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The Hunt: A New, Short-Term Hype With An Over-The-Top Reputation

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Why would they do something like that?
Same reason elites do anything…
’cause they think they’re better than us.

 

Can someone please explain why there was so much fuss about the movie “The Hunt“. I understand that the release date has been postponed due to the El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy shootings last year. Let’s just hope that not every violent film suffers the same fate, as the number of mass murders in the U.S., according to the database of the news agency AP, USA Today and Northeastern University, is shockingly high. In 2019, they counted 41 such massacres. Those are a huge number of incidents that can cause releases to be postponed. I suggest they restrict the release of violent video games, new material from well-known music bands that use a rougher music style and bloody comic strips. Because let’s admit it. Every time such an incident happens in the U.S., doomsayers pop up like mushrooms to proclaim that heavy metal (in the past Marilyn Manson was a sitting target) and violent games (such as Counterstrike for example) are the cause of senseless violence with dozens of victims. No sensible person there relates free (and uncontrolled) sale of weapons with all that violence. Even now in this Corona crisis, US citizens are flocking to the arms stores to purchase firearms and ammunition en masse, because they fear that people may react rather strangely to this crisis. Well, here in Europe one can only make victims by throwing tons of toilet paper at someone, since that’s the most hoarded item here.

 

The Hunt

 

More movies similar to this one.

In itself, “The Hunt” is just an average violent film with explicit, gory footage. But claiming this film is the superlative of other films in terms of violence, is certainly a bit simplistic and short-sighted. Let’s look at films such as “You’re next” or “The Purge“. These films have an almost similar concept. The concept of hunters and the hunted. Even “The Hunger Games” tends to go in that direction. But apparently, that was commercially permissible. The recent film “Ready or not” is better comparison material. Also, a film in which someone is being hunted like a wild animal and a series of gory, bloody scenes are shown. Though, the denouement in this movie effortlessly exceeds what is to be seen in “The Hunt”. On the other hand, the satirical character is more prominently present in “The Hunt“. And you still want to watch a movie where blood flows freely? Well, you should try “Revenge” (also a movie that ends with a fight to the death). In short, if you categorize all films that could possibly incite senseless violence, you’d end up with a richly filled list.

 

The Hunt

 

The gap between rich and poor.

What’s explicitly emphasized in “The Hunt”, is the immense gap that exists between the wealthy and the average people living in the US. Of course, they turn it into a political statement once again (conservatives against liberals). A group of so-called conservatives is being kidnapped by a group of foully and berserkly rich liberals who have too much time on their hands or probably couldn’t think of anything else to spend their hard-earned money on. I’m sure there are also rich conservatives and poor liberals living in the US. But that’s a completely different discussion. The fact that there’s a gap (as big as the Grand Canyon) between rich and poor becomes clear during these Corona times. The poorer inhabitants who cannot afford health insurance massively die a slow and horrible death at this very moment. I suppose many will now consider the fuss about “The Hunt” as being a trivial matter.

 

The Hunt

 

Yippy ka-yee.

You can easily compare “The Hunt” with a porn movie. Storywise it’s really nothing and there’s not much beating around the bush so the action-rich part kicks in quite quickly. It takes less than 10 minutes, I think, for the first victim to die with a well-aimed shot through the head. And from then on it’s a series of massacres and exploding bodies. Not that the victims are unarmed because the hunters have left behind a huge chest packed with dangerous-looking weaponry. Unfortunately, the hunted ones are not exactly experts in warfare or close-combat techniques. However, the group of sadistic hunters haven’t done their homework and checked the background of Crystal (Betty Gilpin). This female McClane has quite a bit of knowledge about combat techniques and weaponry. And that’s something the group of rich people hasn’t taken into account. Crystal plays the game harder and more fiercely than those vicious elitists and manages to turn the situation to her advantage.

 

The Hunt

 

Not as controversial as I thought it would be.

