Vin Diesel

The Frickin Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2

Ooga Chaka Ooga Chaka Ooga Chaka, I can’t stop this feeling, deep inside of me! Girl you know I’m ready for, the Guardiaaaaans! Guardians Of The Galaxy was my number one most anticipated film of 2014. I had no idea what to expect and it was Marvel’s biggest gamble at the time. Could they take this obscure comic and make the general movie goer audiences by in to it. Over 700 million dollars later, I think they found a way to do so.

Vol 2 has been a film I have been super excited for. Could not wait to see where they take these characters. Returning to the franchise is Vol 1 director James Gunn bringing back his rag tag group of guardians that include Star-Lord Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt, Gamora played by Zoe Saldana, Drax played by Batista, and the duo of Rocket Raccoon and Groot voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel respectively. Returning from the first film we have Karen Gillian as Nebula and Michael Rooker as Yondu. This go around the Guardians are being forced to look at Peter Quills lineage as Kurt Russel joins the cast as Star Lords father, Ego the living planet.

I will be pretty vague with the story because there wasn’t much known going into the film, and I want you to have the same experience as I am not really knowing where the story goes, but basically, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

For the most part Vol 2 is fun and exciting. It is an entertaining ride from start to finish. The marketing department really got the trailers right, they literally only showed us scenes from the opening 20 minutes mostly. The chemistry in this cast is incredible and it is fun to once again be with this family. Everyone takes their characters and dials them up a little. Batista’s Drax is an obviously stand out once again. Think about what you have seen in the trailers, and double it.

I was very worried that Baby Groot would become entirely played out early on. Before I even saw the film I was already almost too tired of Baby Groot. However, they do an incredible job of making you totally forget the overabundance of Baby Groot from the media and marketing department and right from the opening credits you fall in love with him all over again. Sean Gunn as well is incredible reprising his role from the first film.

Unfortunately it is not all great. Most notably the soundtrack is nowhere near as strong as the original. However that is a hard task to have had accomplished seeing as Vol 1 might have been the greatest soundtrack ever put together. So we can’t really fault them for that. What I do fault them for was a very generic and clichéd story. When you really get into what the plot of the movie is they go through some very basic storytelling plot points. It becomes incredibly predictable. As well the emotional beats are incredibly forced and clichéd. It’s like James Gunn said ok guys this is the part you will have the feels” and it’s not really deserved so it doesn’t play off as it should. The film is beautifully shot and the cinematography is amazing. The action sets are incredible, and for the most part the action is well shot. There were maybe 2 or 3 too many slow motion scenes though. James Gunn might have over done it a bit there.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. Is overall a fun and excited addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it doesn’t do much to further the universe on a whole, you get the feeling the effects of this film will be felt within the MCU. Everyone is great in the roles; it is entertaining and leaves you wanting more. I scored the film a 3.3, with a Jeebus Bonus of .3 for both Baby Groot, and the feels that it can give you. That gives us a Jeebus Score of 3.6. So what say you Jackass Nation? Are you excited for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2? Who is your favorite of the Guardians? 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.

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Jackass Reviews: The Fate Of The Furious

On this episode of Jackass Reviews, BC reviews the 8th installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, The Fate Of The Furious. BC is joined by SCNS host, and NI CoHost Coach Matt! Jackass Reviews is a SPOILER heavy review of films, so if you have not seen the film, come back and check this episode out after you have!

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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.

Furious Seven: #ForPaul

This movie is ridiculous! And that is not necessarily a bad thing. We are now at the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. SOme franchises would be getting stale. However in recent installments this one has been picking up steam. WHile i will always contend that Tokyo Drift is the best, due to its guilty pleasure status, Fast 5, and  Fast & Furious 6 definitely stepped up the game. Furious Seven once again stars Paul Walker in his final performance, aswell as Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese, Ludacris, Lucas Black, Elsa Pataky, Jordana Brewster, and The Rock. It brings on newcomers Jason Statham, Kurt Russel, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, and Djimon Hounsou. Taking over for Justin Lin at the directors chair is James Wan. Now what I’m about to say may sound like i am bashing on it, but hang in there. I’m really not.

negatively the story is all over the place. There are times that you kinda feel like you are watching two separate films. In a franchise built on over the top action and car races, this one really takes the cake. There are times that plot holes are so big, and i mean grand canyon big, that you kind of sit back and say to yourself, come on now, that is completely unreal. The dialog is very cheesy, and the like the action way over the top. I’m pretty sure Dom says “Family” around 300 times. The Action scenes, while pretty cool, are shot in typical James Wan style. Close ups, high frae, and rapid editing. Not to be mistaken for shaky cam, but definitely misses Justin Lin’s crisp vision. One thing that reinvented this franchise was the addition of The Rock. However this film takes Rock out for a good amount of the film. I also feel Jason Statham was underutilized.

Now that may sound like a lot of issues, but most of them are not the films fault. Look, despite what Vin Diesel says, this is not an oscar contender. Nor should it be. It is the kick off to the what is my favorite part of the movie calendar, the Summer Blockbuster Season. ANd this one kicks it off with a bang. The tory is weak, but that’s not what you are here for. Not to mention, the production was riddled with problems. THe biggest of which being the untimely passing of star Paul Walker. Which probably lead to many many rewrites and direction changes for the franchise. So you can’t fault the film.

While i say that the dialog was cheesy and over the top, it is a perfect 90’s action film type of movie. The one liners are off the chart, and incredibly witty while being cheesy. WHich is hard to accomplish. Tyrese is on top of his game in this film. He is your comic relief and he is very good at it. THe action is spectacular and steps it up from the last film, which you probably didn’t think was possible. It goes into an unbelievable realm of action and stunts, and it is just fun to sit there, eat some popcorn and have a good time at the theater.

