Movie Reviews

The poster art can or could be obtained from Paramount Pictures.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is the third installment in the Triple X Franchise. This go around Vin Diesel returns as the titular character after taking the second film off while Ice Cube took the reins for a film. The franchise is built on over the top action and while poking fun at the spy thriller genre. xXx was a fun popcorn flick that had a lot of enjoyment in it. State of The Union, the second film was definitely forgettable in the eyes of most. Diesel returning to the franchise had its ups and downs. While his Fast and Furious films have been on the rise, his projects outside of F&F have not been received well.

Joining Diesel in this action pack sequel is Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, and Nina Dobrev. Back again reprising their roles from previous films includes Samuel L. Jackson as NSA Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons, Ice Cube as the 2nd xXx Darius Stone. D. J. Caruso takes over the director’s duties and it was written by F. Scott Frazie

If you’ve watched the trailers for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage you pretty much know what you are getting. It is a popcorn fun over the top action film in the vein of 90s action flicks. There are one liners, unbelievable action, and a plot that makes no damn sense, and even with all that it is so much fun to watch. The film keeps you entertained from start to finish. Not because of the plot or story but because it’s just fun to shut your brain off and enjoy the ride.

I was forced to see this film in 3D, and we all know I am not the biggest fan of 3D. If you have the choice of to 3D or not to 3D, I suggest not going 3D. It did not add anything to the film, or was even really that much to it. It didn’t necessarily distract from the film, but it definitely didn’t lend anything extra to it.

This cast is pretty incredible. Maybe not in acting ability, but in the fact that it’s fun to watch these guys beat the hell out of each other. Vin Diesel is once again dialed into the Xander Cage character like he never left it. While he is very much a like when you compare Xander to Dominic Toretto, there a little differences that Diesel portrays that amount to enough to distinguish a different personality. Samuel L Jackson is of course Samuel L Jackson once again. They make some small jabs and jokes at the Avengers and his character of Nick Fury that really had me laughing.

The new comers to the film are really what make this one fun. I am pretty much in love with Ruby Rose. Her character is the over the top female badass and she drives the role perfectly. Seeing Michael Bisping take his first steps into the world of acting is pretty awesome too. They use him in a way that plays to his strengths of being a badass fighter, hiding any shortcomings he may have in his first outing. Nina Dobrev is the breakout performance though. Her quirky attitude with the right amount of humor and sexual tension aligns perfectly with the feel of this installment.

I’d be remised if I didn’t mention how awesome it is to see both Tony Jaa and Donnie Yen out there as well. These two are iconic when it comes to martial artist in film. They are on a level that few have made to. Names like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. Jaa and Yen deserve to be mentioned in that conversation. And their fight choreography in this film is just another example of that.

The film is shot pretty well. While there is not much to call “ground breaking direction” D. J. Caruso does a great job of bringing to life some killer cool action sequences. The action scenes are intense and over the top, and fun to watch. They keep you excited and entertained. And that is what we are looking for in a film like this. It is not about being enthralled in the story of the film, but just being able to watch a lot awesome action and some funny one liners. And this cast and crew brought that to life.

Jeebus Comments

Look, no one was going into xXx: Return of Xander Cage expecting an Oscar caliber film. We go to see crazy action, hot girls, and a dumb fun story. The issue is can the studio make it dumb enough to be a fun film, but not so bad that it’s Independence Day Resurgence. And in the case of xXx 3 I think they did a great job. It is fun, it is action packed, and it is just dumb fun. There is enjoyment to be had in this film if you can look passed the lack of story, and over the top acting. I gave xXx: The Return of Xander Cage a 3.3 overall, with Jeebus bonus of .3 for Ice Cube’s cameo. It would have gotten a full .5 bonus had they not put it in the trailer!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Patriots Day

In 2013 during The Boston Marathon, the longest running marathon in the United States, tragedy struck. Multiple explosions rocked the racers and bystanders near the finish line. Rather than flee, the city of Boston sprung to action. Went to help, not away. Patriots Day, the newest film from director Peter Berg tells the stories of many of the true to life individuals that were involved in this incident. The city wide man hood that too place over 4 days, and the events that lead to phenomenon that is, Boston Strong.

