All posts by Movie Burner Entertainment

The Movie Burner Entertainment Organisation (M.B.E.) was founded in January 2017 by Executive Producers John Walsh (Editor in Chief), Kevan McLaughlin (Head of Development) and Stephen McLaughlin (Head of Programming) as an entertainment platform to provide Movie News and Reviews. “The Movie Burners” expanded the writing team and introduced experienced writers Chauncey Telese, D.M. Anderson, Michael McGeown, Anna-Maria McAlinney, Steven Wilkins, Philip Henry, John Gray, Gianni Damai and Gerry Brown and Elizabeth Brown (The Movie Couple) on board with a vast knowledge of film and give their view on the latest and retro movie reviews. The Movie Burner Entertainment Organisation (M.B.E.) Official Website (www.movieburnerentertainment.org) hosts the reviews. The Movie Burners Podcast hit the airwaves on SoundCloud and are now weekly shows (Box Office Chat, MBE Heroes, Movie Burner News, The Blog Rundown and The Force Friday Show) that you can find on iTunes & YouTube.

Cold Pursuit (2019) Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

Cold Pursuit Review

A Plowman’s Revenge (Blu-ray Review)

Director: Hans Petter Moland
Writers: Frank Baldwin (screenplay by), Kim Fupz Aakeson (based on the movie ‘Kraftidioten’ written by)
Starring Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Emmy Rossum, Tom Jackson, William Forsythe, Laura Dern, Domenick Lombardozzi, Raoul Trujillo, Julia Jones, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Arnold Pinnock, Micheal Richardson.

Liam Neeson has been channeling his inner Bronson for so long that one could be forgiven for assuming Cold Pursuit has him playing yet another one-man wrecking crew. But don’t let the generic title fool you. This is a highly amusing black comedy that just happens to have some great action.

Granted, as Nels Coxman, Neeson does exact a bit of bloody revenge over the death of his son, who was murdered by thugs on orders from smug, psychotic drug lord Trevor “Viking” Calcote (Tom Bateman). And yeah, Nels plans to kill his way to the top of the food chain. But Nels isn’t ex-CIA or a retired super soldier. He’s just a grieving, angry snowplow driver. And even though he dispatches three bad guys in short order, Viking assumes it’s the work of a rival Ute mob run by White Bull (Tom Jackson). Striking back, Viking kills White Bull’s son, which triggers an escalating war.

Since I was unaware of director Hans Petter Moland’s original 2014 Norwegian version, In Order of Disappearance, I guess I was anticipating a snowbound Taken (which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing…Neeson’s an awesome senior-discount asskicker). However, the beauty of Cold Pursuit is how it consistently defies expectations. Neeson’s the star, of course, but the film is more of an ensemble piece loaded with interesting, sometimes quirky characters. Some appear for a scene or two, while others share nearly as much screen time as Neeson himself.

It’s hard to get into specifics without ruining many of the film’s surprises, but while there’s plenty of bullets ‘n’ blood, it’s just-as-often funny as hell, including a couple of priceless running gags related to the escalating body count. The humour is sometimes understated, sometimes broad and occasionally morbid. If Fargo was as an action film, it might resemble something like this. But even without the eclectic characters and copious amounts of dark humour, Cold Pursuit’s plot is interesting enough that it could be presented straight and still remain fairly engaging.

Though it may not be the best film I’ve reviewed so far this year, it’s by-far the most fun. Criminally overlooked in theatres, this one deserves a second life on home video, definitely worth checking-out by both action fans and those whose sense of humour leans toward the dark side.

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Negative (2017) Movie Review By Steven Wilkins

Negative Review

Director: Joshua Caldwell
Writer: Adam Gaines
Stars: Katia Winter, Simon Quarterman, Sebastian Roché 

When a casual photographer Hollins (Quarterman) snaps a photo of a seemingly unassuming woman named Natalie (Winter), his life is flipped upside down when she shows up to retrieve the photo.
With very little explanation, she informs him that his life is now in danger and in order to survive he must flee with her to Arizona.

After being left in the dark for a spell, she finally explains her shady MI-6 past and all that’s transpired up to the point of the photograph. On the run from the cartel hunting her, this pretty much turns into one lengthy road trip full of empty convo that tries desperately to deliver suspense.

Unfortunately, this movie SEVERELY lacks the one thing you would fully assume would be front and centre action.  It isn’t the final act of the film that you’re rewarded with some bloodshed.  At this point, the story unfolds and you’re either fully committed or completely exhausted and ready for it to just be over with.  One could assume this all looked great on paper and it’s clear this is a low low budget film but the delivery falls slightly short of what it’s aiming for.

Far from a must see but decent enough to burn some time, Negative is nothing more than an excuse to pop some popcorn and log in another viewing. Enjoy.

Rating: C

Triple Threat (2019) Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

 

Triple Threat Review,

Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Writers: Joey O’Bryan, Fangjin Song (Writer)
Stars: Tony Jaa, Tiger Hu Chen, Iko Uwais

I suppose you could call Triple Threat an all-star, East vs. West clash of titans.

In one corner, you’ve got Asian martial arts superstars Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen, none of them strangers to the genre. In the other, there’s Westerners Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and Michael Bisping. Adkins & White are legends of direct-to-video action, while Bisping is a former UFC champion.

If that collection of names doesn’t excite you, you’re obviously reading the wrong review.

