Tag Archives: Guy Ritchie

Guy Ritchie’s “Black Ops II” Live Action Trailer. Featuring Robert Downey Jr.

All that’s missing are Jägerbombs and misogyny. Guy Ritchie became the favorite filmmaker of fratboys everywhere when he made Lock Stock and Snatch. Between pounding shots and subjugating women, 20 year old collegiate males the world over high-fived over Brad Pitt’s unintelligble accent and then played some rounds of Call of Duty, the record-shattering military shooter that single-handedly gobbled up the profits of an entire industry in 2010. It’s only natural, given the matching demographic, that Treyarch would bring on the man to direct a live-action trailer for the second iteration in the Black Ops franchise, but to cap it all off, you’ll spot RDJ in the mix as well:

The trailer is only a minute long but manages to squeeze in a lot of information if you’re paying attention. In a simulated single shot, the camera bounces from one recognizable face to another (YouTube stars iJustine and FPSrussia make appearances too) but the trailer tries to focus the insane arsenal of gadgets at your disposal in Cod Blops 2. The trailer closes on a swarm of zombies, hinting at the added emphasize to the secondary zombie mode that became an instant fan favorite in World at War, and was expanded even further in the last game.

The first Black Ops crammed so much content onto disc that it was nearly impossible to argue against its value. A globe-trotting popcorn movie campaign, the most popular multiplayer platform in console gaming and extras and minigames pouring out of every nook and cranny made it a tantalizing offer. Blops 2 looks to be offering a similar experience this time around, but they’ve rebuilt the multiplayer from ground up, promised a much beefier single-player experience and a much much bigger zombie mode than ever before. The new features of Black Ops 2 are all explored in Game Trailers’ latest episodes of Bonus Round, if you haven’t heard about them yet.

Grizzly Review: The Raid – Redemption

I’ll be the first to admit that good action films have definitely taken a backseat to the almighty dollar. Instead of taking time and money to coordinate fantastically coordinated action sequences, the “shit blows up” mentality has completely taken over Hollywood and forced American viewers to drastically lower their expectations when it comes to the definition of the word “cool”. Slow-motion and big budgets have completely taken precedence over precision and stylish filmmaking. I mean, how is it that we live in a world where one Michael Bay movie makes more than Guy Ritchie’s entire career gross combined? It’s a little sickening if you ask me.

But the question can certainly arise, what is a good action film? Is violence more important than story? What about the writing? Does it have to be as good as Pulp Fiction or can it safely reside in James Cameron territory? If you want an answer from me, I’d have to say that I’m a purist when it comes to action films. I like good violence, great camerawork, and I can definitely live with a lack of fantastic storytelling and writing or acting. But it’s true that original and simple premises make the best action films. In my honest opinion, Crank is one of the best American action films to come out in the past few years.

I also think it’s true that most of the great action films aren’t even from this country. And after seeing The Raid: Redemption, my opinion was proven. In terms of pure, unadulterated violence, The Raid is one of the best action films…of all time. Starring all Indonesian actors with a script and direction by a Welsh filmmaker, the film tells a culturally Asian story with the eye of an innovative European. The result, simply put, is beautiful.

The premise is simple. A SWAT team is sent in to the most dangerous apartment complex in all of Indonesia. They’re sent to take down the most powerful drug lord in the entire nation, who lives on the top floor. But to get there, they have to face 15 floors full of gun-toting and drugged-out henchman who will stop at nothing to make sure nobody makes it out alive.

Led by Jaka (Joe Taslim), the team’s captain, a slew of rookie SWAT are sent in basically to be murdered by the seemingly countless men who pop out of every corner. The real star of the film, though, is Rama (Iko Uwais), a rookie member of the team who is a master of martial arts. In pursuit of Rama is Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian), a psychotic and unfairly skilled martial artist who is literally a human killing machine. A fun fact, the actor who plays Mad Dog was also the stunt choreographer for the film alongside Iko Uwais, the other star of the film.

The Raid: Redemption knows that its premise is pure video game, and it exploits this fact. By realizing that the nameless and faceless make the best victims, the film sends them out to our young hero not in groups, but in waves. He takes out entire hallways full of men armed with every hunting machete known to man. Countless action sequences highlight the stars’ talents, and the choreography of the fight sequences could be misconstrued as interpretive dance if it were performed on a stage.

In a decision that I support fully, The Raid is very short on story, instead putting much more focus into the perfection of the action. And let me tell you, the action really is perfect. The second half especially becomes much more intense, as there are less characters and more time for us to get to know the few people left alive. It all leads up to a truly breathtaking climax that will forever grace my mind with fond memories of a film that is truly unbeatable.

The camerawork is some of the best I’ve seen recently, with all angles exploited as Rama and Co. make their way up to the top of the building from Hell. It reminded me a lot of the Navy SEALS docudrama-action Act of Valor, but without all the…awfulness. Writer/director Gareth Evans knows exactly what he wants here and he makes it happen, with the results bordering genius.

Sure, when all is said and done, The Raid is a rather exhausting experience, but it’s the exhaustion that I rather liked. I felt changed as I walked out of the theater. Like something inside of me knew that that is what an action film is supposed to look like. Of course, I knew that at the exact moment when Rama takes a victim’s head and does a fly-back, pulling his neck and body into a line of wooden spikes created from a broken door.

4.5/5 Bears

Grizzly Review – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the mastermind behind the original “Sherlock Holmes” novels, a series of gripping mysteries led by one of the most famous characters in literary history. The books are witty, suspenseful, well-plotted, and the character of Holmes, as well as his sidekick Dr. John Watson, are two of the smartest and slickest protagonists to ever hit the page. Their ability to transform the most miniscule detail into the one that cracks the case was so invigorating that readers couldn’t help but just keep going.

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