Patriots day stars Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, Alex Wolff, Themo Melikidze, Melissa Benoist, Jimmy O. Yang and Michelle Monaghan. For the most part the film follows behind Wahlberg as Boston Police Department Sergeant Tommy Saunders, who was a fictional character inserted into the film that revolves around the true to life events. Most of the other cast members do play true characters, and the film does an incredible job paying tribute to those we lost, and those who injured on that fateful day.

The film is shot beautifully as well. They did an incredible job not only bringing to life the city of Boston, but making it a true character in the film. It felt real, it felt legit. It made me want to be a part of that city. Not to mention Berg shot a lot of the film in a way that made it seem like actual news footage or security footage from the day of the race.

The cast was done put together perfectly. As the film ends you see the true characters and through my eyes full of tears, their actor counterparts were incredible. Not to mention the talent behind the cast. You have your heavy hitters, John Goodman and JK Simmons. And then you have your stars Like Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan. Who you know is going to turn in great performances. It is what they do. But even relative new comers Alex Wolff, Themo Melikidze, and to me the show stealer Jimmy O. Yang, have come to play. Yang plays Dun Meng, a civilian who was kidnapped and carjacked by the bombers. He brings heart, and even a good bit of comedic timing to the role.

The score is also incredible. Put together by who can now be considered a veteran of the industry, Trent Reznor. The music really adds to the intense overtones of the film. From the opening moment of the film you are on the edge of your seat. No there’s no opening action sequence that pulls you in, it’s the drama and intensity brought together by Berg’s direction mixed with Reznor’s score. Even as you just learning who these characters are, the tension builds.

I was brought to tears multiple times throughout the film. Whether it is the situation itself, the portrayal of the bravery showed by this city in tragedy, or the intensity of what I was seeing. The perfect mixture of action, comedy and heart brings us another incredible film to close out the year of 2016. The fear was that it was entirely too soon for this film to hit theaters. With less than 4 years removed from the tragic event, but personally I believe we needed this film. It shows the support and love that we are all capable of if we just ban together.  The heart and bravery portrayed on screen is incredible. In the time we live in, it is good to remember that there are good people out there. Good cops. That when it all works the way it is supposed to, we, as Americans, are capable of great fetes.

Patriots Day is a true tale of the brave people who did extraordinary things to bring two cowardly terrorist to justice. It pays tribute, and legitimately tells an inspiring story in our darkest hours we are able to rise above. The cast amazing and well put together. Anchored by an award winning caliber performance by Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg turns in his best yet, which is hard to do after his performance in Deepwater Horizon earlier this year. The story is intense and incredible. With the right amount of humor sprinkled in, the film captures the perfect mixture between action and drama. I gave Patriots Day a 4.1 overall. But I am giving it a .4 Jeebus bonus for the true to life badassness shown by these characters, and the inspiration behind them. Boston Strong. Patriots Day, a 4.5. What say you Jackass Nation? Sound off in the comments and let us know, are you excited for Patriots Day? What is your favorite Mark Wahlberg film?

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor, Paramount Pictures.

Silence

Martin Scorsese has given us some of the greatest films of all time. Each movie he makes feels like a true event. The excitement that builds for each installment in his filmography is unparalleled! I find myself dying in anticipation for The Irishman. Luckily I was given the opportunity to see his newest film, Silence. And clocking in at just a tad less than 3 hours, it is an epic tale, but as always, it is a film that keeps you locked in, until the final frame.

Silence stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Ciarán Hinds. Directed by the one and only Martin Scorsese it tells the tale of two 17th century Jesuit priests from Portugal who travel to Japan to spread their word and look for a rumored fallen priests who had mentored them. Upon entering the country they learn of the hardships it will take to keep their faith, and set the example for those who a Christians in a time and place where they persecuted for their beliefs.

