James McAvoy

Review: Atomic Blonde

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Review: Atomic Blonde

As July comes to an end so do many of the huge Hollywood summer blockbusters. Granted, there are some heavy hitters still due out in August: The Dark Tower, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, and Logan Lucky. But just under the wire in July we get Atomic Blonde. Based on the graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnson and Sam Hart, and directed by David Leitch (John Wick and the upcoming Deadpool 2) we have an awesome 1980s action movie starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy. It’s big, it’s loud, full of action and humor and wonderful music. This is the movie you want to end July with.

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Movie Issues: Wanted

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Movie Issues: Wanted

They have reached the end of August Action Month, and the guys ended it with the 2000’s. They decided to go with the 2008s Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy action flick Wanted. The over-the-top story of loser Wesley and how he becomes one of the world’s greatest and deadliest assassins. With tons explosions, car stunts and massive amounts of gun play to shake a stick at. It’s one action film-troupe after another. Sit in as the guys discuss the new Doctor Who and disagree all about Wanted.  They are all over the map in this episode. So just another week as normal. Please download and enjoy. Huzzah!

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Movie Issues: X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Movie Issues: X-Men: Days of Future Past

One of the most anticipated movies of this summer would be the new installment in the X-Men franchise: X-Men: Days of Future Past. In this new chapter, the future of humanity is a dark and desolate place. Humans created a new weapon to hunt mutants, The Sentinels. Things look pretty bleak as the mutants are on the edge of extinction. But the X-Men have once last hope, they send Wolverine back to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. With a mix of the original cast and new cast, this becomes one epic adventure and race against time for all.

XMEN Read On

Comic Issues Special Edition: X-Men First Class

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Comic Issues Special Edition: X-Men First Class

X-Men: First Class may of been out for a couple weeks already but that couldn’t stop our newest writer and I from getting together and gushing over James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender’s performances as Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr.  X-Men: First Class is nearly everything you would want in a film, from an almost a perfect cast to amazing story-telling and even blue and gold uniforms.

Enjoy as two long-time friends joke around and talk about their new favorite movie, X-Men: First Class.

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Comments Off on The Last King of Scotland

The Last King of Scotland

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Much has been said already about Forest Whitaker’s performance as Idi Amin (legendary dictator of Uganda) in this film, and when one sits down with such high expectations, one tends to be disappointed. However, Whitaker’s portrayal of this fascinating and complex man is truly a wonder to behold.

Our lead character is actually Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (played by James McAvoy), who jaunts off to Uganda to make a difference and have an adventure. He comes from a stifling home and just wants to plunge into life and really matter while he does it. Amin has just taken over the country in a coup (arranged by the British), and Garrigan’s accidental acquaintance with Amin follows the arc of his reign over Uganda from parades to assassination attempts. I suspect Giles Foden’s book is intensely fascinating.

We see Amin’s charming, funny side, his passionate side, his intentions and dreams. Whitaker said on NPR that he consulted with the family to be certain to bring as many sides to this man who is generally written off as a one-dimensional monster. When Garrigan encounters Amin, the new president is injured, feral, a wounded lion with sharp claws, confused and blinded by pain. From here we can see the flickering shadows of the man would get to know as The Wild Man of Africa. Garrigan’s European optimism (and previously sheltered existence) blind him to some of the red flags as he is swept up into a grander adventure than he had ever dared hope for. Amin is like an all-embracing patriarch, but also like a furious toddler, bubbling with rage and irrational rejection of reasonable argument. His paranoia and distrust consume his country. He has a terrifying personality, able to swing from intense love and trust to abject brutality with the flick of an eyelid. He was a tempestuous man, and Whitaker somehow channels this intense energy without resorting to Pacinoesque histrionics.

Amin’s fetishistic belief in his good luck charms and the near-magical power he gets from his sense of Anglophilia make him seem quirky, charming and harmless – a man in a kilt, ho ho! – even as it spells out disaster. Watching the Bretons who put him in power scramble to cover their tracks adds to the unease and paranoia already engendered by Amin’s increasingly arbitrary policies. The sycophants’ sweaty grins of fear echo Amin’s self-fulfilling prophecies of treachery and disaster. He is all id with no restraint.

Whitaker is electrifying (I hate it when critics use that word, but seriously, it applies), but the film itself is merely agur for his performance. I had very little sense of a time line and Garrigan was only developed enough as a character to get him through the door and then hope he can claw his way out again. Gillian Anderson makes a brief and not-quite-relevant appearance looking immeasurably sexy, but her segment is really just delaying the real entrée that is Whitaker.

My complaints are minor when stacked against a fascinating portrait of a terrible time and a charismatic philosopher-animal like Amin. It’s definitely worth your time and money.

MPAA Rating R-strong language, gruesome images, sexuality
Release date 9/27/06
Time in minutes 121
Director Kevin MacDonald
Studio Fox Searchlight