Here we go again in this week's latest installment of Native Nerd.
My nephew Parker had summer school this year and finally has had the past two weeks off. As a 16-year-old millennial that is surgically attached to his phone, boredom creeps in quick. He is hilarious and I enjoy spending time with him, so over the past few weeks we decided to see a few films at our local AMC theater.
Yes these movies have been weird, I've seen them all with my nephew Parker, and sometimes my friend Dann. Ever the journalist, I keep some of the details in my head to write about them later and thus ... here are a few reviews, in a Native Nerd way, of course.
Don't expect full cast details or other such meanderings, I really just want to cut to the meat of these movies, with a broad brush. I'll give them a score of one to five Native Nerd emoji's - One being terrible, five being great / definitely go see it.
This is a movie about a team of secret operatives that must search to find the secret hidden radioactive dust hidden by some devious terrorist. When a man comes in boasting that he has all of the locations hidden on a encrypted hard drive, he demands to be taken to the United States for asylum. Mark Wahlberg (aka Marky Mark) plays the head operative who keeps having to snap an armband on his wrist to 'calm his racing thoughts.'
I guess the director thought this was some sort of key moment for Marky, who literally drove me bonkers by consistently snapping the wrist band and of course the director kept seemingly turning up the volume for each snap. After a few minutes, I was like, "Good grief STOP already! I get it!" In addition, Marky has to act like some raving mad dog on 20 cups of espresso. Definitely not his best performance.
Rhonda Rousey was in it ... she was pretty good, so was Maggie from the Walking Dead. The only problem is that I have watched too much Walking Dead ---well, not really a problem, the show is spectacular -- but I just couldn't let it go.
All said, the acting by Marky was annoying. But man, the action in this movie was fantastic, albeit quite bloody.
My rating 🤓🤓1/2 (Five for the action - Zero for the acting by Marky)
Dangit, I had high hopes for Slenderman, the eerie modern legend of the tall faceless man in the forest that steals children. The disappointing thing is that there was a lot of material that COULD have been scary if the director just adjusted things a little bit. He seemed to be at a loss to create jumpscares ... I would think jumpscares would probably an easy thing to do.
But the ominous moments caused the entire audience to break out in laughter in many spots. I wanted to be scared, but literally was not ... not one time. Two people walked out. I was in a funny mood, so I enjoyed the corniness of it. But if you want to be scared, this ain't it. But whatever you do, don't watch the "Summon the Slenderman" video on the dark web.
My rating 🤓1/2 (Zero if you want to be scared - Three if you want to laugh)
A giant prehistoric shark escapes from the bottom of the ocean floor covered by an icy cloud. This movie -- starring Jason Statham -- an actor I like for his action movies. Was awful. Laughably awful. I think the director was influenced by Godzilla movies from the 1970's and thought the star power of Jason would bring it home.
Hilariously bad. I actually enjoyed this movie because it was so horrible. The painful moments of Jason Statham and the lead actress were uncomfortable, and I really cared less if anyone got eaten. Ruby Rose was pretty good, but she was left without much purpose in this film except to be a female tough cookie.
Everyone was laughing at moments that weren't supposed to be funny. I'll give you a pass this time Jason, cause I really like you, but DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN!
My rating: 🤓🤓 (It's family-friendly if you don't mind a little bit of shark blood)
Not bad actually. Alpha is a movie about a prehistoric "boy meets wolf for the first time" set in the time of Wooly Mammoths, giant bugs, Sabre Tooth Tigers and wild massive Buffaloes.
The nice thing about this movie is the beautiful filming across an imaginary landscape to include frozen tundra, ice-capped mountain-plains and dangerous people-unfriendly hills and valleys. There were a few ridiculous moments that made me laugh in terms of the way the film portrayed tribal peoples. Here they are:
- Each year they have to travel umpteen miles across treacherous lands to hunt buffalo, then drag all of it back across the terrible terrains. Why don't you guys move close to the buffalo?
- When one of the cave-dudes dies on this traveling hunt, the men all stack ornately decorated ostrich egg-sized rocks onto a pile in memorial. Did they keep those rocks in a pocket? Or did they decorate them like easter eggs the night before with art supplies carried on the journey?
- When the cave-boy's mom bids him farewell, she rubs his face with a filthy hand. So a cave person doesn't want to have a clean hand? I am sure they know how to use water.
Anyway, that's my beef. But overall, the movie was a lot of fun, and quite honestly, beautiful. It's a cool concept to think of how man got started with dogs as their best friend. The only question I have is when did chihuahua's come into the prehistoric picture?
My rating: 🤓🤓🤓🤓 (I really liked it, but it had a few blunders.)
The Equalizer 2
Not bad Denzel, not bad. Denzel Washington portrays an ex-soldier / operative / secret agent of sorts that gets back at the jerks on this planet. He wrongs the rights, he gets revenge for the powerless and creates an overall sense of "That is awesome!" when watching his Equalizer movies.
The first Equalizer was little more brutal, but my nephew said he liked the second one a lot. But in this action-packed film, Denzel pulls the stops and continues to exact revenge on people who wronged him personally. Uh-oh, not a good idea to thwart a man who is an ex-soldier / operative / secret agent of sorts. Lots of blood, and not for the squeamish, but a great movie.
I really only have one beef. In this second movie, Denzel starts to come across a bit disheveled, unlike his first movie. His suit didn't fit right and he almost came across a bit dopey. I liked the movie, but an ex-military guy like him wouldn't let his hair get weird. A random detail I realize, but it is what stuck with me.
My rating: 🤓🤓🤓🤓 (I really liked it, but Denzel's hair and suit looked weird.)
I hope you enjoyed my reviews! Send me thoughts on what you'd like to hear from me.
Follow fellow Native Nerd, Vincent Schilling associate editor for Indian Country Today at@VinceSchilling
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