The story is absolutely incredible, and plays out wonderfully. It is an adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel of the same name. It is hard to watch at times to see what these men went through for their faith and their beliefs. But it perfectly paced throughout its two hour and forty one minute runtime. Scorsese has a talent for making this films fly by. You never feel the weight of the film as you are truly engaged to everything playing out on screen.

While Scorsese can be felt throughout the film, it not your average Marty Scorsese film. There’s not De Nero, no Pacino, no DiCaprio. The editing is different, it feels different. Scorsese has said that this film was a passion project of his for over 25 years. He felt he wasn’t ready to make it until now. I couldn’t be happier of the time he took to develop it. The cinematography is absolutely stunning. It is a beautifully shot film. Marty is joined by once again by his Wolf of Wall Street cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto. Who does a phenomenal job bringing this film to life?

Everyone in this film is absolutely incredible. From Yōsuke Kubozuka, all the way up to Andrew Garfield. Kubozuka makes up for the majority of a comedy in the film. The character is well written and performed perfectly. Adam Driver as well is proving while he is a force to be reckoned with. Liam Neeson does an awesome as only Liam Neeson can do. But by the far, the stand out of this film is Andrew Garfield. Garfield turns in his second Oscar caliber performance of the year, and if he does not get nominated for one of his 2016 films it will truly be a travesty.

Honestly Silence is pretty damn enthralling. From its performances, to the story, to the absolutely stunning cinematography. Scorsese has always had such a talent in making films, and his ability to make such epics, that feel like they run so quickly. A departure from his norm, but still a Scorsese feel to it. I’m giving Silence a score of 4.4, and a Jeebus Bonus of .4 for Garfield’s performance. That gives us a Jeebus Score of 4.8! But what say you Jackass Nation? What is your favorite Martin Scorsese film? Are you excited for Silence? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor.

Moana

Over the years Disney has produced some of the greatest animated films ever. And this year they may have given us one of their best. A heartfelt and fun family film. The music is incredible, and the story is awesome.

Moana tells the story of an island “princess” named Moana, voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, who is destined to be more than just her village’s Chief as her father wants her to be. Her grandmother supports her and with her motivation she sails off to find the great Demi God Maui, voiced by The Rock, and force him to set the world right. Along their adventure they are forced to deal with pirates, and having to learn to work together to restore the world.

The cast is absolutely phenomenal! Auli’i Cravalho is a new comer whose name I cannot pronounce, however we all better learn it, and learn it well. Because she is a star. Not only an incredible singing voice, but she brings this character to life through her personality. She had a pretty big task ahead of her. For this movie rest on her shoulders, and her ability to go toe to toe with The Rock. The Rock is one the biggest forces in the world right now. And he truly shines as the Demi God Maui. While when he first comes on scene you hear The Rock, by the time his musical number concludes, he is Maui. These two are incredible together.

The story is pretty paint by numbers, however they do such a good job with the characters that you don’t really notice the usual Disney Tropes. The journey through the story is so well done, that it doesn’t truly hurt the film. The musical numbers are used in such a way to push the story forward and give you great exposition that could’ve come off as unwanted. But because they are so well written they make the story work.

Speaking of the music, it is absolutely incredible. While the film came out awhile back and I am a little late to the party, I am surprised we did not get “Let It Go-ed” with a few of these different musical numbers. I came out loving nearly every song. Immediately YouTubing the songs they are some of the catchiest numbers Disney has ever given us.

The visuals are absolutely stunning! Some of the shots on the ocean I could not believe that they were animated. It was beautiful. Made me want to go to a beach and forget this crazy city life I live. The characters were all done with great detail and fit to their voices so well.

I had a few issues with the film, most of them being a random musical number done by a giant sparling crab voiced by Jermaine Clement. The number and scene just did not seem to fit in the film and I was kind of taken out of it. Another issue I had was with I felt to be a random pointless character. Heihei, Moana’s pet rooster, who even director Ron Clements described as “the dumbest character in the history of Disney animation.” I really feel the film wouldn’t be missing a thing if that character had just been taken out altogether. Or maybe replaced by Moana’s other pet, a little pig.

