Anthony Mackie

Triple Niner, uh I’m sorry, did I catch a niner in here?

Dirty cops, the Russian Mob, a detailed heist that involves killing a cop to create a diversion. Through in an all-star cast and you should have the recipe for an incredible and intense film. One that could truly be remembered as one of the greats. Triple 9 has all these ingredients, but are they cooked properly? Well, let’s talk about that.

Triple 9 is directed by John Hillard, the guy that did Lawless, and was written by Matt Cook, I have no idea what else he wrote. It has one the most talented casts I have ever seen assembled, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiodor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins Jr, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, and Kate Freaking Winslet. If that is not a list line up, I do not know what is.

The film follows a crew of corrupt cops and criminals who are being sent on heist missions by the Russian Mob, led by Irina Vlaslov (Winslet) whose husband and head of the mob is locked up abroad. Irina uses her sisters (Gadot) ex-husband Michael (Ejiofor) to steal what she needs to free her husband. When a final mission is deemed undoable, the crew decided the only way to pull it off is to cause a distraction by killing a cop (Affleck) which will send all officers on a triple 9 (roll credits) leaving them free to run their final heist. Unfortunately when your crew is full of criminals, no twist is left unturned.

Again that sounds like a great pitch right? Unfortunately it is not a great film. In fact, it is pretty boring. And unnecessarily slow! Don’t get me wrong, when the action gets going, it is pretty fun to watch, but there is so much unneeded wasted screen time in between. Most of these characters are also pretty poorly written. Leaving the audience with no one they really want to root for, seeing is how they are mostly all scumbags. Sure they have their redeemable qualities here and there, and reasons for doing what they do. But in the long run, you just don’t like them.

That’s not to say that the cast did not do incredibly well. If there is one major positive about this film it is that the cast is all on point with one minor exception. Woody Harrelson, who is great in his own right, plays the character a little too, Woody like. If that makes any sense. He is just a bit over the top and it something he has been doing a lot. I don’t know if this is a director’s decision or his own, but come on Woody, just be great, don’t be cartoony.

But again, everyone else is spot on with the roles they are given. Ejiofor keeps you enthralled all film long and Casey Affleck has such a unique ability to disappear into roles. Something his brother has never really been able to do. You always know you are watching Ben Affleck, but with Casey you always see the character. Anthony Mackie is a top tier talent, and incredible in here. I love watching him onscreen. Kate Winslet is Kate; I didn’t even realize it was her until I sat down to write this. That’s how good she is.

Speaking of this cast, let’s talk about one thing, real quick, I’m getting a little side tracked. But this film literally has Falcon, Baron Mordo, Scud, Tallahassee, Batman’s little brother, and Wonder Woman all in the same film. That is a little crazy. But speaking of Wonder Woman, walking into this I was really hoping that this would be the performance that sold me on Gadot as Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, it was not. Not that she was bad; she was good at being hot and delivering 3 lines. But nothing of substance.

All in all Triple 9 was kind of a letdown. It is obviously not the worst movie I have ever seen, it had its ups. But unfortunately not as high up as I had anticipated it. Maybe wait to catch this one on FX, or USA or something like that. Not something you need to shell out the cash for.

An action cop drama with little action, and a boring story. Great cast, fun performances, but ultimately a letdown. Especially as a follow up to the directors previous film, Lawless. Action scenes are fun, and well done, but everything else from dialog, to story, to character development falls flat. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 2.4.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Casting. 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 Avengers Age Of Ultron

Nearly two years ago to the day I sat in a theater, watching a dream come true. Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor, on screen together. Marvels The Avengers changed the game. Then, in its end credits, around 245 in the morning, The Mad Titan Thanos made his debut. Since that moment, I have been waiting for this night. The return of Earth’s mightiest heroes! Could this film live up to the hype? The first one was so special because we had never seen these characters, on screen together. The Marvel villains can be one sided at times, could Ultron live up to Loki? Well, yes. In every sense of its being, it was epic!

The Avengers Age of Ultron tells the story of Earths Mightiest heroes coming together again to finish what they started in Marvels The Avengers however, during their wrap party they are greeted by a creation that Stark and Banner had been working on to create peace. However this creation, this Artificial Intelligence has decided the best route for peace, is extinction. The film stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Arron Taylor-Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. It is once again written and directed by the great Joss Whedon.

