REVIEW: “ATOMIC BLONDE” (2017) Universal Pictures

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Ever since Mad Max: Fury Road, I felt as though Charlize Theron could really do no wrong at playing a kick-ass, strong female character – as let’s face it, she should have been nominated for that role. With “Atomic Blonde”, it feels as though what I thought is correct. Theron’s character, Lorraine Broughton is a concoction of James Bond shaken (not stirred) with a bit of John Wick and perhaps even a little Bourne as an added twist of sour lemon. That is of course except for the simple fact that she could probably kick all their asses while barely mussing up her hair.

“Atomic Blonde” isn’t all sex and violence, though yes, it’s what drives the film, as there is a story in here, though I will say it’s not the most well written one. It’s a 80’s spy flick turned upside down as it’s lead character takes us on a thriller of a ride, done mostly in flashbacks during an investigation being conducted by Eric Gray (Toby Jones), and our own CIA exec Emmett Kurzfeld (John Goodman), who seem to be trying to work together here..sort of. With some fantastic 80’s fashion and a soundtrack that is in and of itself, it’s own character, as every song fits perfectly into it’s scene and makes a huge impression on the audience by making you want to stand up and dance, but instead, you sit because you’re being transfixed by some crazy fun, fantastic action scenes.

The setup: Lorraine is an undercover MI6 agent sent to Berlin in the days before the Wall comes down to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a important list that asylum seeking agent code-named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan), which contains the names of double agents that’s fallen into the wrong hands of Aleksander Bremovych (Roland Møller). James McAvoy plays David Percival, a fellow agent who’s probably been in Berlin a little too long as he’s clearly running a black market on the side and doesn’t really seem to be on the up and up agent-wise. Berlin is at the point of time where there are protests every day with the East & West sides wanting the downfall of the infamous Berlin Wall that separates them. So of course with all that going on, it’s in a complete state of chaos which predicates the plot here. Things are changing and changing fast with Lorraine being basically sent into an impossible situation, which in order to stay alive, she’s needs to not only be one step ahead, but going to have to fight like hell just to survive and get herself out, let alone fulfill the mission.

All in all, it’s the action that makes this film and leaves the storyline in the dust, with Theron truly being an “Atomic Blonde”. The acting beyond the action, isn’t really there. Sofia Boutella, whom usually is the one doing all the ass-kicking, is really in her first role here that she doesn’t, and honestly, you could have left her French agent character Delphine Lasalle out and no one would have missed her, unless of course the sex scene between her and Charlize are important to you, but it’s truly not an addition or would it be a subtraction that would be missed to the plot. Lastly, you know how picky I am with accents but I do give a hush-hush wink-wink to Theron’s playing a British one here. 😉

Grade: B-
@pegsatthemovies

Media Review Screening: Monday, July 24, 2017 ~ Courtesy of Universal Pictures
“Atomic Blonde” will be released in theatres nationwide on Friday, July 28, 2017

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REVIEW OF X-MEN:DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

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To say I am an X-Men fan would probably be an understatement. I mean it’s not as big as my James Bond fandom..but it’s running a close second as it’s a cartoon I’ve watched all my life including way into adulthood. I remember waking up every Saturday morning as it would air at 11am and I was completely into it hangover or not!! 😀 Granted ‘Gambit’ was my guy, cuz he was crazy, wild loose canon and yes, just plain fun and now he’s close to finally being cast by Channing Tatum as they have only had “Gambit” ever-so-briefly before in the Wolverine movie..I am totally ready for him! As for this movie..I’ve got a favourite character too! Read on and see who it is!!!