The passing of Paul Walker was a devastating hit to the production, and to the world. Everything I ever heard of him was positive. They say he was full of life, and always smiling. The film does an incredible job sending the character off. And I won’t lie, I cried at the tribute at the end. The film wraps up the series well, but that’s not to say the franchise is over. This is a fun film. It is going to make money, and it should. Hopefully in the next installment it can scale things back a little, and start to focus on Luke Hobbs(Rock) and Toretto(Diesel). All in all im scoring Furious Seven 3.6, with a .4 bonus for the handling of Paul Walker, giving us a Jeebus Score of 4.0. While not as good as 5 or 6, and deff not the best of the series, it is worth seeing if you are looking for a fun time at the theater. #ForPaul

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.

Hooked on a feeling! A review of Guardians of the Galaxy

For a pretty long time now, my most anticipated film of the year has been Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel’s final film in Phase II before we head into The Avengers Age of Ultron. This film looks to be Marvel’s biggest gamble to date. The characters are by far the most obscure, well until the post credit scene, but for the most part, some of the most obscure in all of the Marvel library. The hope was that now that we are 12 films in, that Marvel has gained a track record that gives the viewer a trust that’ll send them out to take a chance on the film. I for one hope that you all do take the leap of faith, you will not be disappointed.

Guardians of the Galaxy! The next big Marvel adventure. The film stars an amazing cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Directed James Gunn, the film tells the story of 5 unlikely heroes that find themselves in the middle of a galaxy threatening crises and must come together to save the lives of billions upon billions of people.

The film is a lot of fun to watch. Chris Pratt who plays the main character Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord, is a thief who becomes the de facto leader of the group. He is joined by the assassin adopted daughter of the war lord Thanos, Gamora (Saldana). Along with two bounty hunters, Rocket Raccoon (Cooper) and Groot (Diesel) and a maniac named Drax the Destroyer (Bautista) who is on the hunt for Ronin the Accuser (Pace) for murdering his family. Ronin is joined by Gamora’s adopted sister Nebula (Gillan) in his quest to destroy the planet Xandar and the Nova Corps.

Guardians gets the blockbuster fun done right. You are entertained the entire film. There’s not really a moment in the film that it drags or gets boring. The graphics are also epic. As I watched the movie I kept get the feeling I was watching Star Wars, until I’d get a feeling that it was a Star Trek film. Finally I came to a conclusion that’s really the perfect mix between Star Wars, Star Trek, and a Marvel Film. The soundtrack was awesome as well. Every song takes you back, and flows within the film perfectly. They each give a sense of who Peter Quill is and where he comes from

While the movie is Peter Quill’s story, the show is definitely stolen by a trio of characters. Yes the superstar is obviously Bradley Cooper as Rocket. He brings such personality to the character that you don’t even hear Cooper’s voice. You believe this is the talking Raccoon Marvel has given us. Groot was special case. How was Vin Diesel going to give us substance with only 3 words, “I am Groot”? Well he does it. Not just as comedy relief, but he emotionally connects with us as well. And Bautista as Drax is amazingly a break out star. He’s not a world class thespian be any means, but he is still able to steal the scenes when on camera.

It’s not all perfect though. While the story remains as Peter Quill’s story, he is the most developed character in the film. These characters all have such rich back stories. Most of which we as fans wouldn’t know off the top of our heads. I for one had to look them all up when I heard of the movie. After doing my research I became very excited, yet the film doesn’t give us much on most them. You get some dialog about where they come from, but no real sense of who they are. Gamora especially I would love to see more about. Speaking of, I was amped up all film for the eventual fight between her sister Nebula and her, yet when you finally get it, it’s not all that great. And as for the fights, and action sequences, while the space battles all look phenomenal and are awesome, a lot of fights felt a little too choreographed.

I’m going to give this film a Jeebus score of 4.9 with a bonus of .3 for Rocket, Groot, and Drax. Rounding us out to 5.2, Multiple Viewings Required! Now I’m not going to spoil it, but I am going to go into a little bit about how I felt about the post credit scene. So if you don’t want any information, or anything that could be considered a SPOILER, please skip the rest of this article.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ZONE: Ok, in 2008 Samuel L. Jackson walked out of the shadows after the credits of Iron Man and spoke about the Avengers Initiative. This changed the landscape of the Superhero Genre. Hell the landscape of the all of cinema. The Shared Universe concept was born. After The Incredible Hulk Tony Stark walked into a bar and spoke to General Ross. In 2010 Agent Coulson found a Hammer after the credits. In 2011 Loki controlled Erik Selvig. And at the end of Captain America, Sam Jackson once again walked out of the shadows and told Steve Rogers he needed him to save the world. Then we got a montage of scenes for The Avengers. But then something changed. After the Avengers we got 2 scenes. One including Shawarma. While funny, it was the Thanos one we wanted. We loved it and were ok with Shawarma. But then, Tony Stark had a conversation with Bruce Banner, and we got nothing. And now, we again, get a cheap nothing scene! We know there is Age of Ultron Footage out there, you couldn’t give us anything? No you give us one post credit scene that gives us nothing to look forward to for the next 273 days leading up to Age of Ultron! Nothing to further this amazing universe you have created!? For this, while I originally gave a .5 for a bonus, I am taking away .2! DAMN YOU JAMES GUNN AND KEVIN FIEGE! DAMN YOU!