Other than that the film is so much fun, and I truly enjoyed the music and story. I am giving Moana a score of 3.9 with a .4 bonus for the music. That gives it a Jeebus Score of 4.3! Now I ask you Jackass Nation, have you seen Moana yet? What is your favorite Disney song! Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

http://www.impawards.com/2016/doctor_strange_ver3.html

The London Sanctorum has fallen, I am here to Bargain

Well Marvel is back at it again. In 2008 they launched Iron Man. At the time a little known B Character to the majority of movie going audiences. And it was a massive hit. In 2011 they brought us Thor. Another unknown hero that once again was a hit. The in 2012 they did something none of us ever thought we would see. They brought together Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye on the big screen in a live action vision of The Avengers. But it did not end there. They made Ant Man a house hold name. And now they look to do the same with another of their long lived, but relative unknown, Doctor Strange.

The new film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton. It is directed by Scott Derrickson. The story follows world renowned neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch). After a tragic car accident he loses the use of his hands. He depletes all his options, until he is shown a new way. A way through the mystical Arts. Strange begins a journey to be the Sorcerer Supreme, but is confronted with an even more powerful being that threatens the fabric of reality.

First off, Marvel has done it again. They have done such a good job at bringing another character to life and into his public eye in a way that the majority of the movie going audiences will be able to get behind! While the history and story behind Doctor Strange is not easy to grasp, the film does very well at bringing it together pretty easy and pretty quickly.

First off the cast is all very functional. No that’s not a bad thing. They all do a great job. They bring the characters to life. What I mean by functional goes along with my thoughts of Thor and Iron Man, when I see RDJ, I see Tony Stark, when I see Hemsworth, I see Thor. I refer to them as those characters. When I see Cumberbatch, I’m still going to refer to him as Cumberbatch. And that is not a knock on him or the film. He is really good in this movie. It’s just not an iconic performance that he disappears into.

There was a lot of controversy behind the casting of Tilda Swinton, and I will say she was great in the role, but again, it was not an iconic performance. You could have casted someone closer to the characters Asian descent. But she was still good in the role. Rachel McAdams was also a good edition to the cast, but my favorite was Benedict Wong. Now he didn’t do anything special, he was just a fun character to have.

Mads Mikkelsen suffers from Marvel Villain disorder. Aside from Loki Marvel villains don’t historically live up to the hype. And Mads’ character suffers from it. He is fine in the role, and it builds to someone else, who I will talk about in my spoiler review on the Jackass Nation Podcast Channel. But the mark out, is Chiwetel Ejiofor. His take on Mordo could be the first and only, villain since Loki to really build on itself. I am excited for where this character goes.

The best thing about this film is the visuals. They are off the chain. It was absolutely stunning. It was really cool in IMAX 3D, and you guys know me; I’m not a fan of 3D. Now I hope to see it again before I record my spoiler review in normal, because I don’t know if it NEEDS to be seen in 3D. But I will say that I enjoyed it. The cinematography, whether it be the fight choreography, or the inceptionish like feel to it, is incredible.

Derrickson was obviously the perfect director for this film. You really feel his touch on it, and has the perfect hint of horror, mixed in with Marvel humor. Marvel does such a good job bringing the right directors in for each of their films. And Derrickson is once again an example of Marvel’s perfection.

While it is definitely not my favorite film in Marvel, it would probably wind up in the lower half, I still really enjoyed. There is no Jeebus Bonus for it, so it’s final Jeebus score is 3.5. But what say you Jackass Nation? Are you excited for Doctor Strange? What is your favorite MCU film? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

The poster art can or could be obtained from Paramount Pictures.

Never Go Back, no really, Never Go Back

There are some things that you just don’t do. You don’t put it all on red. You don’t put ketchup on your hotdog. You don’t pee into the wind. You don’t eat pizza with a knife and fork; you don’t cross Jason the X. But most importantly, you never go back. And that is something that Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher knows. You never go back! And unfortunately, Tom Cruise never should’ve gone back.

