Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Movie Review: Baggage Claim (PG13 – 96 minutes)

The romantic comedy is the most formulaic movie genre in existence.  That is not necessarily a bad thing; a rom-com is not a movie where you want the filmmakers to tinker with the 'happy ever after'.  You want the girl and guy to meet, to fall for each other, to encounter that major obstacle, then to beat that obstacle right at the end at the last minute and realize they are meant to be together forever.  If you want to see that spoofed rent Date Movie - it's not great, but it may make you chuckle a few times.

The problem I have with rom-coms is one I have stated many times before, they are (at best) insistent that a woman will never be happy while she is single; and (at worst), insulting in assuming that all women think about is weddings and babies.  There are some well-done rom-coms out there, and some that are genuinely funny.  Return to Me is my favorite, and Think Like A Man is a recent really good ensemble piece.

There are also those that are hugely terrible and insulting; the best example of that is He’s Just Not That Into You.

David Talbert is a playwright, filmmaker and novelist from the Tyler Perry if-they-say-no-to-your-script-then-make-it-on-your-own school of movie making.  I love this method, and it can help get some smaller projects to the screen.  He wrote the book Baggage Claim in 2005, and has now directed it to the screen. 

The story centers around Montana Moore, who has been a bridesmaid at all 5 of her mother’s weddings, and just learned that her younger sister is getting married.  With great pressure from her mother ("You're not really a 'lady' if you're not married by 30" - guess I'm not a lady), she vows to not go to her little sister’s wedding alone.  Hoping to help her out, her friends conspire to help her ‘run into’ all of her old flames, to see which have matured into possible husband material.  Seeing as how she is a flight attendant, and apparently met all of her past boyfriends on flights, they arrange to find how when and how each of the exes are flying, and get Montana on that flight.  They plan is exceptionally convoluted, but does ensure that some hijinks ensue.

  • Paula Patton led other rom-coms, most recently Jumping the Broom.  She also played the bitchy best friend in a Queen Latifah rom-com, Just Wright.  She is capable in this, but on the whole, I felt like her performance was a bit forced.  She was fine, but when the supporting cast was so much more fun, it was easy to look past her.  It seems that a lot of her acting is in her eyebrows.  She did a good job being frustrated by her situation, especially when dealing with her overbearing mother.  I actually liked her better in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  I thought she was better in that.

  • Derek Luke plays the handsome neighbor/best friend who Montana has known all her life.  He’s always been there for her, and once proposed to her using a ring he got in a Cracker Jack box when they were in elementary school.  He’s got a girlfriend (who is a bit shady), so Montana does not consider him as an option.  Unlike the audience, she misses the super-subtle point of his last name being Wright.  He’s literally her Mr. Right.  Spoilers (sort of), they predictably realize they are meant for each other.  He’s very good in this, but I loved him in Captain America.  He was also in Antwone Fisher, and Friday Night Lights (movie not TV show) and played Puff Daddy in the Notorious BIG biopic.

  • Christina Milian, who is now on Dancing with the Stars, plays Mr. Wright’s girlfriend, Taylor.  She has just a few scenes, but is actually very good in those moments, particularly in once where she hangs up on Montana.

  • Taye Diggs plays Langston, one of the exes who has become a Congressman.  Diggs is amazing all the time, and brings a super-smarmy politician sleeze to this role.  He seems to really be having fun in this movie.  He’s done a lot of really fun things in his career – which of course, started in musical theater (he’s one of the original Rent cast members).  A few of my favorites from his list are:  The Best Man, Malibu’s Most Wanted (seriously, rent that again – it’s funny!), Chicago, and the fantastic TV series Daybreak – which you can rent, and you should.    Then there’s this bit of genius:

    • Boris Kodjoe (most recently from the Resident Evil movies) plays the current sort-of boyfriend of Montana.  She spends a wonderful weekend with him, only to discover that he’s not all that he’s cracked up to be.  Boris is stunning, and did get a slow-motion shirt un-buttoning scene that caused ecstatic squeals from all the women in the completely full theater that I saw this movie in, and yes – I was also squealing – he’s just too sexy to handle, especially in slow motion.  Patton does get some really funny scenes as she stalks outside his house.

    • Trey Songz (Tremaine Neverson) has already done one other movie, Texas Chainsaw 3D, so this was not his first acting experience.  Although, I have to say, I felt like he was basically playing himself.

