Writing articles that cause debate are always fun but can also lead to some concerned readers. Understand these are just some of my favorites and aren’t meant to be the definitive best scenes of outnumbered fighters. I mean, who am I to say what are or aren’t the best.. With that being said, let’s have some fun!
Matrix Reloaded (2003)
“The Burly Brawl” via Matrix Reloaded is by far my favorite outnumbered battle of them all. This scene began with Neo having a conversation with some copies of Agent Smith. Smith explains that the events of The Matrix “Set him free.” So to speak.
Obviously the convo doesn’t end so well.
The scene then whips into a frenzy of epic proportions. With Agent Smith calling as many copies of himself into battle as possible. Neo is all alone and has to find a way to defend himself.
With the help of a trusty pipe he rips out of the ground, Neo reminds Agent Smith why he is the one In one of the greatest choreographed battles of all-time.
John Carter (2012)
Fist of Fury (1972)
Chen Zhen ready for action.
Last but not least, another martial arts epic in my opinion:
Ip Man (2008)
Ip Man centers around the story of Master Ip’s migration to Hong Kong in 1949, while he attempts to teach his discipline of Wing Chun to the world.
In this scene, Master Ip is brought to a prison where he is forced to fight for rations in front of the Japanese general who has a flare for hand to hand combat. Ip decides it’s time to unleash his fury upon the soldiers for injuring his friends. Trust me folks, this is by far one of the greatest battles in martial arts movies!
What’s your favorite “One vs many” movie brawl? Let us know in the comments. Even if its cartoon or other!!
2021 OSCARS- What They Got Right, And What They Got Wrong
Chloé Zhao and Nomadland make history and win top prizes at the Oscars.
Last night was the long-awaited 93rd Academy Awards, after a very uniquely long (due to COVID) awards season, it was finally time to find out who would be taking home the golden statuettes. We knew from the get-go that things would be a little bit different than usual; Steven Soderbergh was directing it and wanted to make it feel like a film rather than an awards show. But we underestimated just how much Soderbergh would switch up the conventions and traditions we’ve come to know at the Oscars every year…
The Oscars switched things up a lot, and most people were unhappy with the changes; there were no performances of the nominated Original songs during the ceremony itself, there were virtually no clips from the films nominated that played throughout the ceremony, when Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste won Best Original Score for Soul, they didn’t play any of the Oscar-winning music, instead the winners awkwardly approached the stage with no sound other than applause. Another change that upset people was the in-memoriam section, which was accompanied by an usually upbeat song, and each person barely got a second of time on the screen. These were minor changed that most people didn’t like, but could look past, the biggest change that many say ruined the whole evening, though, came when the Academy announced that they would present Best Picture third from last. This decision was met with apprehension from most.
Although most thought that maybe the Academy placed Best Actor last so the final award could be a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who was posthumously nominated for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The Academy had invited his family, gave him an extra-long tribute during the in-memoriam segment, and a piece of artwork inspired by Boseman was given to all the nominees. It’s clear that the academy expected him to win. But then Joaquin Phoenix, who clearly would have rather been anywhere else, half-heartedly read out Anthony Hopkins’ name (who wasn’t able to attend as an 83-year-old during a pandemic), the Academy accepted on his behalf and the show ended. Not only did the academy take advantage of Boseman’s passing by restructuring the age-old tradition of Best Picture being the final award, but it backfired because the person who won the final award wasn’t there and was denied permission to join via Zoom. Because of this, Nomadland’s historic Best Picture sweep was not given the final celebration it deserved. It won Best Picture, and two more awards were left, one of which was Best Actor, and the winner wasn’t even able to attend. This left a bitter taste in most people’s mouths; not only did Boseman deserve to be honoured, or at least not taken advantage of, but Nomadland and Chloé Zhao deserved to have their big moment accepting the biggest award in the industry to close the most prestigious awards show in the industry. All in all, it was a very anti-climactic ending and left most people feeling disappointed; more people will remember the horrifically handled ending than will speak about Nomadland’s big win. That’s enough about the negative stuff now, after all, the Oscars are a celebration of the year’s films.