Look I am not saying this is a terrible film; it is a decent enough middle of the road action film. Problem is, Tom Cruise, thanks to Mission Impossible, is one of the few Movie Stars and Action Stars left in the world. In this day and age the star doesn’t sell the film anymore, but for the most part you can bank on Tom Cruise. And with his production company behind this you wonder why he turned to this franchise to revitalize. Personally I would have rather seen Maverick make his sequel debut.

So Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is Set four years after the events of the first film, Jack Reacher (Cruise) is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit. He comes to meet Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) who has been working with him on solving cases across the country. Upon his arrival, he is informed that Turner is accused of espionage. He embarks on a mission to clear her name.

It is not all bad. The main trio in the film is all good in their roles. Tom Cruise always commits to his roles, and I for one have never seen a Tom Cruise performance that is not awesome. The movie may not be good, but the performance is always top notch. And Cobie Smulders is determined to never go back herself. Aunt Robin is no more, Smulders whether it is a bad ass SHIELD operative, or an Army Major, she is awesome. Reacher’s possible daughter, played by Danika Yarosh, was pretty cool too. I don’t know much of her work but I really liked her in this film.

The few action films that took place in this film were pretty cool. Well done, well shot, and pretty brutal. But that is pretty much where the positives end. The story is very basic, and the execution is pretty damn boring. The pacing is incredibly slow, and the action scenes are few and far in between. One of which makes no sense that it’s even in the film other than the fact that they were like “hmmm we need an action scene, let’s have a random fight in a setting that makes no sense”

All in all Jack Reacher Never Go Back is a very basic paint by numbers action film. If you are hanging out at the house on a random Tuesday afternoon and doing a little cleaning or cooking, maybe it’ll be on FX, cause they have the movies, put it on, have it on in the background, it’s decent enough for that. I gave it a Jeebus score of 2.3. But what say you Jackass Nation? Did you like the first Jack Reacher? Are you going to go back? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

The Magnificent Seven

A tale as old as time. Seven Samuri, Battle beyond the Stars, and the 1960 version, Antoine Fuqua is bringing his take on it, it is The Magnificent 7. A film that I have been anticipating sine the very first trailer released. Hell the first frame, the first sound I was hooked and ready. And now it is finally here and I went the first showing I could make it to! And man o man was I not let down. Such an awesome and fun film!

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960’s Magnificent Seven, which is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. This go around the film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.

The Story follows Emma Cullen (Bennett) enlist the help of seven outlaws, a bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Washington), a gambler Josh Faraday (Pratt), a sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Hawke), a tracker Jack Horne (D’Onofrio), an assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun), a Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Garcia-Rulfo), and a Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Sensmeier), to protect them while they prepare for the anticipated violent confrontation. The Seven bands together to protect the town of Rose Creek from Industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard)

This movie is incredible! I had so much fun watching it. Look the story is not anything new. You’ve seen it. Not just in Seven Samurai, not just in the original Magnificent Seven, but in almost every sing western made. It’s the same basic western, but what is so good is the execution! Antoine Fuqua has such a way of delivering this film, like he has so many times before. Bet he brings such an awesome feel to the film, it is epic in size, and hooks you right from the beginning. Fuqua has done so many different films with so many different types of feels to them. This one is a classic western, with the big blockbuster take to it.

The cast is absolutely incredible. I am not going to talk about Denzel Washington, he is Denzel. Has he ever made a bad film? Or has been bad in a film? You know he is phenomenal. As always. Pratt is still Chris Pratt in this one. There are times that he feels a little out of time doing his normal Prattisms. But it still worked. I can honestly say I think Pratt is my new favorite Movie Star. That’s right, a movie star. I know the day of the star is gone, but Pratt is one of those guys I will go see whatever he is in no matter what.

