like his unfortunate ass did in this movie. After witnessing a garishly hilarious trailer on a DVD of other Afterdark horror movies, I just had to get my hands on this one. My friends and I are always up for a good laugh, and I wanted to see if this movie found itself to be a contender.

Let me explain the plot of this movie and what happens as exactly why this movie made me use the phrase “Oh boy, Sid…”

So the movie starts in, hard and fast with this woman getting

We got a little Alicia Keys here..

raped or something. Nobody is there, its starting to look like Final Destination already. I love it in movies when the forces of gravity work against you for no reason! This young tramp gets hanged and her suicide letter, gothically wrapped, drops out of her hand.

Fast forward to a few years afterwards. There are these three friends, Harris (Dominic Purcell), Kira (Josie Maran), and Sid (Marcus Thomas). Their other friend… can’t remember his name, died. Don’t explain why, my best guess? Drunk driving, slammed a pole. I mean, in the next scene,

What's goin' down, Dominic?

all you get from this group of friends is that all three of them drink excessively and go out hard doing strange things. Kira and Harris get frisky and Dominic Purcell is too much of a baller from Prison Break to care. I lost respect for this English actor today, never having really seen him in anything.

So they all get frisky and decide to go break into the cemetery where their friend is buried. First problem. This is a friend group with one girl and three guys. A bit strange even in college, and I would’ve loved to see how they

You feelin' like some crunk dancing right here?

incorporated a skank of Kira’s magnitude into the Bro-Circle. I guess it was fitting that some deranged old Father McCready rapist/killer was the grave she danced on… Second problem. They all go dance on graves and decide it would be best to recite an incantation in a black envelope. And whose supreme fault is all this? Sid’s. It will always and forever be Sid’s dumbass fault that anything would ever happen to this group of players.

Your part is unimportant.

Then strange things start happening. And it even affects Harris’s wife, Allison (Clare Kramer). Why, you may ask? Who knows, but she for sure didn’t dance some old mamba over any stiffs. But the cat gets freaked and some old decrepit woman is sleeping up in her bed, making all sorts of moaning noises, trying to make everything look bad for old Harris. And she gets the worst of it. Jesus, that’s messed up. Then Kira gets schank destroyed and bitten?!?! Oh well, she got the worst out of all of them.

Sid’s little meister of destruction lights real fires in his room (not spectral fires Vincent, whatever the Hell that means…) and nobody can seem to figure out

What's good, Velma Culpepper?

what actions could have caused this. At least Sid had the good sense to hire some paranormal investigators. Vincent (Tcheky Karyo) and Culpepper (Megahn Perry) as I like to call her. Or, respectively, the man with the military grade Humvee that he uses for pleasure and Velma from Scooby Doo. These two straight Inspector Gadgets play the haunting by the rules and figure out that the graves they danced on, belonged to felons.

This can't be considered scary, can it? Who dies and looks like that?

BIG PROBLEM RIGHT THERE. When has anyone (and I’m sure this may be true) ever heard of a section of a cemetary devoted to undesirables? In a surburban area where it doesn’t seem to have any history? They just line up three unrelated individual dead parole walkers right next to each other without even considering putting them next to their families? At least the young boy for God sakes…

So, as everyone knows, you gotta go dig up the body of the person who is haunting you and bury that shit in a shallow grave. Every piece mind you. So they go do that, they all get choked out by their stalkers and they resort to plan C. Let’s all hole up in Vincent’s great big mansion that looks straight out of The House on Haunted Hill and hope we’ll survive until the morning. Because everyone knows that ghosts ebb and flow with the tides and their powers. And that every villainous ghost wears a big old mask with a big old plastic grin on it. Axe murderer, rapist, and a kid who bursts into flame. Let those games begin.

Calm down Allison... You'll live.