    • Jill Scott was wonderful as best friend Gail.  She is the stereotypical best friend in a rom-com, so she’s sassy and over-sexed.  Scott does bring a freshness to the movie, and her sassy does compliment Patton's moping very nicely.

    • Adam Brody from the O.C. and Mr. and Mrs. Smith plays the other best friend, Sam.  He is good in this and some of the best scenes are with the three of them hanging out.  I do wish there were more of those scenes in the movie. 
    • Jenifer Lewis plays the aforementioned overbearing mother.  She’s excellent, but I feel like I’ve seen her play this exact role before – in Think Like A Man.  She’s very good, and has some really funny side bits of business, like coming over to borrow earrings that she bought for Montana.  It is a little disturbing how insistent she is that her daughters’ worth is determined by the men they marry, and that does make her final speech feel a bit sudden and inconsistent for her character.

    • Djimon Hounsou plays Quinton, another of the exes.  This is the first time since that Janet Jackson video that I think I have seen him without facial hair.  He’s great, and smooth, and just wants to take Montana around the world traveling.  His character is very clear in what he wants, and what he can provide, and would have been hard to pass up.
    In case you forgot - here's that video, in which he looks amazing.

    • Lauren London plays the younger sister, Sheree, who has almost no scenes but does well in the few she has, especially right at the end.

    The movie is already doing well, it was made with a budget 8.5 million, and opened with 9.3 million.  It is a solid rom-com.  I of course, wanted the movie to end with Montana realizing that she did not need a man to complete her life, despite what her mother and sister do/say.  I wanted her to determine that she was capable of finding happiness on her own, that love would arrive on its own schedule, and that single women can be happy.  Essentially, she makes that realization, but you know rom-coms don’t end that way, so it’s short-lived.  The happy, single woman does not exist in the rom-com universe.  Oh well, at least the movie is fun!

    7 out of 10:  Gained points for Jill Scott – she was awesome.  Lost points for Montana spending way too much time whining about being single (like every woman at the center of every rom-com).  Gained points for that slo-mo Boris Kodjoe shot, I will rent the DVD to just play that bit over and over.  Lost points for Jenifer Lewis being either under-used or one-note, can’t figure out whose fault that is.  Gained points for Taye Diggs being awesome, and Juicy the dog.

    Bonus Video 1:  Dylan Dog featuring vampire Taye Diggs

    Bonus Video 2:  My favorite Jill Scott song

    Bonus Video 3:  In case you forgot (how could you), Patton is married to Robin Thicke, and was in his big hit video - Lost Without You:

    Bonus Video 4:  Cast Interviews!

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    Retro Movie Review: Ninja Assassin (R- 99 minutes)

    Here's another old review I'm pulling up for your enjoyment of another movie gem that was probably missed.  Check it out now that you can stream it somewhere.  Originally written 11/20/09.

    I have always loved the bad ninja movies from the 80s.  There was a time when the Ninja was the go to action villain.  My favorites were the American Ninja series - starring Michael Dudikoff and Steve James (not number 3, because he wasn't in that one, just 1,2 and 4).  Incidentally, the entire first movie is on You tube, it's only 83 minutes, check it out.  Here is the beach fight scene from American Ninja 2, featuring a beautiful beach, Dudikoff in a short wetsuit, and James in red trunks, oh, and piles of ninjas.

    How to update that genre?  Well, you make it slicker, faster, 3D, and really pour on the fake blood.

    Ninja Assassin is a new movie made by people like me, who love those old terrible ninja movies, but who have more money for better effects and gallons and gallons of fake blood. The Wachowski siblings produced it, and they have a very hit and miss past with me (loved the Matrix, but not the sequels, liked V for Vendetta - didn't bother with Speed Racer).  It's directed by James Mcteigue (he seems to be a Wachowski property, having previously directed Matrix Revolutions, and Speed Racer).  

    I will go ahead and sum up the plot for you, but you don’t really need me to; you can figure it out by the title.  An orphaned young boy gets adopted by a ninja clan and trained as an assassin.  He meets a girl, then watches his nemesis kill the girl, causing him to break from his clan.  Saddened and alone, he begins hunting them as they hunt him.  He then meets an Interpol agent who helps him.  So the title works on two levels:  he's a ninja assassin, and also an assassin of ninjas!  It's so clever!

    • The Ninja in question is played by Rain - yes, just Rain - a stunning Korean pop star, who hasn't done much of anything here, but is apparently a giant k-pop star.  