Haley Bennett is amazing as well. And incredibly hot. A matter of fact, I think I am in love! Ethan Hawke is decent for what he does, I would have liked a little more on his character. He had such a cool backstory but they barely went in to it, it was really just hinted at. His running mate, Billy, played by Storm Shadow AKA Byung-Hun Lee is so cool. He really needs to be in more films because he has such a presence you just want to see me off. Sarsgaard does his normal creepy bad guy routine and it is possibly slimier and creepier then normal. He is crazy

The breakouts however are Vincent D’Onofrio, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier. Sensmier and Garcia I do not know of their work, but they were really cool, and the most intriguing characters in the film. They really kept you wanting them on screen more and more, and when they were on screen they really keep you invested. But of these breaks outs, it is D’Onofrio that steals the show. I found myself really connecting and enjoying his character the absolute most. And weather he is playing a bug like alien in MIB, or the Kingpin of Crime in DareDevil, or the Tracker of the Magnificent Seven he is absolutely incredible!

Another major plus is the score of this film. It is so good. One of the last films done by James Honer, along with Simon Franglen. Absolutely incredible, every scene every image was perfectly framed with the music, had an old school feel to it, being brought into this new era. All film long I kept telling myself I have to make sure to talk about it because it was that good, and that beautiful! And speaking on the films beauty it filmed so perfectly. Every scene is amazing and feels like a classic western.

All in all the Magnificent Seven did not disappoint. It was on my most anticipated for the rest of the year, in fact it was my number 1 and with good reasoning. Fuqua knocks it out of the park again, and the cast is incredible. From the always great Denzel, the hilarious Pratt, and beautiful Bennet. Especially D’Onofrio, so good. The score is beautiful, the images are epic, and this is one you need to go see. Hopefully it brings back a little light on the western and we can get some more.

The Magnificent Seven is getting a pretty high score Jackass Nation. We are going 3.6 guys, with a full .5 bonus for both the awesome shoot outs, and D’Onofrio! Giving us a Jeebus Score of 4.1! What say you Jackass Nation? Are you running out to see The Magnificent Seven? What is your favorite version of this story? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

It Is What It Is, with The Jackass! Episode 45: The SDCC Clip Show (Parental Advisory)

The Jackass Nation invaded San Diego for Comic Con 2016! On behalf of Cinelinx and SCNS Live, BC reported on and saw a whole lot of great things! Since he could not upload on thursday here is a special tuesday episode of It Is What It Is with The Jackass! In this episode he has many special guest, Writer/Director Tristan Baez, Actor Chris Lemchi, Power Lifter Clinton “Biggie” Derouen, BC’s good friend Austin “The Flash” Bellair, and ofcorse his partner in crime for #SDCCBC The Mad one himself, from the Dweeb Factory and Vidpow, Zack Marchand! Just a warning, there is a lot of language in this episode that Captain MAerica would not approve of, so there is a PARENTAL ADVISORY for episode 45! But sit back and enjoy this show of clips recorded on location in San Diego!

Check out this episode(with your parents permission) by clicking right here!

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The Purge: ElectionYear

First off I was not a huge fan of the first Purge Film. It was an ok movie, but it was not what I had expected or wanted to see out of it. What I wanted was what we got with The Purge: Anarchy. An all-out life or death brawl to survive the night and the world they have created. Recently I re-watched the first film, and I actually liked it a lot more now that I have seen where it goes with Anarchy. And Anarchy was an awesome film like I said. It was the Punisher film we have always wanted. And all though Jon Bernthal is a great punisher, I really would have loved to see Grillo dawn the skull. But that’s not what we are here to talk about; we are talking about The Purge: Election Year.

Our 3rd installment to this world brings back Grillo as Leo Barnes, our hesitant hero from Anarchy. Also making returning is Bishop, now leading Carmelo’s Purge Rebellion. We also add Elizabeth Mitchell as Charlie Roan as a presidential hopeful out to shut down The Purge. Mykelti Williamson, Betty Gabriel, Kyle Secor, Joseph Julian Soria, and Liza-Colon-Zayas have also joined the franchise. James DeManaco returns for a third time as the writer and director. Now I have got to say, this one was pretty good. Not great. But pretty good.