Betty Gilpin is perfectly cast for this role. She’s fanatic and grim. A merciless tough lady whose sarcastic and blunt comments made me smile several times. To be honest, I sometimes wondered if she was mentally alright. And yes, she reminded me a bit of Phoebe Buffay. Not only because of the looks. But also by her behavior. A bit of an absent and childlike acting person. Unfortunately, the final confrontation was a bit exaggerated and unrealistic, which accented the slapstick character of the film even more. All in all, “The Hunt” isn’t as impressive as I suspected it to be. It’s watchable but not more than that. The commotion around this film only had the opposite effect (as usual). A new, short-term hype with an over-the-top reputation. But, as violent and gory as this movie may seem, it’s certainly not as controversial as certain tweets from an alleged important person implied.

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Cast:

Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

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Kung Fu Panda 4 Review: Po and Co are Back to Pack Hilarious Punches.

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I’ve seen too many great animation franchises deliver diminishing returns with more and more sequels. To name some recent examples one could include How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Cars, etc. Kung Fu Panda is another franchise that unfortunately falls in this category. The threequel that released in 2016, was most people’s choice for the weakest entry in the beloved franchise. So that made me pretty skeptical whether the world was ready for this franchise to return and gave us good cause not to have expectations set too high, especially given the weak marketing campaign and smaller production budget. To make things worse, it was being reported that the furious five would not be a part of the story.

So I went in with my expectations in check but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been 8 years since the last Kung Fu Panda movie, but the characters are somehow still fresh and fun. One of the best things that the makers are able to do is remind the viewers what makes Po such a darling and why we love him so much. Jack Black is such a natural fit for his voice and makes this character special with his wit and wisdom in this latest entry. 

This entry is notably structured in a very different way from the other 3 entries. This one focuses on Po’s search for a successor and his ascension to the Master of Peace. The main characters are split up pretty early in the movie and are sent on separate adventures in a sort of buddy-cop-style scenario. On one side we have Po and Awkwafina’s Zhen, and on the other, we have Bryan Cranston and James Hong as Po’s dads. These two duos are a lot of fun in their own ways.

(from left) Po (Jack Black) and Zhen (Awkwafina) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Po and Xen have more of a good boy-bad boy dynamic, while the dads have more of a light-hearted brotherhood between them. Both pairs of misfits deliver a string of humorously entertaining sequences that will have you laughing your heart out. The humor here works for most parts apart from one or two instances and the dialogue in particular is very smartly written. The story, on the other hand, is where the movie is at its weakest.

The structuring is pretty generic with a very cliche twist at the beginning of the second half and the script mostly fails to provide significantly fresh plot points. But credit to it for executing the successor plotline better than a lot of movies that have tried it, especially Cars 3. The writers make sure to put their entire focus on humor and entertainment value, but they do come up with a couple of charming moments and some subplots that come full circle.

The animation here is surprisingly really good, especially given the significantly lower budget. The trailers didn’t get too many people encouraged about the quality of animation, but I can tell you that even though it’s not DreamWorks’ best, it’s still really well done. The background score also hits the right spot where it’s able to compliment the scene and lift it at the same time. The voice work here is also pretty solid. Jack Black is amazing as always and Awkwafina Ke Huy Quan are welcome additions.

(Center) Chameleon (Viola Davis) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Apart from Po, the best part of the movie is Li and Ping. They are the heart of this movie. The two of them have incredible chemistry and Mike Mitchell finds a way to bring out the best from the both of them. They play off of each other in the most silly, but whimsical manner which is just a joy to watch. We could do with a spin-off of them. Ian McShane’s return as Tai Lung is another highlight here. He is nicely integrated and fits well into the story being told. On the other hand, Viola Davis’ Chameleon is somewhat of a disappointment. For a villain that has the powers of all the previous villains, she was a rather tame antagonist.

Overall, Kung Fu Panda 4 is a return to form for the beloved franchise. It has a lot of elements that made the franchise successful and is a much-needed reminder of how much we love these characters and in particular, Po. Jack Black knocks it out of the park with Bryan Cranston and James Hong emerging as surprise standouts. It lacks the emotional depth of the first two entries and has a disappointingly tame villain. But it is a major improvement from the last entry and unsurprisingly very very entertaining.

