Posts Tagged ‘Glen Powell’

Seize Your Identity

Hit Man

Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao

Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Oscar nominee for writing and directing Texan born film director Richard Linklater (Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Boyhood) collaborates with fellow Texan actor Glen Powell in his new film Hit Man about a philosophy lecturer at New Orleans State University Gary Johnson who moonlights for the local police department posing as an actual hitman but using his fake tough guy identity to trap would be potential criminals into planning a possible murder.

Based on a short story about the real life story of Gary Johnson written by Skip Hollandsworth entitled Hit Man which appeared in Texas Monthly, Linklater teams up with Powell to write the screenplay in which Glen Powell excels as the meek and mild Gary Johnson, a loner philosopher professor who tells his students to live dangerously and then does just that by creating a multitude of alter egos, posing as a professional hit man and landing a variety of people in jail when they try and pay him to take out someone significant in their life.

Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick, Anyone But You, Hidden Figures) is joined on screen by the gorgeous Mexican actress Adria Arjona (Father of the Bride, Pacific Rim: Uprising) who plays the feisty Madison Masters which proves to be Gary’s undoing as he presents to Madison his sexy alter ego Ron, a hit man which she wants to hire to kill her abusive husband. Once Gary meets Madison things start going horribly wrong as soon a dead body is found.

The trick with Richard Linklater films is to expect a lot of dialogue. All his films and storylines are dialogue and character driven. Linklater has never been a big flashy block buster director although he did prove his worth in his Oscar winning coming of age story Boyhood which earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Patricia Arquette as it skilfully chronicled a life of a young boy from early childhood to college and was shot over a 12 year period from 2002 to 2013.

Hit Man is no exception in terms of characters and dialogue particularly between the two lead actors, whose onscreen chemistry sizzle in this sexy, philosophical comedy about the potential of violence and the ability to create a successful alter ego. Both Glen Powell and Adria Arjona are easy on the eye and their eclectic supporting cast which includes Austin Amelio (Everybody Wants Some!!) as Jasper, Sanjay Rao as police colleague Phil and Retta as the police officer.

Unlike the zany, colourful film poster of Hit Man, this is not an action film but a cleverly written romantic comedy, a possibly true story about one man who decides to seize a new identity which changes his life when he meets the girl of his dreams.

Hit Man’s story line did need some action to increase the pace, but Glen Powell proves his flexible acting ability as the philosophically challenged Gary Johnson in this quirky romantic comedy which gets a film rating of 7 out of 10.

Hit Man is recommended as a quirky contemporary film about love with a dash of humour and a subtle hint of danger.

You, Me and the Opera House

Anyone But You

Director: Will Gluck

Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Bryan Brown, Michelle Hurd, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Bonello, Joe Davidson, Rachel Griffiths, Alexandra Shipp

Running Time: 1 hour 43 minutes

Film Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Friends with Benefits and Easy A director Will Gluck delivers another light weight romantic comedy this time set in Sydney, Australia and starring Sydney Sweeney as aspiring law student Bea who accidentally meets the perfect hunk, Ben wonderfully played by rising star Glen Powell (Top Gun Maverick) in Anyone But You which is set in Boston and Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Sweeney rose to fame in creator Mike White’s wild satirical series The White Lotus as the spoilt manipulative daughter of a wealthy couple on holiday in Hawaii and learnt her comic timing in this award winning series. In Anyone But You, she battles with her male counterpart Ben as they both pretend to be in love with each other at a destination wedding of Bea’s sister Halle played by Hadley Robinson and her fiancée Claudia played by Alexandra Shipp (Tick, Tick… Boom!; Barbie).

Ben is friends with Claudia and her brother Pete played by GaTa, whose parents Carol and Roger played by Michelle Hurd and Bryan Brown (Cocktail, Australia) live on a sprawling estate on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia.

It is refreshing to see this famous Australian city used as a primary film location and in a way, Sydney and its famous Opera House overlooking the harbour become characters in this funny and rather rude comedy in which the two main lovers oscillate between love and hate, friendship and rivalry in a bid to convince the wedding party that all is well with the pair, similar to William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

As Ben and Bea fight and make up again, they slowly learn some interesting facts about each other such as Ben’s fear of flying and Bea’s fear of commitment.