So we are now two years removed from Sgt. Leo Barnes (Grillo) making the decision to spare the life of the man who killed his son, and he is working as the head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Mitchell). Roan is out to shut down the Purge after being made to watch her entire family get murdered Purge night on 18 years before. While the New Founding Fathers see her as a threat they decide they have to do something about it. As Barnes attempts to make keep her safe through the night, they run across some ally’s out to protect their store from looters, as well as the Anti Purge Movement. However Roan is hesitant to trust The Anti Purge movement as she sees them as being just as violent as the NFFA.

There are a lot of positives to The Purge: Election Year. Like its predecessor Anarchy it focuses more on being an action thriller, rather than a horror film like the first installment. This is where this franchise shines. A few good jump scares, and some well shot action. The action is intense, and shot beautifully, no shaky camera. DeManaco knows how to film action, especially in this world that he has created.

Frank Grillo is also a shining star in the film. I have been a huge fan of his since Warrior. He is great in the Marvel films as Crossbones, his own show Kingdom, and he is great in this franchise. He brings realism to the character, a grit that you believe and he makes it easy to become lost in this world through his character. Edwin Hodge gets a bigger role in this film, and it is well deserved.  He is a fun character and I have liked seeing his progression.

The film also has a lot of laughs to it that counter act the thrills and action very well. Most of the comedic elements come from Mykelti Williamson. He has great comedic timing in Election Year, and his one liners hit pretty well. His storyline mixes well with the main line throughout the film.

But there are some glaring weaknesses in the film. It feels like they wanted to go a little overboard with story. It is something a lot of horror franchises do when it comes to their third installments. Crazy back stories, or new threats or powers that our antagonist has. Scream 3 mocked the third installments of franchise saying there were insane unnecessary backstories. And I believe Election Year does this. The first act takes way too long to get moving. We get too many scenes that are supposed to be character building moments that just fall flat. Most glaringly an entire presidential debate scene that flat out did not need to be in the film.

Another weakness in the film is that we are going to this film to see the insane kills, or Purges. Like the Saw franchise we wanted the traps to escalate, we want bigger cooler this go around. And we do not really get them. We kind of see them in the background, and are teased a few times, but they never really give you what you want.

Other than your main leads most the rest of the cast is atrocious. The villains are all clichéd. This isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case stuck out a little much. You have your over the top politician villain, your sleazy opposite of your hero and their insanely over done henchman. It was all just a little too cliché. Story has glaring weakness and terrible dialog that even Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell who are good can not keep a float. As well I would have really liked to see Mitchell’s character get a little more into the action. I get that she wasn’t a soldier or a fighter, but in these films you want to see you heroine step up and be awesome.

The Purge: Election Year is a good continuation to a decent franchise. It may not be your favorite film of the year but you can go to it and have a good time at the theater. Just don’t expect the next great Action-Thriller. Over all it’s a fun film. It has the thrills, the scares, the action, and laughs that you want out of this franchise. It blends the genre very well. Where it comes up short is its story, and first acts. But not so much that you can’t get over it. I would have liked to see more Purging in the streets, but what we got was interesting and leaves you wanting to see more. Which in a franchise is basically what you want. It is not the best film of the year, nor will it win any Oscars. But there is fun to be had in The Purge: Election year. I gave it a score of 2.7 with no Jeebus bonus so that leaves us with a final Jeebus score of 2.7. But what say you Jackass Nation? Are you excited for The Purge: Election Year? What has been your favorite of the franchise thus far? Sound off in the comments below, and remember, it is, what it is.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

The Shallows

I have been really looking forward to this film. I love Sharks. Shark Week is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. I spent the day before seeing this film watching the only other good Shark films out there, Deep Blue Sea, and Jaws. I also watched Open Water for the first time. Was not impressed. This is why I have had so much hope for The Shallows. We need a new Shark attack film that will survive the test if time. One that is entertaining, suspenseful, and fun. The Shallows gave me that hope. Now it is finally time to see if it the film lives up to my expectations.