    • The Interpol agent is played by Naomie Harris from 28 Days Later, Miami Vice and Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3.  The curious thing is that she's British and in this movie for some reason, she plays American, even though she's playing an Interpol agent, which is an international organization, so it would make sense for her character to be British.  Things like that weird me out, just let her use her own accent!

    • Sung Kang from the Fast/Furious series (he was killed in Tokyo Drift, but was definitely in Fast Four earlier this year) plays Hollywood.  He has basically a cameo in the very beginning.  

    • The ever beautiful Rick Yune shows up for 10 minutes at the end as the nemesis just to up the quotient of handsome Korean men in the movie.

    The action is incredible, there is a fight scene every five minutes and they are all interesting.  They seriously used gallons and gallons of fake blood, and that's not counting all the CGI fake blood, which was probably hundreds of virtual gallons.  It was an absolute kick, super fun, and a way to reinvigorate the ninja genre and make them cool and scary again - after various turtles and power rangers made them all cute and cuddly. Hooray for ninjas! 

    9 out of 10. Gained points for bringing the heart on the wrong side thing from the first scene back at the end, even though you knew they would.  Lost a point for the accent thing, that's a weird issue i have.  Gained points for Rain being just Rain, and lost points for not enough Rick Yune.
    Bonus Video 1:  Rain music videos

    Bonus Video 2:  More American Ninja
    Bonus Video 3:  Cast Interviews:

    Friday, September 20, 2013

    Retro Movie Review: Man on a Ledge (PG13 – 102 minutes)

    Here’s another old review I found in the depths of my Facebook page.  This was a good little movie that I think a lot of people missed.  Read on, then check out this movie on Netflix.  This was originally written on February 23rd, 2012.  Enjoy!

    Maybe you were like me, saw the trailers for this movie and thought, "But I saw 'Phone Booth' and it really was 90 minutes of Colin Farrell stuck in a phone booth while Keifer Sutherland harasses him on the phone. I am not going to see a movie that is 90 minutes of Sam Worthington on a ledge while Elizabeth Banks chats him up."  Okay - admittedly a justified reaction to the original trailer.  What got me interested were the later commercials that showed there would clearly be other things happening, not just ledge-work and chatting.  This movie is a simple action-heist 90 minute popcorn-fest.  It's not complicated, it's not heavy, and it has a neat little twist at the end. 

    In terms of plot summary, Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, an ex-cop and current escaped convict who gets a fancy hotel room in New York City, then threatens to jump to his death unless Elizabeth Banks's negotiator cop shows up. Eventually Ed Burns as another negotiator cop and Anthony Mackie as Worthington’s ex-partner show up to make the situation more difficult.  The whole thing is one part attempt to prove his innocence and one part cover for his brother (Jamie Bell) and his brother's girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) stealing something from Ed Harris's generic evil banker-type in the next building over. 

    The movie is directed by Asger Leth - who has previous directed The Five Obstructions and Ghosts of Cite de Soleil (what?).  He does a good job with this movie.  Once it gets going, it stays going, maintaining a brisk pace all the way through.  I found myself very into the story and not sure where it would go next. 

    • Worthington is the same as he usually is - wooden.  Although I will say that he seemed to be a little more loose and relaxed in this movie than I have seen him lately.  I am sure I will recant that statement when Wrath of the Titans comes out later this year.  He does spend most of the movie on that ledge, yelling and bargaining and stalling.  I have to say, I’m not entirely sure how they shot this, but he really seems to be on that ledge.

    • Elizabeth Banks was better than you expect.  She always is, and I think she’s more talented than anyone is giving her credit for.  However, if you want to see her at her best - rent The Next Three Days.
    • Jamie Bell steals most of this movie as he does almost everything he's in.  He is incredibly watchable - and almost hid his accent through the whole piece, though since both he and Worthington struggled a bit with that, it just made them seem more like brothers. 

    • Genesis Rodriguez doesn’t have much to do but be sassy, which she is pretty good at.  Previous to this movie, she has done a bunch of Entourage episodes. 
    • Anthony Mackie was very good, and continues to be good in everything I see him in.  He did steal the pieces of the movie that Jamie Bell missed. He shows up to be supportive for his ex-partner…or does he?
    • Ed Burns plays the other negotiator, who is not convinced that Elizabeth Banks is the correct negotiator for the case, but since the guy on the ledge is asking for her, he gets her.  He’s very New York irish-y, and always great.  Check out Confidence if you haven’t seen it.
    • Ed Harris's villian was the same as all the current wall-street type banker villians that are the current go-to bad guys.  

