Tuesday, January 21, 2014

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - oh Flint!


the Plot:

Duke (Channing Tatum) becomes the leader of the G.I. Joe unit, which is framed for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan by Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), who is impersonating the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce).

The majority of the unit is subsequently eliminated in a military air strike with Duke among the casualties.

love the visor, Girl!

The only survivors are Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki).

fearsome much?

Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and ex-Joe Firefly (Ray Stevenson) rescue Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) from an underground maximum-security prison in Germany, who in turn abandons Destro.


Storm Shadow is injured during the escape and retreats to a temple in the Himalayas to recover. Upon learning that he is alive, the Blind Master (RZA), leader of the Arashikage Clan, sends Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and his apprentice Jinx (Elodie Yung), Storm Shadow's cousin, to capture Storm Shadow so he can answer for the murder of his uncle the Hard Master, and help unravel the Cobras' plans.

Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye return to the United States where they set up a base of operations in a rundown gym.

After Zartan announces that Cobra will replace the Joes as America's main protective unit, Lady Jaye deduces that someone is impersonating the President, and Roadblock leads them to General Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis), who provides them with weapons and rallies the old Joes to help the mission.


The 3 Joes later infiltrate a fundraising event that the President will be attending. Lady Jaye steals a sample of the President's DNA and confirms that he is Zartan. They escape after a brief confrontation with Firefly and Zandar (Matt Gerald), the head of the Presidential Detail and a member of Cobra.

Snake Eyes and Jinx locate and capture Storm Shadow after a battle with ninjas and take him back to Japan, where during questioning by the Blind Master, it is revealed that Storm Shadow was innocent of killing the Hard Master and in fact it was Zartan who murdered him and gained most as Storm Shadow joined Cobra to avenge those he thought believed him guilty. Storm Shadow then accompanies Snake Eyes and Jinx as they join the Joes' efforts to stop Cobra.

Zartan invites the world leaders to a summit, where he blackmails them into disabling their nuclear arsenals, and reveals that he has created Project Zeus: seven orbital kinetic bombardment weapons of mass destruction at his command. He destroys central London to prove his superiority, and threatens to destroy other capitals if the countries don't submit to Cobra. Storm Shadow betrays Cobra Commander and kills Zartan, revealing Cobra's deception to the world leaders. While Snake Eyes, Jinx, and Flint fight Cobra's soldiers, Cobra Commander activates the remaining six weapons and instructs Firefly to protect the launch device. Firefly is killed in combat by Roadblock, who deactivates and destroys the orbital weapons. Meanwhile, Colton and Lady Jaye rescue the President.

Cobra Commander escapes during the battle and Storm Shadow disappears after killing Zartan.

The real President addresses the nation at a ceremony where Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Flint, Jinx, and Snake Eyes are commemorated as heroes. Colton salutes each of them, and presents Roadblock with an M1911 pistol that belonged to General George S. Patton, to use when he finally finds Cobra Commander and to avenge Duke. Roadblock proudly raises the weapon and lets out a single shot in honor of his fallen comrades.

the Review:
i downloaded this movie long ago and didn't give it much thought until last weekend. and i fell in love with Flint. he was understated, like a boy in need of a lady ruffling his hair somewhat. i read the back story on him and i guess no wonder there was that awkwardness between him and Lady Jaye. i mean, he was respectful but being a guy, oh well, can't resist a peek. i mean, that undie is INDEED something :grins:

Duke is dead. does that make Joes worth watching? i mean, left with only 4 Joes (not including recently added Jinx and former Joes though), perhaps in the upcoming sequel, we'll get to see them regroup. Ripcord, Scarlett and General Hawk, to name a few is conspicuously missing. not that i'm saying Roadblock, Flint and Lady Jaye are not entertaining, it's just that it gets lonely, that GI Joes enthusiasts shall be feeling something's missing.

i guess that what's made critics panning this movie down. but it has performed well in the box office.

in a way, i guess the plot in this movie is too simplistic. a bit toned down as compared to the first movie, full of action and all that. though i do appreciate more scenes given to storm Shadow. BHL is superb!

being a nitpick auntie, i wonder why didn't Cobras put the remaining Joes on surveillance? i mean, those 3 are literally everywhere. now that POTUS declared them criminals, perpetrator of war and all that, why didn't they got pick up? it's not they are wearing disguises or anything. i mean, Roadblock would be hard enough to be missed, right?

