Movie Reviews: New and Old Favorites

Dan Martucci

    “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage:” Ah, Vin Diesel, back at it again with another pointless, jam-packed action movie. Vin returns as the infamous Xander Cage (10/10 name) in what is one of the biggest movies in the world right now in terms of Box Office predictions and revenues earned. I went to the movie last Friday night with a group of friends at the Hamilton Movie Theater (which is a severely underutilized resource downtown) and I left the theater with one simple word on my mind: wow. This movie did not disappoint in the action department, as every couple of minutes there was a slow-motion fight scene or some absurd stunt that was almost too unrealistic: Diesel skied down a mountain with no snow, survived a helicopter crash, skate-boarded horizontally on a moving bus and even BMX-surfed massive ocean waves. His outfits throughout the whole movie were hilarious as well, ranging from a massive fur coat, to his vintage tank-top look and even some military get-up. Furthermore, several of the actors played insignificant roles in the film: one was a DJ, so that made no sense. Another character was “The Hound” from Game of Thrones who just enjoyed driving vehicles into things. So, yeah, this movie hit all key pressure points that I look for in a Diesel film. The acting and script of this movie also did not disappoint, with absurd one-liners, dialogue, fight scenes and unexpected (and oftentimes out of place) love scenes coming from characters across the board. Samuel L. Jackson was certainly a pleasant addition to the movie as well, even making a reference to his role as Nick Fury from the Avengers series. Cameos from Neymar and Ice Cube just added to this movie’s already well-established absurdity. Go see this movie if you want a movie experience like you have never had before.

    Side Note: This movie was terrible and if you are looking for a movie that’s actually good, then you definitely should not see this. It is like a way, way worse “Expendables” with a lower budget and with fewer action movie stars.

    “The Hateful 8:” What movie isn’t Samuel L. Jackson in these days? Guy seems to be everywhere and in everything. I know this movie is a little dated, but it finally came on HBO and I watched it towards the end of break. This movie was vintage Quentin Tarantino, with a ton of gore, foul language and violence. I thought that the premise and plot of the movie was extremely interesting. I especially liked how the movie was broken up into distinct chapters. Set in a blizzard in the vast, open country of Wyoming sometime after the Civil War, this movie chronicled the interactions of eight strangers in one lonely traveler house waiting for the weather to subside. The acting was great and this is a movie that will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat as Samuel L. Jackson attempts to put the pieces together of who these other strangers in the house really are. Overall, this was one of the better movies I have seen in 2017 (even if it came out in 2015), and, if you can stand the Tarantino gore and violence, you should see it.