    All in all - I really enjoyed this movie! The scenes on the ledge are nerve-wracking and will keep your heart rate accelerated, especially if you have any vertigo issues. The action sequences, chase scenes, and the heist piece are all well done and exciting.   It was short, small, low-key in its marketing, and didn't make any promises it didn't live up to, which makes me happy!

    7 out of 10 – Gained points for Jamie Bell, lost points for Genesis Rodriguez being nearly naked for no reason.  Gained points for the big ending twist, but lost points because I picked up on it very early on - but if you're not as big a fan of Bill and Ted 2nd Excellent Adventure (where they play games with Death), and Die Hard 2 as I am - then you won't pick up on the twist, and the end will really surprise you!
    Bonus Video 1:  Phone Booth

    Bonus Video 2:  Elizabeth Banks in The Next Three Days

    Bonus Video 3:  Ed Burns in Confidence

    Bonus Video 4: Cast interviews:

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Movie Review: Riddick (R – 119 minutes)

    Pitch Black was a little small budget sci-fi movie released in 2000 that was directed by David Twohy.  It was a simple story of a transport ship that crashed on deserted planet.  The survivors include a cop and the prisoner he is transporting who has had eye surgery to allow him to see in the dark.  This becomes very useful when the planet enters into a month-long eclipse, releasing dangerous predators that only come out in the dark.  The survivors struggle to find power cells for their ship to get off the planet, and not get eaten in the process.  Also – Cole Hauser shoots up in his tear duct, for real.

    It felt unique and intimate, and was a surprising success because it was made for so little.  It also helped propel Vin Diesel into pop culture awareness.  He had certainly been around before then, appearing in various films (Saving Private Ryan) and working on passion projects (he founded his production company, One Race Films, in 1995).  Pitch Black was the perfect project for this larger-than-life action star who then rocketed to success with The Fast and the Furious in the next year (2001).  The intimate and uniqueness of Pitch Black was wiped away by the complete mess that was Chronicles of Riddick (2004).

    The movie simply out-stretched itself, trying too hard to be too much.  The best part of it was Karl Urban’s performance as Vaako.  Riddick bumbles around the universe, trying to get home to Furya.  In the process, he stumbles across the girl he met in Pitch Black, a bunch of necromancers, and Judi Dench as some sort of wind-person.  I really cannot explain the plot more than that.  It made no sense.  By the end, the girl had died, and Riddick was on the throne.  The movie left such a sour taste in fans’ mouths that it has taken 9 years to make another one.  

    In the meantime, Vin made a couple of kids movies, some serious movies, and mostly over-the-top action movies.  Some were good, and some were not.  XXX was terrible, A Man Apart was boring, and the Pacifier was a little insulting.  Once he got back behind the wheel of a Fast/Furious Car with Fast Four (Fast and Furious), things started to look up.  Fast Five was incredible, and this spring’s Fast Six was completely ridiculous, but left me crazy excited for Fast Seven, due next year. 

    For Riddick, David Twohy is back on board, and attempts to bring back the intimate feel of the original.  We find Riddick where we left him, on the throne, but miserable.  He still just wants to get home to Furya.  He sets out with some troops, but surprise! They betray him and maroon him on a hostile, mostly barren world.  

    He contemplates some things, does some monologue-ing, and basically decides that the mistake he made was getting civilized, and it’s now time to get back to being feral.  He battles some vicious creatures that live on the planet, learning how to defeat a particularly nasty water-dwelling poisonous serpent deal while befriending a dog-like stripey jackal thing.  He sets out across the planet with his domesticated jackal at his side, when he finds a bounty hunter station.  He seems content to ignore it, until he notices some storms heading in.  That’s no big deal, except the storms wet the ground, and when the ground gets wet, more of those creepy serpent deals (which were hibernating underground) come out to play. 

     He sets off a beacon, knowing it will bring in a team of bounty hunters to him, so he can take their ship and head home.  Sure enough, not one but two teams of bounty hunters arrive.  The first is a rag-tag group of shifty-looking guys, with more firepower than brains.  The second group is a bunch of well-trained professional mercenaries.  The leader of the mercenary group has been hunting Riddick for quite some time, for personal reasons.  The two groups fight each other for a while, until Riddick starts taking them out one at a time, and they decide to ‘work’ together.  Riddick and his Jackal (warning: do not get too attached to the Jackal – sniffle) hold them off for a while, but then the storm gets closer, and he moves in, needing to get off the planet.