Anyone But You is a sunny, fun filled romantic comedy, nothing too dramatic and will leave audiences feeling happy and fulfilled. The cast including Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding, August: Osage County) and Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding) as Bea’s parents create a bubbly if slightly awkward ensemble while the two main stars Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell are the perfect eye candy as eventually their characters meet at the Australian city’s most iconic location.

Add some nude scenes to spice up a fun romantic comedy and Anyone But You is a hilariously silly romantic comedy which is perfect for a date night film filled with love and laughter.

The sexy chemistry between Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell makes this film work, although the script and sound editing could have been vastly improved. Anyone But You gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and is an enjoyable chance to watch a love story set in a beautiful city. It’s nothing deeper than a splash in the Pacific.

Time is the Enemy

Top Gun: Maverick

Director: Joseph Kosinki

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Val Kilmer, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro 

Running Time: 2 hours and 11 minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Only the Brave and Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski does a sterling job directing the highly anticipated long awaited sequel to the 1986 smash hit Top Gun directed by the late British director Tony Scott. Fortunately, superstar Tom Cruise reprises his role as test pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as he returns to the San Diego Airforce base to train a new set of elite air force pilots including Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw the son of the original Rooster and Maverick’s wingman in the 1986 film.

This time the younger Rooster is played superbly by prolific actor Miles Teller of Whiplash fame as he tries to prove himself as a test fighter pilot while reconciling his father’s legacy and his grudge against Maverick, the less than orthodox fighter pilot instructor.

Following a glittering and highly successful film premiere at the 2022 Festival du Cannes, in which Tom Cruise and co-stars showed off Top Gun: Maverick to the Cinema world and now on world wide release, Top Gun: Maverick as a 2022 cinematic spectacle does not disappoint as the screenwriters skillfully weave elements of the original Top Gun film into this stunning adrenalin fueled film filled with bravado, awe-inspiring aviation stunts and a group of muscular and strong test pilots all vying to be the best. Watch out for the infamous beach scene.

Pete Mitchell’s only concern in teaching his new group of recruits besides building team spirit is to make sure every member of the team comes home from their nefarious mission against an omniscient and unmentionable enemy alive and kicking. Maverick, which is his call sign, tells all of the young aspiring pilots, don’t think, just do it because time is the enemy.

Throughout the story of Top Gun: Maverick there are hints to the original film which was a 1980’s smash hit blockbuster and launched Tom Cruise as a superstar.

Complete with glossy shots of Maverick riding a motorbike into the Californian sun or assisting his love interest Penny wonderfully played by Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) steering a huge yacht off the coast of San Diego, Top Gun: Maverick works as a glossy and sleek homage to the 1980’s action film and a tribute to military aviation, which does not disappoint. In fact it glows in admiration at the courage and spectacle of fighter jets doing dog fights across icy landscapes.

As a film and a fitting sequel to the original, Top Gun: Maverick excels on every level and shines through as Tom Cruise’s passion project a film that he had to get made right and with the correct co-stars.

All the supporting cast of Top Gun: Maverick are superb including Oscar nominee Ed Harris (Pollock) as Chester Cain, Jon Hamm as Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson, actor Bill Pullman’s son Lewis Pullman as Lt Robert “Bob” Floyd and of course the other alpha male of the squadron Glen Powell as Lt Jake “Hangerman” Seresin.

Audiences should watch the original film first, however Top Gun: Maverick is equally thrilling providing a stand alone big screen spectacle of flying, action and tension seldom seen in 21st century cinema.

Saturated with golden Californian sunshine and a huge dash of nostalgia, Top Gun: Maverick is a brilliant aviation film and will certainly keep audiences engaged especially in the last section of the film as Maverick and the young Rooster land in enemy territory.

As an adrenalin fuelled fighter jet action film, Top Gun: Maverick gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is highly recommended viewing only to be appreciated on the big screen.  

Our Own Private World

The Guernsey Literary &

Potato Peel Pie Society

Director: Mike Newell

Cast: Lily James, Glen Powell, Matthew Goode, Tom Courtenay, Michiel Huisman, Penelope Wilton, Jessica Brown Findlay, Nicolo Pasetti

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has to be one of the longest names for a film ever. Yet despite its convoluted title is a richly rewarding film directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral).

