Category: Thriller

Summary: 
The bodyguard Michael Bryce continues his friendship with assassin Darius Kincaid as they try to save Darius’ wife Sonia.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 10th June 2021 (Australia), 14th June 2021 (UK), 5th August 2021 (Thailand), 16th June 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA, UK

Director: Patrick Hughes

Screenwriter: Brandon Murphy, Phillip Murphy

Cast: Michael Aston (Giuseppe), Barry Atsma (Moreno), Ivor Bagaric (Young Bryce), Antonio Banderas (Aristotle Papdopolous), Bekka Bowling (Stewardess Clare), Brian Caspe (Wlter Fiscer), Anna-Maria Everett (Elena), Morgan Freeman (Senior), Caroline Goodall (Crowley), Michael Gor (Livtin), Richard E. Grant (Seifert), Frank Grillo (Bobby O’Neil), Salma Hayek (Sonia Kincaid), Tom Hopper (Magnusson), Samuel L. Jackson (Darius Kincaid), Jonny James (Johan), Tine Joustra (Renata Casoria), Kristofer Kamiyasu (Zento), Alice McMillan (Aislo), Dragan Micanovic (Vladimir), Gary Oldman (Vladislav Dukhovic), Ryan Reynolds (Michael Bryce), Blake Ritson (Gunther), Tsuwayuki Saotome (Kurosawa), Venice Smith (Gary), Gabriella Wright (Veronika), Milos Yerolemou (Carlo)

Running Time: 100 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Review:

I’ve noticed over the years that often one of the reasons why sequels fail is because the filmmakers behind them try to make them too different to the original. There is often a hint of ‘well the hero learnt his lesson so he is different’ or ‘we wanted to go bigger and bolder than the first film.’ The end result is often a film that the fans of the original film end up giving a thumbs down.

Luckily Australian filmmaker Patrick Hughes (Red Hill) did not have any of those notions in his head when he approached The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. I said in my review for the original film – 2017 The Hitman’s Bodyguard – that it was a big dumb yet fun action film and that is exactly the same way that the sequel should be described.

Set a couple of years after the events of the first film legend-in-his-own-lunchbox bodyguard Michael  Bryce (Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool) finds himself de-registered as a bodyguard, something that he is having a difficult time trying to accept.

Just as a therapist talks him into taking a holiday Bryce suddenly finds himself in the middle of a blood-bath caused by the demanding and possibly psychopathic Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek – Dogma) who orders him to come with her and rescue her husband, notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction).

As that rescue takes place though the trio soon find themselves being roped into an Interpol investigation being headed up by Bobby O’Neil (Frank Grillo – The Grey) who believes that Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas – The Mask Of Zorro) is about to conduct a huge terrorist attack that could potentially affect the whole of Europe.

I’ll be honest this certainly isn’t a classic nor is it a film I’ll probably ever watch again but did I have fun while I was watching it – yes!!! Screenwriter Tom O’Connor (The Courier) brings the same recipe to the table that made the first film so enjoyable. As I watched this film I found myself laughing one second and then gasping the next as O’Connor again finds the right mixture of comedy and action an brings it all the table.

His screenplay does provide good laughs for Hayek and Jackson but as I was watching the film I found myself beginning to wonder whether Ryan Reynolds will ever get the opportunity to play a character that isn’t ‘cocky’ anymore. With the trailer for Free Guy seemingly showing him play another character in this realm it really is starting to feel like he has been reduced to a one trick pony – a shame when you know that he is capable of so much more.

I would also be lying if I said there isn’t another major flaw with The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife. It almost seems as if having both the characters of Aristotle Papadopolous and Vladislav Dukhovic (Gary Oldman – The Dark Knight) a bit redundant. Both characters seem pretty similar and while it is fun to watch two legendary actors having fun with their characters it does seem at times throughout the film like we are being inundated with characters that only have limited screen time, so surely melding the two in together would have been a great option.

For the most part though The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a fun film to watch. It’s wise cracks actually did make me laugh – which rarely happens in action comedies – and the action sequences were just enough to keep an action junkie happy. Unlike many action-comedies the action here is pretty full-on with head shots galore but what else would you expect from a director that gave us the very under-rated Red Hill. If you were a fan of the first film then chances are you are going to like this one as well. The same wit and action is there to please and this time around Salma Hayek steals the show.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hitman who must testify at the International Criminal Court. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

Year: 2017

Cinema Release Dates: 31st August 2017 (Australia), 17th August 2017 (UK), 18th August 2017 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Canada, UK, France

Director: Patrick Hughes

Screenwriter: Tom O”Connor

Cast: Barry Atsma (Moreno), Dijain Campbell (Young Kincaid), Joaquim de Almeida (Jean Foucher), Michael Gor (Livitin), Richard E. Grant (Seifert), Rod Hallett (Professor Asimov), Salma Hayek (Sonia Kincaid), Sam Hazeldine (Garrett), Samuel L. Jackson (Darius Kincaid), Tine Joustra (Renata Casoria), Yuri Kolokolnikov (Ivan), Nadia Konakchieva (Mrs. Asimov), Marko Mandic (Goran), Mounir Margoum (Zidane), Kirsty Mitchell (Harr), Gary Oldman (Vladislav Dukhovich), Ori Pfeffer (Vacklin), Zlatka Raikova (Widow), Ryan Reynolds (Michael Bryce), Tsuwayuki Saotome (Kurosawa), Valentin Stojanov (Petr Asimov Jnr.), Vladimir Vladimirov (Fabio), Elodie Yung (Amelia Roussel)