The Shallows stars Blake Lively and is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. It tells the tale of a young woman, Nancy, on vacation surfing off the coast of an island her mother once told her about. Her paradise like vacation soon turns to a nightmare as she is attacked by a massive Great White Shark. Finding safety some distance away from the shore on a small rock, she must find a way to make it to safety, as the blood thirsty beast stalks her and waits for his own moment to strike. An isolation survival film. Think Cast Away meets Jaws. In terms of tone, not as much as quality of a film.

Not for nothing, but like I said it is safe to say I was insanely exited for this film. I had no doubt that I was going to enjoy this movie. Could it live up to my own expectations? Well, I’d have to say, yes it does! It has an amazingly epic feel to it, with an incredibly dramatic feel to it. The tension is real, and literally had me sitting on the edge of my seat nearly the entire film. Few jump scares, but enough fear to make you feel it.

Blake Lively was great in the role as well. It takes a lot to carry a film by yourself. Not everyone can do it. Ask Collin Farrell about Phone Booth, and he wasn’t even totally alone. Lively does a great job making you feel the tension and the pain that she is going through. You believe her performance full heartedly. While Tom Hanks had Wilson the Volleyball to the play off of, Blake wasn’t entirely alone. Her costar, Steven Seagull, a Seagull played by Sully “Steven” Seagull helps makes her even more believable. That seagull deserves an Oscar. Or at least a Jeebus Award.

The CGI is pretty good too. There are not really too many moments that I was taken out of the film. Maybe once or twice, but for the most part the Shark looked pretty legit. The shadowy figure in the water is terrifying, and when he actually comes out of the water, it’s like watching air jaws on Discovery Channel. This thing is massive and scary.

The story is basic but it didn’t need to be anything over the top. It is an isolation survival story, and it knows its lane, and stays in it. It never really tries to be anything crazy or over the top. The shark has a few issues, but not enough to really through the story out of whack. You believe she finds a way to survive and get through what she’s going through, through well placed exposition, that isn’t overbearing or unneeded.

The island they shot at, Lord Howe Island is absolutely beautiful. An island off the coast of Australia toward New Zealand was the perfect place to create what the “natives” called Paradise. Absolutely beautiful water, and amazing views. An island that despite the insane shark that inhabited it in this film, I would love to visit. With some awesome waves. They made me want to pick back up my old surf board that I never learned to use and get some lessons! The only location issue I had in the film is that one scene takes place in Galveston Texas at the beach. And the water is just as beautiful. Not true folks. Don’t see this film and say yes, I want to go to Galveston and expect that.

The issues in the film a few and far in between. Like I said there a few times you notice that the shark is CG, but not enough to take you out of the film. As well the Shark seems insanely too patient and smart. Knowing what I do about sharks, thank you Shark Week, I don’t see this premise ever really playing out. But that is not what it is meant to be. It is a film to entertain you, leave you in suspense. And it does that well. This is no Jaws. You don’t get to know Lively’s Nancy like you do the characters in Jaws, but you still pull full her and want to see her fight through this terrible situation.

The score is always a negative I had with the film. While it has a pretty decent soundtrack early on, the score is never really noticeable. Which I guess could be considered a good thing. A score should add to a film, not be taking away or outshine. However there is nothing iconic like the Jaws theme. And while it is probably not fair to continually compare Jaws and The Shallows, it is the world we live. Jaws was and is the measuring stick when it comes to shark films.

All in all, The Shallows is suspenseful and fun. A well written and executed film. The shark is realistic enough, and terrifying. Blake Lively is believable and great in her role. The visuals are stunning, the tension is dramatic. This is by all means a well done film. One you should try to go see in film. One that I think I will enjoy for years to come. I gave it a score of 3.4 with a .2 Jeebus bonus for Blake Lively. So that is the Shallows. What say you Jackass Nation, are you excited for this film? What is your favorite isolation, survival or shark film, excluding Jaws? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, it is what it is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.