Kung Fu Panda 4 releases in cinemas on March 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_inKs4eeHiI&pp=ygUXa3VuZyBmdSBwYW5kYSA0IHRyYWlsZXI%3D

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One More Shot: Scott Adkins Returns in This Kick Ass Sequel Seemingly Shot in One Take.

With many immersing and kick ass action sequences, One More Shot is another technically impressive action film from director James Nunn.

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Scott Adkins One More Shot

Bigger, better, and more kick-ass than the first, One More Shot is another impressive one-take action film full of tension, stakes, and adrenaline fuelled action sequences. Much like the first, One More Shot is another action film shot in one-continuous take. With hidden cuts of course. This one-take style adds a greater level of intensity to the film by immersing audiences deeper into the action, and connecting audiences closer to it’s characters. James Nunn’s work behind the camera is even more precise than his previous effort. Blending excellent camera work, explicit framing, and fluid editing Nunn leave audiences with punchy (no pun intented), smooth, and enthralling action movie experience.

Scott Adkins once again kicks ass as Jake Harris, delivering another exhausting performance as he takes out waves of bad guys with guns, knives, and of course, his infamous high kicks. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was pretty underwhelming with Alexis Knapp being the worst offender. Likewise, as exciting as it was to have Michael Jai White star alongside Scott Adkins again, he certainly doesn’t get the screen time he definitely deserved. White should have been the main antagonist. Not a high level bodyguard. With that said however, Michael Jai White’s and Scott Adkins’ brawl was a phenomenal piece of action cinema that action movie fans shouldn’t miss.

One More Shot is an action extravaganza with impressive work both on and off camera, and a brilliant early contender for action movie of the year.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

After the attack on the black site in Poland, Navy SEAL Jake Harris must escort suspect Amin Mansur (Waleed Elgadi) to Washington DC for interrogation. However, after the two become trapped at an airport in the US by an army of armed mercanaries, Jake Harris must protect Mansur or else the fate of America would be on his head.

Much like its predecessor One More Shot is a very technically impressive action movie. Whilst James Nunn proved himself as a fantastic action movie director with his previous endeavour, it’s One More Shot that truly cements it. The filmmaker nails the tension, pacing, cinematography and framing of every fight. The airport setting is much more immersing setting compared to the previous one, allowing for much more creative, and tight action sequences.

Complementing Nunn’s excellent direction, was the casts breathtaking physicality. Unsurprisingly Adkins steals the show with his efficiently brutal, and fast paced martial arts which add a level of finesse, and polish to every fight scene. Likewise, Michael Jai White was another standout. His large physique, matched with his fast and incredibly precise combat proves a deadly foe. Despite the amount of times we have seen Adkins and White go toe to toe, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Both performers are expert in their craft and give every fight between the two their all. While it would’ve benefitted the film if Michael Jai White had a greater role to play, it was still an unrelenting, and exhilarating brawl. Fingers crossed he’s the big bad in the next one.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

While many have come to see fist fights, shoot outs, and explosions, One More Shot boast’s a surprisingly developed script that’s much deeper than its predecessor. Writers James Nunn, and Jamie Russell provide a well paced and intriguing story full of heart and tension. The characters are far more developed, and introducing audiences to Mansur’s wife, and unborn child greatly elevated the stakes.

The performances where perhaps the films biggest downfall. Adkins was fantastic, White was incredible, and Waleed Elgadi was captivating. As for the rest, their performances just felt lazy. They brought zero nuance to their characters, and seeing them on screen provoked a thought’s of “Damn, I can’t wait to they get killed off”.

One More Shot’s ending is a little abrupt, and while it does have a sweet resolution, the film sort of just ends. We don’t get to see much of the repocussions of the events that unfolding throughout the movie which raises more questions that answers. However, we guarantee that James Nunn and Jamie Russell are working a script for the final film, undoubtedly titled “One Last Shot”. Fingers crossed.

While it may be a little premature, One More Shot is damn great action film that could easily end up on many “Best Action Movie of the Year” lists by the time December roles around. It’s technically impressive, boasting great camera work, and imagery with many adrenaline fuelled action sequences scattered throughout.

One More Shot is available to purchase on demand January 16th

Check out the trailer below:

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