While the ceremony itself was questionable, the results and winners were great all around, and putting personal preferences aside, I don’t think anyone can say that any of this year’s winners weren’t deserving and as a celebration of cinema and film over the past year, the films honoured finally got their deserving awards. It was a historic evening; Emerald Fennel picked up the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, making her the first woman in 13 years to win a screenplay award, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first black women to win for Best Hair and Makeup for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Yuh-Jung Youn became the first ever Korean Actress to win an Oscar, Frances McDormand joined the elite club of actors with three wins in the leading category and tied with Katheryn Hepburn as the actor with the most Academy Awards with 4 (although one of McDormand’s is for producing), Chloé Zhao became the first woman of colour and only the second woman ever to win Best Director (after Katheryn Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker in 2010), and Nomadland became the first ever Best Picture winner directed by a woman of colour, Nomadland became the first film to sweep Best Picture at all the major award shows since 12 Years a Slave in 2012 (CCA, DGA, PGA, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscar), it also swept director at all of those for Chloé Zhao. Nomadland is also a rarity because it is a Best Picture winner about a woman, very few Best Picture winners are about women. After winning Best Director, Actress, and Picture, Nomadland’s performance at this year’s Oscars is a triumph for women.
Some other big wins include Daniel Kaluuya winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, Eric Messerschmidt’s work on Mank upset in the Best Cinematography category, beating the frontrunner Joshua James Richards’ Nomadland. The Father saw some love by taking home Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor in a leading role for Anthony Hopkins. While everyone will be a little sad that Boseman never got his moment at the Oscars, Boseman left an impact most actors only dream of through his role as Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while it would’ve been nice to see him win an Oscar, Hopkins gave a stunningly devastating, career-best performance many are calling one of the top Best Actor winning performances ever, and he is more than worthy of the award. Most of the outrage about Boseman losing is not because Hopkins didn’t deserve it, but because of how the Academy handled it.
Personally, I am ecstatic about the winners; as a champion of Chloé Zhao’s work and her intimate character study of a woman in her sixties who loses everything after the 2008 financial crash, I was very happy to see Nomadland take home to top prize. I was also elated to see Yuh-Jung Youn win for her masterful performance in Minari, and while any of the fantastic actresses nominated in the leading category could’ve won, I liked seeing Frances McDormand’s more understated subtle, nuanced performance get the recognition it deserved. However, while the number of good things outweigh the number of bad things, the final 20 minutes of the ceremony will always be tainted by how badly the Academy executed this year’s awards. The winners were fantastic and all deserving, the butchered ending of this ceremony has cemented the 93rd Academy Awards as one of the worst executed ceremonies in Oscars history.
One Thing ‘Trick’ Has In Bulk Is Gore
Genre : Horror
Rating : Unrated
Director: Patrick Lussier
It seems that few genres of film are as collaborative as horror. Despite being considered the black sheep of the film genres horror has produced some incredible creative teams over the years. Whether it’s Wes Craven turning Robert Englund into a bonafide icon or director Guillermo del Toro working with Guillermo Navarro to bring fairy tales to life there’s no denying that there is something about scary movies that brings people together. One of the most promising duos of the 2000’s was director Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer. Collaborating on 2009’s My Bloody Valentine 3D they would go on to cement their place in genre film history with the bats**t insane Nicolas Cage film Drive Angry. The two seemed to be on the verge of their big break with a sequel to Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 before going their separate ways. A decade after their first collaboration the two are back to try and make their mark on the slasher genre. Will this Trick be a disaster or more of a treat?
Considered a smart and quiet teenager Patrick Weaver goes on a stabbing spree at a Halloween party in 2015. Claiming several victims, he is able to escape despite capture, being shot several times and falling out of as second story window. Despite this Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps) and Sheriff Lisa Jayne (Ellen Adair) are unable to find a body. Over the next four years a killer, now simply known as “Trick”, wreaks havoc every year on Halloween tormenting the two. Convinced that Patrick is behind these massacres Mike is back on the hunt, certain that he can capture the elusive killer.
Needless to say, it isn’t the most original of plots. Between Trick being a stand in for Michael Myers and Detective Denver as a new version of Dr. Loomis it would be easy to mistake Trick as Lussier and Farmer’s old Halloween script with a few name changes. They even have Tom Atkins from Halloween 3: Season of the Witch in a fun cameo as Mr. Talbot. Rounding out the cast are Ellen Adair as Sheriff Jayne and Kristina Reyes as Cheryl, a survivor from Trick’s initial killing spree. Despite being two very different characters the two put their all into the role with Sheriff Jayne being the consummate professional and Cheryl as your classic final girl. Aside from a poorly cast Jamie Kennedy in a supporting role the cast do all they can to carry Trick’s cliché-ridden script.