For everyone else, Triple Threat is blood-soaked brawl with a plot thrown in because most movies require them. Fortunately, director Jesse V. Johnson wisely keeps the story simple, lest it intrude too much on the action. For the record, though, Jaa & Uwais play Payu & Long, two mercenaries duped into helping a crew of baddies release their boss, a notorious terrorist named Collins (Adkins), being held in a Thai village. After the mission, they are left-for-dead, as is lone surviving villager, Jaka (Iko Uwais), who now wants to avenge his wife’s murder. The three form an uneasy alliance to track down these killers, whose next target is Tian (Celina Jade), a philanthropist using her wealth to stop organized crime in her country.

Much of the movie is a chase, Payui & Long protecting Tian while Jaka infiltrates Collins’ crew (which includes White and Bisping). Though the film takes an occasional breather for necessary exposition, it’s mostly one elaborate action set-piece after another. There’s martial arts o’ plenty, of course, as well as ample amounts of bullets and blood. And if you’ve ever wondered what being shot point-blank by a grenade launcher looks like, this is the movie for you.

If not, why are you still reading?

Though the film is fairly light on characterisation, the performances are good. When they aren’t snapping limbs, the three protagonists are congenially likeable and empathetic. Both Adkins and White look like they’re having a great time tearing things up, relishing their roles as villains. On the other hand, Jade can only do so much with her thankless role as “the woman in jeopardy” (including an eye-rolling scene where she’s hampered by high heels).

While not in the same league as The Raid (what is?), Triple Threat wisely takes the similar path with its story telling: Keep it simple, keep it moving and keep it intense. The film doesn’t necessarily challenge the intellect, but it seldom descends into stupidity, either. Ultimately, this East vs. West showdown is a feast for action lovers.

Night Shift (2018) Movie Review By Steven Wilkins

Night Shift Review

Director: Stephen Hall
Writer: Stephen Hall
Stars: Ashleigh Dorrell, Matthew O’Brien, Angel Hannigan

Directed and written by Stephen Hall, this horror centers around Amy, a young woman terrified of the dark, strapped for cash who takes a third shift receptionist job at recently renovated hotel once home to a series of brutal murders.  Starting off very slow, you definitely find yourself eager for fear to kick in and when it finally does you actually don’t wanna budge as the story itself picks up some much needed pace.

Amy finds herself having to save some of the staying guests from a murderer roaming the halls though all isn’t what it seems as time itself begins to warp within the walls. Only armed with a flashlight and a walkie talkie link to her partner, her shift takes many turns for the worst.
Nightshift does well to pull the viewer in giving you a decent sense of shared fear, especially in the darkness.  A lot of films have a difficult time presenting absolute dark but even with a low budget this film does very well to make you feel as if you’re trapped within only the beam of your flashlight.

Thankfully, void of jump scares, the overall fear factor is about a 7/10. The acting is believable and the story isnt too full of itself to push the viewer away.
Nightshift is a solid viewing with a pretty good twist well worth a bowl or two of popcorn, enjoy

B+

What Men Want (2019) Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

What Men Want Review, A woman is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession, but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear men's thoughts.

The Good & Bad of WHAT MEN WANT

Director: Adam Shankman
Writers: Tina Gordon (screenplay by) (as Tina Gordon Chism), Peter Huyck (screenplay by)
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Kristen Ledlow, Josh Brener, Tracy Morgan, Aldis Hodge, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tamala Jones, Phoebe Robinson, Max Greenfield, Erykah Badu, Brian Bosworth, Auston Jon Moore, Shane Paul McGhie.

Taraji P. Henson is an interesting actress. Whether her characters are assertive or reserved, strong or vulnerable, bitchy or congenial, she regularly delivers convincing performances. And whether she’s the star, supporting character or part of an ensemble, Henson tends to stand out (in a good way). She’s even rendered bad films at-least watchable. Well, maybe not Acrimony.

It’s nice to see Henson finally getting her due as an A-lister, and What Men Want seems tailor-made for her, which is both a good and a bad thing.

It’s a good thing because this gender-switched remake of What Women Want allows her to demonstrate her considerable comedic talents as Ali Davis, an abrasive, headstrong sports agent whose sudden ability to hear all men’s thoughts turns her life upside-down. At first, she uses it to her advantage as she tries to sign a young NBA hopeful. But later, when it begins to complicate her life and relationships, Davis begins to engage in the usual self-reflection that comes with movies like this (a shift in tone Henson adapts to quite well).

It’s also a bad thing because the film itself coasts almost entirely on the performances of Henson and her co-stars. What Men Want is the working definition of formulaic. There isn’t a single character we haven’t seen before, nor one plot turn we don’t see coming from miles away, much like the original (though, as the trailers suggest, this one is far raunchier).

But that doesn’t mean the film doesn’t have some great moments, mostly thanks to the cast (Henson, in particular). After a woefully shaky opening act, the film improves considerably once Ali awakens from a blow to the head with her new ability, leading to some hilarious situations. None of it is particularly clever – or surprising – but the film is generally funny enough that one might forgive the deja vu that hangs over every scene.

Just like the original was a form-fitted vehicle to cash in on Mel Gibson’s charisma, What Men Want does likewise for Taraji P. Henson. As such, it delivers exactly as expected, though nothing more. We’ve seen it all before, but for the most part, the film is congenial, undemanding fun. However, you should probably put the kids to bed, first.