Some crazy shit happens and the military humvee saves the day. Smashing walls, setting Sid on fire, it’s all that I’ve ever wanted in a movie. Throw me some more of those jealous cat fights and overdramatic acting. Deliver some more bad lines Sid, I dare you. But it doesn’t change the fact that movies like this are enjoyable. It had a few jumpy moments and some “Oh no they didn’t…” moments. And, if only if only it considered itself a horror comedy, I would’ve truly understood. Anddd… screw that strange old cemetery foreman at the end. His point is pointless. As was most of this movie. Here you go Gravedancers. 3.8 out of 10. If only for the comedy…

Deal with this right here.


Collateral (2004)

So last night as I was sitting in my dorm room I thought, “What would be a great movie to watch right now? Something I could review?” And then one word popped into my head. Collateral. This movie is entertaining in a fast-paced, don’t know what’s gonna happen type way, fused with a great plot, characters, and look. I first saw this movie 6 years ago and was blown away by it. I watched it 4 times in a week. It was a movie I hadn’t seen in a while. It was gritty. It was the life of L.A. at night. It was unique.

So, Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) is a taxi cab driver. He works the night shift, more relaxed, better tips, we all know that deal. One day a man named Vincent (Tom Cruise) steps into in taxi and his whole world is changed as he’s taken on a hit spree throughout the burroughs of L.A. As the story unfolds, we find out exactly why Vincent is killing at seemingly random, and we accompany Max on this death-filled ride and we live/die with him. The endings great, definitely worth the watch.

There are a lot of great scenes in this movie, a lot of interesting feels to each hit that Vincent does. You have the ghetto-style hit, the businessman hit, the jazz hit (hilariously and well played) and even the club scene hit. (I hope that’s not giving too much away…) Every murder comes with a different feel to L.A. and creates a real atmosphere for what one city can offer. At every twist and turn, you wonder who’s going to live and die, it’s never certain. And as you go along, unlike most movies, you get development with the action and thrills that gives you emotional stock in the characters.

What I loved is the script of this movie. The rapport between Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx is ridiculously entertaining, witty, and quite thought provoking in its intensity. Max and Vincent, in a weird way, develop a friendship that doesn’t seem to break until the very end, although it may have started out driver/assassin and transformed into kidnapper/hostage. Although I’m sure most situations such as this wouldn’t develop into a long-standing story, this one instance still feels as if it had the capability to occur. And it stands alone as an experience that none would ever forget.

The acting in this movie is quite phenomenal. You don’t necessarily get a feel that you’re watching actors in this situation, but more that these are real cops and thugs going about business as usual. Yes, Tom Cruise is the odd man out in this situation. Hired assassin. Although the salt and pepper hair look is quite good for Tom, you get the feel he’s out of place, although that works perfectly for his character. Jamie Foxx is quite good, but doesn’t give the real feel of a cabbie for me. Granted, I’ve only been in taxis in New York, but I feel that the cool grooves, Marvin Gaye style Jamie portrays in this movie is a bit off. Jada Pinkett-Smith is fantastic as always (one of my favorite actresses. I mean come on. Niobe. Matrix. Ridiculous.) as no nonsense lawyer. Mark Ruffalo, another of my favorite actors, plays a street cop that is always for justice, a kind of character I’m always for. Peter Berg makes a nice little appearance along with Bruce McGill who play cops alongside Ruffalo. Even Javier Bardem makes a great appearance, almost unrecognizable as Felix, the drug running boss. He has a great speech and plays his part amazingly well. Another little fun cameo comes from Jason Statham at the beginning of the movie in the airport scene where he passes off a brief case to Cruise, solidifying Cruise as a badass action star. (I mean, come on, Mission Impossible, Minority Report, Rain Man.)

Overall, the feel of this movie is great. The gritty, wobbly shooting style, mixed with the incredible night scenes give a great late night business/seedy underbelly feel to the film. Although they may give street names and locations to the film, you don’t feel lost or out of the loop as the action progresses. Michael Mann is a fantastic director/producer/writer, and Collateral is no exception. His last three movies, Miami Vice, Collateral, and Public Enemies, all have a conventional gangster style to them that really draws in audiences. (Although I wasn’t a big fan of Public Enemies. Not shot right. Not well recorded.) With this cast and crew, combined with an amazing story, this movie is sure to entertain and give you a feeling of the unexpected of what life brings. 8.7 out of 10.