this hulk of a person wouldn't be hard to spot. really.

plus, the security detail at the summit is laughable. it made the lives of the world leaders so cheap, don't you think? this is a Nuclear Summit kot. plus, it seems a lot easier to jack off one's nuclear missiles and a mere button to cancel it out. for real? man, we should be afraid, real afraid. and the evacuation details of dem world leaders are so laughable as much as there are non-existent. no Pakistani, North Korean leaders would ever agree into coming on the US soil given this rather shoddy security detail, i tell you. not in million years.

i was also wondering why on earth they spent that much money, space, technology and effort into keeping Commander Cobra, Destro and the criminals alive? why not just give them a bullet and let the world be much safer? why drill into the earth and make them suffer just by looking at a pair of swords? stupid! waste of people's money, this.

anyway, Lady Jaye serves well as the only gal on the team. with a RIDONKULOUS body, i think she must be fearsome enough to escape unruly attention. plus, there is that Patton's chauvinistic treatment of her. melampau sih.

me = ENVY

oh well, i love this movie for Flint. DJC may not acted in many films or tv shows  but as Flint, he scores.

yummeyh from the very beginning :)

can't wait for the next movie. :doublegrins:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Safe Haven: a story of multifaceted abuse

A young woman (Julianne Hough) runs out of her house after being shown in possession of a bloody knife and knocks on her neighbour's house for help.

She is shown moments later buying a bus ticket, her hair now cropped and bleached, rather in a hurry whilst maintaining her face hidden. Cops drop by at the bus station searching for her but luckily the bus she's in move for Atlanta first.

The bus stops at a small town called Southport, North Carolina. At the general store, she introduces herself as Katie. After hanging around for a while, she lets the bus leaves without her. Acquiring a job as a waitress and getting a small house on the edge of town, Katie becomes friends with her neighbor, Jo (Cobie Smulders) and meets Alex Wheatley, (Josh Duhamel), the manager of the convenience store, and his two children, Lexie (Mimi Kirkland) and Josh (Noah Lomax). Alex's wife tragically died of cancer a few years prior.

Alex immediately takes a liking to Katie, doing small helpful things, such as fixing an old bike to leave it at her house in the middle of the night. Always wary of strangers and still having nightmares about being found by the cops, Katie returns the bike to Alex.

However, after a talk with Jo, Katie feels sorry for being so abrupt and rather rude. She goes to see Alex and apologises, agreeing to accept the token of kindness.

Lexie immediately takes a liking to Katie who is sweet on her. When Katie cycles by, Lexie invites her to join a 'family' trip to the beach which she promptly accepts. They spend the day together and getting to know each other. Alex asks her to go canoeing with him, after which, they fall in love.



Lexie immediately accepts Katie, while Josh is initially resistant, believing Katie to be his late mother's replacement, but eventually accepts her as well.

Meanwhile, Kevin Tierney (David Lyons), a Boston police officer, searches for Katie and, using his authority as a police officer, sends out reports saying that she is a wanted murderer. Upon seeing her picture in the police station, Alex confronts Katie and becomes angry that she didn't trust him enough to even tell him her real name, Erin. The picture flashes to Kevin's boss confronting him at work, pointing out he always carries a water bottle that turns out to be filled with vodka, and as a result of Kevin putting Erin who's actually his own wife on the wanted list for a crime she didn't commit,  he gets suspended and asked to surrender his badge.

After Alex tells her to leave, Katie is shown packing while talking angrily with Jo. Alex drives over to Katie's house to talk to her, only to discover that she left. He drives to the nearest ferry and admits he's fallen in love with her and promises to protect her no matter what. Initially, Katie wants to flee but then she decides to stay in Southport.


Later, Katie tells Alex that Kevin is her husband, whom she stabbed with a kitchen knife in order to protect herself from his drunken assault. It is revealed that he has been abusing her ever since that it makes her submissive enough to believe it is her fault all along.

Meanwhile, after finding that Katie does know someone in the neighbourhood, Kevin breaks into the neighbor`s home back in Boston and finds the phone number to the Southport restaurant that employs Katie. He finds the location and makes his way there, very noticeably drunk.