With visual effects from Jean-Francois Beaulieu and visual effects supervisor Pete Sussi the one thing Trick has in bulk is gore. With Trick utilizing a mix of Saw-esque traps and good old-fashioned slashing Trick accumulates a nice little body count. Each kill emphasized by some gnarly looking practical effects. This would be great if Trick had a great slasher of its own. With a painted face and a variety of masks Trick is somehow not only the smartest guy in the room but also the faster than Usain Bolt and more proficient with weaponry than three John Wicks. So instead of Myers we get a 13-year old’s version of what the coolest and most XTREME Halloween movie would be like. We get an explanation for this near the end of the film but by then it’s too little too late.
Watching Trick I couldn’t help but think of Mark Millar’s (writer of Kick-Ass and Old Man Logan) comic book Nemesis. Working with artist Steve McNiven the two created classics. Letting the two work on their own project without any continuity to worry about seemed like a perfect idea. Yet when left unrestrained and to their own devices they stumbled over their own feet. The same can be said of director Patrick Lussier and writer Todd Farmer with Trick. With one too many ideas without all the resources Trick ends up feeling more like a collection of cool scenes without a proper through line and instead of creating the next horror legend we get another horror what if.
Links : IMDB
Trick is now available on VOD, DVD and Bluray
Thriller ‘Knives and Skin’ Cuts Deeper Than Most
Genre : Thriller
Rating : Unrated
Director: Jennifer Reeder
A small rural town is turned inside out when local student Carolyn Harper goes missing. Despite the best efforts of the suburban sheriff and Carolyn’s mother she cannot be found. As the days go by a wave of fear and distrust slowly begin to seep into the town’s foundations. As more and more townspeople try to figure out how to deal with their shared trauma a collective awakening takes over the town’s youth.
As simple as that synopsis may sound Knives and Skin is so much more. Written and directed by indie favorite Jennifer Reeder (2017’s Signature Move), Knives and Skin is a hard movie to explain. What starts out as a conventional teen thriller becomes a surrealist take that’s two parts Twin Peaks, one-part Rian Johnson’s Brick with a dash of Heathers to help it all go down. And although Knives and Skin is a grounded mystery it tackles so much more including toxic masculinity, LGBTQ issues and shared trauma.
Just as unique is how Reeder and cinematographer Christopher Rejano present their tale of tragedy. Nostalgic for the bright and vibrant look of the 80’s Knives and Skin uses deep blues and reds feel like they belong more in an Argento film than grounded thriller. Just as intricate are the relationships and characterizations of the town’s inhabitants. Mostly focused on Afra (Haley Bolithon), April (Aurora Real de Asua) and Joanna (Grace Smith) the most compelling performance Carolyn’s mother Lisa (Marika Engelhart). Over the course of the film we watch Lisa go from choir teacher and concerned mother to unraveling mess to a weird kind of acceptance. Marika’s performance is able to straddle tightrope between tragic and touching all at the same time.
As unique as Knives and Skin is in presentation it has its drawbacks. By taking inspiration from David Lynch it also replicates his signature acting style. How his style could make a performance feel stacato and suddenly give off a burst of intensity. Or how someone who was a normal teenager in the scene before would do a complete 180 and feel like a nihilistic monster in the next. Although David Lynch has shown that this style of telling a story can work it can just as often feel off putting. Just as confusing is the narrative of the story. Although the story itself is straight forward I found the way it was being told to be a bit jumbled in execution. Needless to say, Knives and Skin isn’t the kind of movie you put on as background noise.
A bit of a sleeper on the festival circuit Knives and Skin emerges as one of the most unique thrillers of the year. Jarring in presentation and story it isn’t for everyone. And that is probably it’s biggest strength. Not only does writer-director Jennifer Reeder show a skill at genre conventions but she also shows a willingness to look at topics we don’t typically talk about in genre cinema. Whether you love it or hate it Knives and Skin will speak to you in some way.
Links : IMDB
Knives and Skin is now in theaters and on VOD
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