At the centre of this extraordinary tale set during and immediately after World War II in London and in Guernsey is a remarkable performance by British star Lily James as writer Juliet Ashton who discovers that the population of Guernsey have so immensely courageous World War stories to tell during the German occupation of this island.

In fact, not only did they survive the war, the close knit community even formed a literary and potato peel pie society – a private world whereby a small group of book lovers could discuss English literature from Shakespeare to the Bronte sisters over an extraordinary dish a potato peel pie, made without butter or cream.

In the midst of the private literary society is a mystery which Juliet Ashton uncovers about one of Guernsey’s more infamous residents Elizabeth McKenna wonderfully played with daring bravado by Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay (Victor Frankenstein).

Members of this private literary society include the dashing pig farmer Dawsey Adams played by Dutch heartthrob Michiel Huisman from Game of Thrones fame, Amelia Maugery played by Penelope Wilton (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Eben Ramsey played by Oscar nominee Tom Courtenay (The Golden Compass, Nicholas Nickleby, Doctor Zhivago, The Dresser).

Juliet’s extravagant and confident American boyfriend is played by Glen Powell (Hidden Figures, Expendables 3), by what really makes The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society so fascinating is the layered historical story it tells about the inhabitants of the Channel Islands during the German Occupation.

Without giving the story away, this is a richly rewarding British war film held together by a strong classically trained cast, superbly directed by Mike Newell.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society gets a film rating of 8 out of 10 and is highly recommended viewing for lovers of uniquely British historical war films.

Old Dogs of War

The Expendables 3

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Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer, Dolph Lundgren, Victor Ortiz, Terry Crews, Glen Powell, Ronda Rousey, Randy Coutoure, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Randy Coutoure

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Sylvester Stallone reunites with all his 80’s action hero stars for a reminiscent action adventure film culminating in Zorro, the guy from Lethal Weapon along with Arnie, Indiana Jones and of course Rambo all fighting it out on the big screen.

The Expendables 3 is a fun action romp with lots of old and new cast members following on the success of the two previous films which basically gave a very flimsy premise for all these aged action stars to have an onscreen reunion amidst blowing everything in sight. The fact that all 3 Expendables movies is always released on South African screen during woman’s month is ironic to say the least. One has to satisfy the male population some how.

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Stallone plays Barney with Jason Statham as Lee Christmas who along with the rest of the Expendables cast add some new younger and savvy crew led by the cocky Smilee played by a buffed up Kellan Lutz who has come along way from the Twilight Days. Together both crews set out to destroy the evil and manic arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks, wonderfully played by Mel Gibson, a former Expendables co founder and now nefarious and ruthless criminal with a penchant for expensive art.

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As the action moves swiftly from all the usual international honeymoon spots like Mogadishu, Somalia to Armenia, (actually Bulgaria) in the film, The Expendables 3 does not pretend to be anything more than popcorn fodder with loads of action some witty one liners and a flimsy plot thrown in. Its also a fantastic chance for Wesley Snipes (The Blade Trilogy) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator) to redeem their forsaken Hollywood careers along with Antonio Banderas (The Legend of Zorro) and more importantly Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon).

The real question is what was Harrison Ford doing in a film like this? Surely he made enough money as Indiana Jones or is this a revival pending the next Star Wars Trilogy where Ford is rumored to reprise his role as Han Solo (40 years on!)

The Expendables 3 is great entertainment if viewers enjoy a bunch of old dogs of cinema blowing things up and getting the bad guys. There are some amazing stunts, the narrative is flimsy punctuated by some hilarious moments provided by Banderas, Snipes and of course Oscar Winner Mel Gibson.

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It is also evident that clearly the 2008 economic recession is still affecting Hollywood if all these actors from the eighties and nineties still need to take part in sequels. The main thing is, at least they haven’t retired and are still entertaining audiences 30 years later as the cinema was packed when watching this action flick. Recommended viewing for serious action stars and clearly not aimed at female audiences despite the presence of female wrestler Rhonda Rousey who adds some glamour to this aged group of bandits.

Watch out for Kelsey Grammer (last seen in Transformers: Age of Extinction) as Bonaparte, a sort of mercenary recruiter who is always good value.

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