Tag Archives: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Rampage (2018) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Rampage

Director: Brad Peyton
Writers: Ryan Engle (screenplay by), Carlton Cuse (screenplay by)
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Joe Manganiello

Plot:  When three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.

Running Time: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 52%    Audience 75%

Why I Watched It: The cast and I got it on sale on itunes for 2.99.

Random Thoughts: This was one of the rare cases where a movie was based on a video game and I didn’t know or more likely didn’t remember the game.  I have seen it now boy I miss the early video games.

I would like to say something about Dwayne Johnson, Baywatch bombed, Skyscraper was a disappointment and Rampage did well but look at that critics score, it’s very hard to be the highest paid actor in Hollywood, heavy is the crown and all that, he’s still for my movie a bankable star and who of the most charismatic actors working today and likable as all get out.

What I Liked: First off, this is a fun and enjoyable popcorn movie, I liked the crap out of it, don’t worry I’ll say more but it does sum it up nicely.

I don’t usually like giant monster movies, I like some but the King Kongs and Godzillias usually leave me cold but here they embrace the fun of it and to their credit it’s silly cause of course it is but they play it straight and they don’t play down to the material.  The tone and pacing works well and even though the film does run a bit long it’s a quick watch.

Johnson is solid here, he’s kind of quiet and even though he’s playing to his type and his strengths it’s a bit different, slightly. Naomie Harris is very good here, kind of a nothing role and she holds her own.  To me the standout is Jeffery Dean Morgan who is a downright hoot in this movie, even is chewing scenery and having a ton of fun and it’s infectious, every time he says something I smiled.  I liked the fact that they didn’t make him a cliched government bad guy, you’re not really sure what side he’s on and that’s part of the fun.  It’s nice to see a secondary character get some time and also get to be more than a stock character.  Also different seeing Malin Ackerman as the villain, and to have a brother and sister villain is different or at least hasn’t been done in a while.

The action is done well, the CGI for the most part is good and the monsters were believable enough to keep you into the movie.  For the most par this is a well made action movie.

What I Didn’t Like: Honestly there isn’t much cause this movie really knows what it is, it’s not over reaching and it’s not trying to be the biggest Box Office hit of all-time, it’s a movie based on an old video game and it kept the fun and silliness that it had and put it on the big screen.  With that there’s a couple of nitpicks, they waste Joe Manganiello, i wish they gave him not only more to do but a character to play, he’s a type here, everything I said about Morgan’s character does not apply to Manganiello not his fault he’s a bigger name than this role needed.  Also the villain’s could have been a tad better, I get what they were going for but really they weren’t much of a threat.

Final Thoughts: A hoot of a film, there I said I enjoyed it for what it was, I hada good time watching it.

Rating: 8/10

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Desierto (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

DESIERTO

Director: Jonás Cuarón
Writers: Jonás Cuarón, Mateo Garcia
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alondra Hidalgo

Plot:  A group of people trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States encounter a man who has taken border patrol duties into his own racist hands.

Running Time: 88 Minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 61%    Audience 47%

Why I Watched It: The trailer looked decent and I’m a big fan of Jeffery Dean Morgan.

Random Thoughts: I keep waiting for Jeffery Dean Morgan to land that big movie role, I know he’s very good on Walking Dead, here’s a guy who can play both sides of the coin good guy bad guy and has charisma to spare but he’s not had “that movie role” yet.

What I liked: Sadly not a lot, I had some real problems with this film but let me find something I can say something positive about.  Both Morgan and Bernal are good actors and they do what they can here without them the film isn’t worth reviewing.

The film is hot really well the desert looks both beautiful and scary at the same time.  You get a real feel of the terrain, it felt hot.

Also the dog in this film is a better villain than Morgan’s character here, he’s scary and relentless, I wonder if the film would have worked with just the dog as the lead bad guy.

What I Didn’t Like: In recent memory I don’t remember seeing a film so under written, the basic plot is a bunch of illegal Mexicans are trying to cross the desert and are killed by a shooter, or sniper if you will.  That is all we get, both Morgan and Bernal get about one scene of character work, we don’t know who these people are and even Morgan we get he’s racist but we need more than that with him willing to kill a bunch of people in cold blood.  If you take out the oblivious political overtones this is just a version of The Most Dangerous Game, a man hunting people.  We get no depth, we get no reason to care other than it’s disturbing.

The film is also a mess cause of the lack of characters and really one plot point, it’s a game of cat and mouse, the bad guy is hunting them, that’s it.  The film drags at under 90 minutes. Also the film is downright dumb at times, Morgan is killing people with accuracy he seems like a professional sniper with the shots he pulls out, he does this one shot that is downright impossible but guess what happens when it’s just him and Bernal he suddenly can’t shot, he almost misses sides of mountains.