    The cast in this is pretty fun:
    • Vin Diesel again plays Riddick, and while he is absolutely Dom Toretto, he’s also absolutely Riddick.  He’s quietly rumbly and dangerous.  Whether or not you love him as an actor – you can love him in this role.  The see-in-the-dark eyes are still creepy, so the goggles and tank-top are beginning to make for an iconic profile. 

    • Jordi Molla (who I remember from Columbiana) plays the head of the less organized bounty hunter squad.  He’s slimy and creepy and quite a bit evil.  He’s also the reason you should not get too attached to the Jackal, which is the reason I don’t mind telling you that his end is fittingly gruesome.

    • Matt Nable plays the head of the organized merc squad.  He’s grim and determined, and has a personal reason for tracking down Riddick, which I thought played pretty well.  He’s an Australian and a former pro-rugby player whose physicality really suits this role.  I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything else, but I was pretty impressed by him in this.

    • Katee Sackhoff (new Starbuck) plays Dahl, and is the only female in the movie, aside from a bunch of naked concubines in the beginning when Riddick is still ruling, and one escaped convict who lasts about 23 seconds (played by singer Keri Hilson – why?).  You’ve probably heard she’s topless in this – and it’s pretty pointless, so that was irritating.  She does hold her own, and is swiftly becoming one of the go-to tough chicks in movies today (thank goodness, I’m sure Michelle Rodriguez and Zoe Saldana were getting tired).  She is a bit one-note in this, but that one note is badass, which she does well.  I would like to throw her in the ring as Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) for the Marvel universe movies; she’d be perfect for that.

    • Dave Bautista continues to add to his acting resume by playing Diaz, one of the bad bounty hunters.  He’s quietly becoming very good, and I cannot wait to see him in Guardians of the Galaxy.  It’s not that he gets to show any talent in this, he’s basically a henchman, but he makes the most of the small moments he has.

    • Bokeem Woodbine surprisingly appears as one of the professional mercenaries.  He has even less to do – his only major scene involves getting snuck-up-on by Riddick, then being shocked about it. 
    • Karl Urban does reprise his role as Vaako for one scene, and that wasn’t nearly enough Urban for me, but I’m sure he’s busy hopefully preparing a Dredd sequel, and prepping for another average Star Trek outing. 

    Overall, it was very fun, very over-the-top, and much closer to the original Pitch Black then to the terrible Chronicles of Riddick.  The effects were well done, and the creatures were interesting.  It’s worth checking out, just make sure to leave your brain at the door.  One thing that did really annoy me was the constant hitting-on of Sackhoff’s Dahl.  I get that she’s the only woman on the planet, but really guys?  Everyone has to threaten to rape her?  She beats the shit out of Molla’s character repeatedly and he continues to insinuate he’s going to hit that.  Even Riddick makes a few unnecessary comments when he encounters the whole group.  That was disappointing.  It’s the future, clearly she’s a capable soldier,  back off that nonsense.  It will be interesting to see if Riddick gets to Furya, and what exactly that place is like.

    8 out of 10.  Gained points for Riddick standing naked on a cliff in the distance during sunset.  Very introspective, and symbolic, since he states it’s time for him to lose civilization and get back to being primal.  Lost points for Dahl being topless while prepping for a mission, no symbolism there, just a PTS.  Gained points for the Jackal, that thing had really cool ears.  Lost points for losing him (he was protecting Riddick).  Gained points for Dave.  Lost points for everyone aggressively hitting on Dahl – including Riddick. Ick.

    Bonus Video 1:  The Big Hit – Bokeem Woodbine at his weirdest…and the most insane performance from LDP you will ever see.

    Bonus Video 2:  The Pacifier trailer, if you haven’t seen this…you’re lucky.

    Bonus Video 3:  Fast 6, come on – it was awesome.

    Bonus Video 4:  Cast Interviews:

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Retro Movie Review: Haywire (R – 93 minutes) originally written January 22nd, 2012.

    Here’s another old review I found, for a movie I really liked that is now instant streaming in most places – check it out if you haven’t seen it!