So let’s start off though with just a briefing on the movie itself. I’ve seen it twice now..once in 2D and now just saw it in 3D (Thanks Jason!!) This adventure into X-Men is meant to take you back in time and connect all the other X-Men and possibly yes, Wolverine movies together so all the threads that you’ve already seen become woven together. It does that, though there are quite a few long, lagging points, sometimes lasting up to 15min or so where you finally go..okay..I got it!! Let’s move on. All in all this story has a definite point to it.. I do like the time-travel idea so that the X-Men may live on…:) The plot is obviously set in the future where man has turned against all mutants and has been killing them off in droves in scenes reminiscent of concentration camps footage, but of course as with all things man-kind, have taken it one step further as we’ve been known to do, and is killing of not only sympathizers but people who are even carrying the gene or if their children/grandchildren can be seen to carry it. So basically as with all war, it’s gotten ugly and out of control. So in order to save their race/species, Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen, reprising their roles as elder “Charles Xavier/Professor X & Eric/Magneto” realize Mystique has been the catalyst to the beginning of this whole destruction with her 1st killing back in time when she found out what the research they were doing on Mutants was really headed and then became captured and used herself.  To stop all this from happening, Wolverine goes back in time to 1973, which is actually a couple of fun scenes there, and he has to convince the younger Magneto & Beast that he really is who he says and they just don’t know it yet and they need to help him to save all mutant-kind. Magneto is of course in a lock down prison 100 floors below the surface of the earth, for of all things, killing JFK or so they say. And his ‘jailbreak’ is probably my most favourite scene in a movie in a long time!! Once they get them all together, you think it’s going to work out, but of course it can’t go the way planned..there has to be problems within the group themselves, most notably Professor X & yep..you guessed it, Magneto.  You know I love my villains, I always do..a good villain has a redeemable quality and oh yes, Magneto does..and it really comes down to him and Mystique as she is rather a villainess here also.

Acting wise, Hugh Jackman in his now quite iconic role as “Wolverine” does a good job of it. I like it and damn his body is truly stunning..Next, how can you not love the ‘McFassy’ bromance aka Michael Fassbender as “Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr” and James McAvoy as “Professor X/Charles Xavier” – for me they are not ‘hott’ per se’.. but I think it’s because of their imperfections I find them just damn sexy!! 🙂 I love little imperfections/scars etc.. it makes someone interesting. But then I can also look at a Nickolas Hoult as a young “Beast/Hank” and think how stunning that little kid from ‘About a Boy’ turned into..I mean who saw that one coming.. ha! He’s like a young ‘Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ for me. Jennifer Lawrence is good here in her turn as “Raven/Mystique” ~ though I kept getting flashbacks of Rebecca Romijn as why not..they flashed everyone else back!! 😀 Peter Dinklage is just a wonderful villain as you knew he would be playing “Dr. Bolivar Trask” and all the other co-stars are back as in Ellen Page as “Kitty Pryde” Shawn Ashmore as “Bobby/Iceman” and I could only thank my lucky stars the awful Halle Berry again as “Storm” was only back for a few scenes.. WHEW!! I’m sure everyone gave a collective sigh on that one. But here it is everyone.. (I don’t give out spoilers so you will have to see the movie) in his first go-round in a blockbuster movie like this..BY FAR THE BEST PERFORMANCE and HANDS DOWN the best scene in the whole movie belongs to…(drum roll please) Evan Peters as “Peter/Quicksilver” I mean.. soooo good. It’s not a big scene..but it’s by far the most memorable and fun-est of the whole damn movie. You will love it! And if these producers know what’s good, they will bring him back in X-Men-Apocalypse for sure.quicksilver

There are many cool flashbacks in this movie towards the end.. or are they flash forwards..hmmm.. well that would give it all away now wouldn’t it..ha! so you will just have to see the movie to know..but I guarantee they will make you smile & laugh and have you wondering just who will be coming back around in the next ‘Apocalypse’. That remains to be seen..oh and if you want catch a glimpse of that..make sure you stay until the very end..I’m talking after the ENDLESS list of credits that seems to be 1/2 the population, rolls on by ..even if the lights go up.. STAY!! You will be glad you did.

To sum it up the superhero/comic book movies so far this summer..it isn’t as good as “Captain America” but it’s better than “Spiderman 2” it’s definitely entertaining. #bangformybuck

Grade: B-
#peggyatthemovies