Here’s a nitpick but I think an important one, now the film is trying to set up how dangerous the desert is and we even here on the radio it’s the hottest day of the year, Morgan is in a truck drinking Jack Daniels throughout the film, we never see him drinking water and for half the film he’s on foot but he’s relentless running and hunting down his prey.  We have the hunted carrying water, one guy can barely run, it’s silly it’s movie logic.

The ending is so boring I almost didn’t finish the film, it’s not a good sign that you’re mind starts to wondering during the last big scene, it’s the two men going around a mountain, and then when we have the finish there’s a character turn that is not believable for a moment and it ruins whatever you built in your bad guy.

Final Thoughts: This was a huge misfire, there was no effort in having characters, I didn’t even know what they’re names were,  the film gave me nothing to hold onto, why is the bad guy doing what he’s doing?  Why should I care.

Rating: 3/10

Solace (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

SOLACE

Director: Afonso Poyart
Writers: Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish

Plot: A psychic works with the FBI in order to hunt down a serial killer.
Running time: 1 hour 41 minutes
IMDB Score: 6.4

Why I watched it: Sounded like a good serial killer movie plus a very good cast.

Random thoughts: I had seen the trailer and at first this looked like it was going to be a throwback movie, remember when there were tons of serial killer movies out there and I thought this might be a fun B-Movie with A-Actors.  The other thing about this film with that cast I’m shocked this didn’t get a bigger release.

What I liked: First off I was wrong about tone, this isn’t a slick thriller this is a more grounded drama, sure the plot is about a psychic helping track down a serial killer but it’s not pulpy at all.  Now one thing to get out of the way, it’s brought up in the trailer and this might be a spoiler but the selling point of this film is that the killer is a psychic as well.  One thing I want to praise is that they don’t screw around with Hopkins character being a psychic, there’s no scene where they’re told they can’t go to him for help cause there’s no such thing as psychics, it’s a fact he is what he is and they move forward.

The film reminded me of the Dead Zone TV show they way they dealt with “the gift” of being psychic. The acting as you might suspect is very good here, Hopkins is very good, sad older, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is such an underrated actor, I have no idea why he’s not a star, sure he’s known but the guy just has such an easy charm about him, so charismatic.    He’s good here even though he’s stuck in the Cop role.  Abbie Cornish is playing against type but she’s also playing the one stock role, very under written.

Now let me warn you Colin Farrell is not in it that much, he’s got a key role and he has a couple of good scenes with Hopkins but as far as screen time goes you’ll be disappointed if you’re a fan of his.  Now this film is very tricky cause you think going in that this film is about tracking a serial killer using the gimmick of both the hunter and the hunted being psychic as it’s hook, and it is and isn’t.

The film has bigger fish to fry here and it turns out to also be a very heavy drama with a big social question it wants to pose.  Now I won’t spoil it but it could be a deal breaker for some viewers.  I will say this without spoilers it does ask the question of what it must be like to be a psychic to know things, to have that weight, to touch someone and know.  This is a film that asks some tough questions and it answers some and some they kind of leave open.  It’s a much smarter and deeper film than I thought it was going to be.

What I didn’t like:  Again no spoilers, so let me tap dance, I think the movie hit the tone they wanted but I don’t think this plays like a thriller, now if I order a pizza I don’t want it to taste like a hamburger, I want a pizza even though I like hamburgers, I was in the mood for a pizza.  With Solace I watched it late on Friday night, just wanted to relax and enjoy a popcorn movie, it’s not that type of film, and I agree not the movie’s fault but I do think the film gets hurt by trying to at least be like a thriller cause the first half is them tracking down this killer and it seems like a Manhunter type film, but it gets deep and some twists happen, major twists.

So I was kind of switch my expectations on the fly.  Now I’ve watched a zillion films and I can adapt I just wonder if this was the right direction to go in, it did kind of left me coldish at times.  The film also feels like a lot got cut, Marley Shelton plays Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s wife, and he has a son and it feels like they should have had a bigger part that in fact Morgan at one point had a bigger part.

Also Hopkins at one point describes Abbie Cornish’s character(she’s Morgan’s partner) as Morgan’s girlfriend, now Hopkins character is very straight forward about his ability and doesn’t joke around he’s sometimes can use it as a weapon to keep people off guard so it made me think they’re might have been some sub-plots cut.

The film does feel rushed at times and at times the film seems to be fighting itself, what it is and what it wants to be.

Final thoughts: This is a hard film to judge, I liked the acting and I was digging the serial killer plot and truth be told I liked the film for the most part but it’s one of those I liked it…but, after I watched it I wasn’t sure what I thought, did I like it?

Not sure I kind of respect the fact that they tried to make it deeper and about something human and not just a slick soulless Hollywood thriller but I’m not sure it was successful enough for my liking.

Rating: 6/10