    Here's something you may not know...January and the early part of February is (for the most part) used by movie production companies as a dumping ground.  People are recovering from the holidays, don't have much money, and don't go to the movies as much.  Also - it's awards season, so the companies have either re-released or are still pushing everything that has been nominated, most of those movies were just released in late December, and now have awards-season buzz, so have a little more 'legs'.  So anytime something is a new release in January - you shouldn't have high hopes.   Season of the Witch, The Mechanic, and the Green Hornet were all in early last year, and Legion was the year before. 

    Now, if you enjoy cheesy bad movies (like I do - I'm watching Snow Beast on SyFy as I type, and it is delightfully terrible) this is all good news for you, and remember, just because the production company has no faith in it, does not mean it won't be popular with the general audience.  I just can't think of any examples right now.  So, last weekend was Contraband, this weekend saw the release of Haywire, Red Tails, and Underworld: Awakening, and next weekend is Man On A Ledge.  

    It is surprising to find Haywire in January - on paper, it should be excellent.  It is directed by Steven Soderbergh (Contagion, The Informant, Oceans 11,12,13, Traffic, Out of Sight, Solaris, The Good German) and has a really impressive supporting cast:  Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, and Channing Tatum.  Apparently Soderbergh saw MMA star Gina Carano fighting and decided to craft a movie around her.  Previous to this movie - her only on-camera work was the televised fights she had, and a stint as "Crush" on the re-vamp of American Gladiators.  So her acting experience is basically nothing.  In this movie she plays an ex-marine who is currently working for a privately contracted security group. 

    As far as the plot - she gets betrayed by her employer and looks for revenge.  Simple and sweet.  In fact, Jimmy Fallon described it as a Charles Bronson style movie.  Carano excels at the action sequences - any extended dialogue, and her lack of acting experience shows.  The movie is very slick and very deliberate, to the point of being slow in the beginning. The music is strange, and seems to distract from the movie early on, but then starts to fit in an odd way.  The coloring is very deliberate as well, reminding me of Traffic - how each color represents a different area.  The fight sequences are all very well done - and feel very real - no big flashy martial arts, just concise MMA takedown actions. 

    All the cast surrounding Carano are very good - as to be expected. 
    • Carano plays Mallory Kane and could easily have a future in movies, she looked completely at ease in all the action sequences, and with practice, could eventually look at ease in talky sequences.  I have to say that it was really fantastic to have a female character who is strong just because without an elaborate man-related reason.  She was a marine - period. 
    • Channing Tatum has a small role as Aaron, and proves once again that there is more to him that you think there is.  He’s certainly capable, and while he has very little to do, he seems very natural.

    • Michael Douglas is always good, and plays Alex Coblenz who seems to be the head of the CIA or some other government agency.  He exudes carefully crafted sleeze.
    • Antonio Banderas plays Rodrigo, and honestly, I would watch a prequel to this that explained the unique relationship between Rodrigo and Coblenz.  He’s perfect in this and has a fantastic final scene.
    • Ewan McGregor plays Kenneth, and it’s pretty understated for him, but certainly diabolical.  He manipulates those around him with a straightforward business sense.  When Kane finally tracks him down on the beach – awesome.
    • Michael Fassbender plays Paul, who is the other agent paired up with Kane for their little assignment.  There is an amazing fight sequence between the two in their hotel room.
    • The super fantastic Bill Paxton plays Bill Paxton as Kane’s father.  He has some great scenes as Kenneth’s crew track Kane to his house.

    I really enjoyed how stylized and slick-looking the movie was - but I feel like that will be polarizing - some will like it, some won't.  It also moves much slower than the commercials made it looks like it does, so that will play on audiences too.  All in all, I really liked it - so much more than I was expecting, and I liked Carano more than I was expecting as well...Maybe she will be the next Cynthia Rothrock!  And - I can get behind her as Wonder Woman...if she takes a few more acting classes! 

    8 out of 10 - really really liked it.  Taking away a point for the deer - and that kid in the car.  Added a point for Fassbender (insert penis joke here - unless you haven't seen Shame yet).  Took another point away for an unnecessary broach flashback.  We remember when he handed it to her - it was like two scenes ago!!

    Bonus Video 1: Honor and Glory is my favorite Cynthia Rothrock movie, unfortunately, I cannot find that trailer for you to be amazed by it's magnificence (sarcasm).  But here's the trailer to China O'Brien.  You get the idea.

    Bonus Video 2: ...and here's some fights from Honor and Glory, so you really get the idea. 

    Bonus Video 3:  Super Cheesy video of Carano on American Gladiators.
    Bonus Video 4:  Cast interviews