‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Is Why We Go to the Theater

He’s old, he’s problematic, but goddammit he’s the only man for the job.

There’s nothing Tom Cruise can’t do at this stage. I’m saying that partly because I don’t wanna goad him any further. Mans got a death wish enough as it is, and god love him. He’s COMMITTED to putting us on the edge of our seats like nobody else in the business, and Top Gun: Maverick might be Cruise’s finest thesis on the cinematic roller coaster front. It’s an adrenaline rush unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in the theater. This thing banks harder than a motherfucker, makes the Star Wars trench run look like a 25¢ kiddie ride, and does laps around the current superhero landscape at 10x the speed of sound. Top Gun: Maverick nods to a bygone era of thrill-seeking action movies and reassures that those good ole glory days haven’t gone bye bye just yet.

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‘The Scorpion King’ – An Action Star Was Born

Take a stroll back in time with me. It’s 2001, you’re nine years old, and you’re seated for The Mummy Returns. You were an unexpected fan of the first one, even though The Mummy was pretty scary for you at times, but oh so much rollicking fun. Brendan Fraser became your Indiana Jones, you had a crush on Rachel Weisz, and this is all you want more of in a sequel. Then the movie starts and you see another hero you’ve been watching on Monday nights, one who were a different kind of tights.

That’s right, I’m talking about The Rock. Not yet Dwayne Johnson, not quite a movie star then.

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The Matrix Reloaded vs. Tenet – Highway Chase

IT’S MATRIX RESURRECTIONS WEEK Y’ALL!!!!!

This is my Star Wars or Star Trek or whatever sci-fi franchise have you. Instead of lightsabers and spaceships, it’s nothing but dope shades, high-flying kung fu, and Rage Against the Machine babyyyyy. I’m celebrating the return of a monumental franchise by taking a misty-eyed look back on all of my favorite things from The Matrix trilogy. First up, The Matrix Reloaded’s bonkers highway chase.

It’s such a ballsy set-piece 18 years later that I found myself wondering, “why hasn’t anything else come close?” But something has come close, or at least aspired to those ridiculous live-action heights: Tenet’s own forward-reverse highway chase.

I’m gonna have a little fun here by pitting the two against each other in a comparison game. Matrix Reloaded vs. Tenet. The Wachowskis vs. one Christopher Nolan. Who will win? Buckle up.

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‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Review – A Thrilling Martial Arts Odyssey

How the hell do you introduce a new superhero this far into the Marvel game? This is something the MCU has to contend with as the roster gets bigger, and Shang-Chi is the newest member post-Endgame. For one, you stack the right talent: director Destin Daniel Cretton at the helm, a storied action cinematographer in Bill Pope, the late Brad Allan as fight choreographer, along with a dizzying who’s who of a predominantly Asian cast. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings may be burdened with the standard grooves of an origin story, but it blazes past the stumbling block to the tune of a martial arts action romp.

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Hard Boiled, Or How I Met Tony Leung

I’ve been hyped for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for many reasons: director Destin Daniel Cretton at the helm, Bill Pope as cinematographer (The Matrix trilogy & Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and former Jackie Chan pupils Andy Cheng and the late Brad Allan serving as the film’s fight choreographers. All this talent on board to help bring Marvel’s first Asian superhero to life, with a proper ensemble that includes OG martial arts ass-kicker Michelle Yeoh.

I was all in before the trailers, baby.

Respectfully, the film’s biggest flex for me came from the casting of Tony Leung as the villain. That’s a hell of a way to get me to root against the hero.

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