The pace is epic in this film. We open up with the Avengers on a mission and we never really slow down. It is nearly a 2 and half hour action scene. That’s not to say the story does not follow suite. Whedon has done and incredible job bringing these characters back together, and while the magic of seeing them for the first time is gone, the charisma between the characters is so much fun to see unravel. There is a lot of worry that the film would be to dark, however it is quite the opposite. While it is dark and gritty, there is no lack of fun and jokes. Every joke hits perfectly.

The cinematography is beautiful. Every shot is nearly seamless. The CGI is incredible. Hulk is once again amazing to see on screen. The story is well written. Ultron is a well-rounded villain that makes you fear for everyone in this film. And for good reason. Whedon does such a good job with this script. Are some of the beats the same as the first film? Yes, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. There is a lot of heart to this one. To the point that I was actually tearing up at certain scenes.

Now that’s not to say I don’t have any negatives. I had a few issues. There is no explanation for the end of Iron Man 3. Stark is just, Iron Man again. I guess forget that he said he was done. Also Ultron is kind of just thrown together. While he has no lack of personality, there is not much to his creation. Short montage and boom. I’m here; there are no strings on me. There is a random cross thread which I assume is meant to build the greater universe, a short scene with Thor, that feels out of place and is never mentioned again. Other than those, I don’t have much to complain about.

I think the biggest positive about Age of Ultron, is its character development. We get three new members this go around. Marvel’s version of Quicksilver, his sister The Scarlett Which, and The Vison. And I enjoyed all three of them. The accents the twins are given are little off. And Olsen has a hard time keeping it up in some scenes. Vision is incredibly well done. A character that could come off as pretty goofy comes off, pretty epic. There is a lot of develop to the Hulk and Black Widow as well as their relationship. You get hints toward the Civil War between Stark and Rogers. As well as Hawkeye. Hawkeye final gets the respect he deserves.

So all in all. Age of Ultron is an incredible film, and a must see in the theater. Before I get my Jeebus score, I am going to let you in a little surprise. I will be releasing my first video review within the next week. It will be much more spoiler heavy and meant for fans who have already seen the film. But know that it is coming. So, score. Age of Ultron is epic as I have said, I gave it a 5.0, with a .5 bonus for spoilerific reasons I can’t tell you here (wait for the video) giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.5.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. 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 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier(no spoilers)

Captain America is back! And this time he has a new squad of buddies. The question is, who does he trust? I really liked this film, Captain America is much different hero then you get with Thor, or Hulk, or even Iron Man. With those films you get your Destruction film, or fantasy film, or true action adventure. With the Captain, you almost get a Political Thriller, which keeps you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, and Samuel L Jackson. Now I’m going to get in this with everything I can and not give away any spoilers. I will put out another one next week a little more spoiler filled. I’m even going to attempt to keep down my comic loving nerdism out.

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier sees our hero adjusting to life in this decade. We open with a pretty cool action scene that shows us that Captain Rogers has decided to stick by S.H.I.E.L.D. even though he doesn’t truly trust the secrecy. There is an attempt on Nick Fury’s life, and Captain Rogers along with The Black Widow go on the hunt for who is behind the meltdown that has become S.H.I.E.L.D.! Along the way Rogers continues to attempt to adjust, but when his past comes back in the form of The Winter Soldier.

This film does everything a sequel should. It ups the ante in action, story, and suspense. It does a very good job moving along the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It takes the Universe they have created and turns it upside making you wonder where they are going. Never once becoming predictable, or stale. The story is easy to follow, yet keeps you guessing at who to trust. My only real negative on the movie, and this could possibly be construed as a spoiler, but The Winter Soldier who the film is named after, isn’t even the main story line that runs through the film. It’s almost where if you had taken him out, Captain America would of still had quite a problem to handle! Yet it leaves wanting more of this mysterious soldier, and where they will go.

Newcomer Anthony Mackie as the Falcon is a definite plus. He is going to be a fun force to watch moving forward and I hope he gets a bigger part then the Iron Patriot/War Machine does in the Iron Man franchise. The Easter Eggs as well will knock you away if you are a comic fan and looking forward to the growth of this universe, as will the after credit scenes. Yes I said sceneS, plural, make sure you stay until the very end!

All in all I scored Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier a Jeebus score of 5.6, with a .2 for Anthony Mackie, a .1 bonus for Scarlett Johansson, and .1 bonus for an Easter egg I can’t mention, giving us a final score of 6, and the first JEEBUS-TACULAR of the year!