Arriving just on time for the Fourth of July parade, Kevin begins his search for Katie through the crowd, belligerent.

Kevin finally finds Katie dancing with Josh and watches as Alex leans over to kiss her, which makes him angry. However Kevin waits until Alex and Josh leave to light up the fireworks in a boat while Katie and Lexie stay alone at the store.

Later, as she falls asleep with Lexie, Katie has a dream that she is standing on the docks watching the fireworks when Jo comes up and tells Katie that "he" is here. Katie wakes up in the convenience store next to a fast asleep Lexie. While she is walking around in the store, Kevin makes his appearance and confronts her, drunk and sobbing and asking her to talk. He asks her to go back home with him, but she refuses and tells him to leave. He pulls out a revolver while Katie asks Lexie to stay up in the second floor of the store, scared that she might see Kevin and become frightened. Meanwhile, Kevin is pouring gasoline all over the store, with the intent to burn it down. He sits down on the steps with a lighter, deep in thought, and Katie fakes sympathy for him and agrees to return home with him, only to push him into the water by surprise. However, a firework spark lands on the gasoline, igniting a fire that spreads all over the store.

Alex, busy shooting off fireworks, sees the burning store and quickly makes his way across the lake by boat. He stands on the dock, pleading with Lexie to jump into his arms. After a brief hesitation, she finally does. Meanwhile, Katie is wrestling with a soaked Kevin who is attempting to shoot her. After a long struggle on the ground with Kevin holding the gun and Katie desperately trying to keep him from pointing it her head, she makes one last desperate grab at the gun and it goes off, killing Kevin. Soon after, Alex finds Katie and they embrace.

In the aftermath, Alex rifles through a desk, whose contents were spared from the fire, belonging to his late wife, where he finds multiple letters she prepared ahead of time for memorable events such as Josh's eighteenth birthday and Lexie's wedding day. Alex gives Katie a letter with the words "To Her" on the envelope. The letter talks about how if someone is receiving this letter, then Alex loves her without a shadow of a doubt. She says she is thankful for whoever is now reading the letter and thanks the reader for making Alex feel young and in love again.

The movie ends by revealing that Jo, who had supposedly left town moments before, was actually the ghost of Alex's dead wife.

This story reminds me of Enough, the one with Jennifer Lopez truly showing her mettle as an actress. it was about abusive husband too.

what i love most about this story is the way it tells a story, through flashbacks and relying on viewer's intellect to deduce what really happens. it's neat. though the way it explains Jo was kinda lazy. didn't the town people find it weird when Katie talks to Jo all over town?

the main theme that i want to highlight in this movie is the abuse Kevin is accounted for: drinking liquor concealed in plastic mineral water bottles (alcohol abuse), putting Katie on wanted list using his official means (power abuse) and assaulting his wife (domestic abuse). he's a wreck and yet his superior did not notice that until he crossed the line. which is not good because he works as a police officer, no less.

JH did a good job in this movie, don't you think? how she evolved from being an abused person into a confident woman. the way she reacts with Alex and his kids shows that she's basically a decent, nice person. am looking forward to viewing Footloose. she's reportedly a good dancer.

JD's acting chops are only tested moderately in this. don't get me wrong, he did just fine. being a frustrated father and all. though i wonder why on earth that no other woman in that town ever shows any romantic interest in him. he's dishy, respectful, kind and caring. plus, his kids are basically nice. i mean, come on!

MK did a good job in this one. i truly adore her. she's easy going, friendly and too lovable for words. a good child actress she is. NL is not bad either, being a sullen boy and all. it touches me regarding the letters Jo left her family. Cancer is bad, the way your family has to endure you dying day by day. but it also gives fortunate ones time to say goodbye, to atone for leaving loved ones behind. be practical, plan ahead, dearest, just like what Jo did, though i'm not saying that you'll come back as a helpful ghost :grin: 

anyway, i think one of the important scenes to look out for (and remember if you were in Katie's shoes) is the one when Katie handles Kevin as he confronts her in the end. be firm and level. not excessively but enough. it might not work to turn him off completely but might be able to buy you some time to get help.

this is not a story of love, but rather of redemption. of second chance at life only you can give yourself.