Posts Tagged ‘Cliff Curtis’

The Snowflake Effect

Hobbs & Shaw

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart, Cliff Curtis

Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch returns with a sure fire blockbuster, a spin off from the Fast and Furious franchise Hobbs and Shaw.

(from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

Lawmaker Luke Hobbs played by Dwayne Johnson and British bouncer Deckard Shaw played by Jason Statham team up on an unlikely mission to save the world from a deadly virus and a crazy cyber-genetically altered superhuman wonderfully played by Idris Elba (Thor: Ragnarok, Molly’s Game, The Mountain Between Us) who is after Deckard’s feisty sister Hattie played by Vanessa Kirby (Mission Impossible: Fallout) and proves to be a muscular and worthy villain for Hobbs and Shaw.

Idris Elba as Brixton Lorr in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

As the action moves swiftly from the sleek skyscrapers of London’s financial district to Moscow and then for a more exotic finale in Samoa, Hobbs and Shaw ticks all the right boxes to ensure that this is an entertaining action packed ballbuster with an outlandish plot, some witty one liners mostly provided by cameo appearances by Kevin Hart and Ryan Reynolds.

Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

The action is crazy, the stunts are amazing and as Hobbs and Shaw and Hattie desperately try to stop the spread of a deadly virus aptly known as The Snowflake effect which will kill the world’s population within 72 hours of going airborne, they get some hefty help from the entire island of Samoa lead by Luke Hobbs’s crazy brother Jonah.

Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

There are even guest appearances by Oscar winner Helen Mirren as Deckard’s mother Queenie looking absolutely ravishing even though she is stuck behind bars in a British prison and New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis (Colombiana, Die Hard 4.0, Whale Rider) plays Hobbs’s older brother Jonah who gathers the troops for the final Samoan showdown.

(from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Brixton Lorr (Idris Elba) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, directed by David Leitch.

Let’s face it with Hollywood superstars Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in an buddy action movie, it’s sure to be a blockbuster and judging by how fill the cinema was on a Saturday matinee, Hobbs and Shaw is recommended for all those Fast and Furious fans who love fast cars, action and some damn funny one liners.

Recommended viewing, Hobbs and Shaw gets a Film Rating of 7 out of 10.

Please note all further film images are provided courtesy of United International Pictures

2002 Toronto Film Festival

2002 Toronto International Film Festival Winners

tiff 2002

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place every year in September in Canada.
Films which premiere at Toronto are often nominated for Academy Awards the following year.

TIFF does not hand out individual prizes for Best Actor or Actress but focuses on amongst others the following awards:
People’s Choice Award & Best Canadian Feature Film

Ararat_movie

Opening Night Film: Ararat directed by Atom Egoyan, starring Charles Aznavour, Christopher Plummer, and David Alpay

Whale Rider

People’s Choice Award: Whale Rider directed by Niki Caro, starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Cliff Curtis and Vicky Haughton

Spider

Best Canadian Feature Film: Spider directed by David Cronenberg, starring Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson & Gabriel Byrne

From Bogota to Turkish Revenge

Taken 2

Getting Tested in Turkey

Los Angeles always used to be portrayed cinematically as a potentially dangerous place, but now in the much anticipated sequel to Taken, aptly named Taken 2, it is the more exotic location of Istanbul that is proving to be treacherous with shady Albanians bent on revenge on retired CIA operative Brian Mills played with zest by Liam Neeson and his family who make a brief visit to the Turkish city.

Taken 2 follows a very similar storyline to Olivier Megaton’s 2011 hit Columbiana featuring the agile Zoe Saldanha who escapes crime ridden Bogota to the safety of America where she trains to be a superb and silent assassin in Chicago to avenge her parents’ murder by the king of a Colombian drug cartel.

Colombiana

Colombiana was big on storyline as well as action and highly engaging featuring a great supporting cast including Callum Blue, Michael Vartan and Cliff Curtis. Megaton’s directorial traits as demonstrated in Colombiana are repeated with less flourish in Taken 2, expertly making use of Istanbul as a fantastic action location as he did with Bogota and Chicago. Where Colombiana succeeded was that the narrative was more original and the action sequence more inventive especially as it wasn’t a sequel. Where Taken 2 succeeded was that it was brilliant as formulaic sequel using the similar revenge, kidnap and violence scenario of the original film Taken.

The 2008 film Taken was set in Paris and directed by Pierre Morel, both films were penned by the writing duo Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.  Taken 2 and Columbiana have all the traits of a Luc Besson film echoing his ventures as a director in Leon, the Professional and the groundbreaking 1997 hit The Fifth Element. Luc Besson as screenwriter has penned lots of high volume action films over the past decade including The Transporter series, From Paris with Love and Revolver, so while Taken 2 is not as fulfilling plot wise as the original it is just as watchable.

Taken

Using the same cast from the original film Taken (always a good recipe for a successful sequel), Taken 2 features an overprotective and ultra-alert Liam Neeson as Mills along with neurotic ex wife Lenore played by Famke Janssen and more switched on daughter Kim played by Maggie Grace as they journey to Istanbul.

Taken 2 is not big on plot but really a sequel to the success of the original film, involving expertly edited action sequences and some brilliant inventive sound editing which makes it a rather quick and violent excursion in Istanbul not to mention an engaging high velocity action thriller. Maggie Grace shines as the daughter and Megaton’s fluid direction makes Taken 2 a thrill ride making the most of the Turkish city without having to engage too much of the viewers intellect. In fact it is the city Istanbul and Maggie Grace which makes Taken 2 so watchable and those superb 30 minutes after the initial kidnapping has occurred. It’s no wonder that both Taken and Taken 2 has made a killing at the box office.

If viewers enjoyed Colombiana, Taken, From Paris with Love, then Taken 2 will be the perfect way to spend 91 minutes watching Neeson do what he does best. Take revenge in a foreign city in this case Turkish revenge where Istanbul is a nefarious environment and Los Angeles is inadvertently portrayed as a relative safe haven.

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