Running Time: 118 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Hitman’s Bodyguard Review:

Back in 2010 an Australian film was released that deserved a lot more credit than it ever received. The film was called Red hill – an amazing action meet western film that showed all cult cinema fans that Aussie director Patrick Hughes was a director to watch. The next step in his was to direct the star-loaded The Expendables 3, which sadly took a hit at the box office because of the film being heavily pirated before its release. Now Hughes is back with The Hitman’s Bodyguard – an amazingly good action film that also has moments of comedy that truly work.

The film centres around Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool, Green Lantern) who once had a AAA rating as a bodyguard. He relished on that fact until the day it all went wrong. One of his charges, a criminal, was shot and killed – something that Bryce has always blamed on his then girlfriend, who he has never stopped loving, Interpol Agent Ameilia Roussel (Elodie Yung – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gods Of Egypt).

After years of depression and looking after seedier clients Bryce suddenly finds Amelia calling him and asking for help with a huge case. Notorious hit-man Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight) has turned crown witness in a trial for war criminal Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman – The Dark Knight, Batman Begins) in return for the freedom of his wife Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek – Desperado, Puss In Boots). The problem is though Interpol realise that they are way out of their depth trying to keep Kincaid alive before the trial and Bryce is the only man who do it, but Bryce and Kincaid have a history of their own as Kincaid has tried to kill Bryce many times before.

We’ve seen a lot of action films try to mix comedy in over the years, and a lot of failed miserably. Luckily Hughes and his screenwriter, Tom O’Connor (Fire With Fire) seem to have learned a lesson from films like Bad Boysand Lethal Weapon from through the years, as they get the mix of action and comedy one-hundred per cent spot on. In a way they know that you carefully have to keep things separate, so one moment you get a brilliant car and boat chase through Venice and then the next minute you get a comical scene involving Sonia in her prison cell… and it works. Without giving anything away plot wise there is also a brilliant comedic surprise as one character is suddenly flung through a car window as well… perfect comedic timing.

The big thing that comes through with this film though is that Hughes is one of the most exciting action directors in the world at the moment. The previously mentioned car and boat chase, to the strains of Australia’s own Spiderbait, is right up there with anything that you would see in The Fast & Furious franchise. Then these is the great hand-to-hand combat scenes, like the ones in the kitchen or in the hardware shot, that are equal to the fights that we have seen in the John Wick franchise. These scenes are going to impress even the most hardcore action fans out there.

Of course the key to making a film like The Hitman’s Bodyguard work is the chemistry between the two central characters. Here Jackson and Reynolds are amazing together. Reynolds has cut his mustard in some good action films over the years, Deadpool and Safe House being among his best, and throughout his career he has shown that he can handle the odd comedic moment as well. He’s perfect to play Bryce and his performance here is enough to let us forgive him for making R.I.P.D. Likewise Jackson is perfect for Kincaid, he’s believable as the ‘cool’ hitman and he doesn’t let age slow him down through any of the stunts either.

Casting Gary Oldman to play a Russian war criminal was a brave casting choice. It could have been a choice that blew up in the casting agent’s face badly and had people saying ‘remember when Gary Oldman tried to play a Russian,’ but he is a good enough actor to pull it off without the character ever feeling clichéd. Salma Hayek also delivers her comedic lines to a tee playing the foul-mouthed Sonia while Elodie Yung is sensational as the romantic interest for Bryce.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is perhaps the most well-rounded action film that we have seen so far in 2017. Interesting and believable characters mean the audience cares for them from the get-go and then when that is mixed with some sensational action sequences from Hughes you end up with an action film that is going to be talked about for years to come.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  Three generations of women fight back against those who could take everything from them.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 15th July 2021 (Australia), 17th September 2021 (UK)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: France, Germany, USA

Director: Navot Papushado

Screenwriter: Navot Papushado

Cast: Freya Allen (Young Sam), Samuel Anderson (David), Jack Bandeira (Crow), Angela Bassett (Anna May), Joanna Bobin (Rose), Billy Buff (The Mummy), David Burnell IV (Shocker), Chloe Coleman (Emily), Paul Giamatti (Nathan), Karen Gillan (Sam), Joshua Grothe (Dracula), Carla Gugino (Madeline), Lena Headey (Scarlet), Lee Huang (Wolfman), Ralph Ineson (Jim McAlester), Ivan Kaye (Yankee), Adam Nagaitis (Virgil), Hannes Pastor (Frankenstein), Michael Smiley (Dr Ricky), Konstantin Widjaja (Wolfman), Michelle Yeoh (Florence)

Running Time: 114 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Gunpowder Milkshake Review:

People who have only just discovered my reviews over the past twelve months will probably think that I am the kind of person that loves films that are obscure and arty… and they wouldn’t be wrong. But I am also a very big cult genre film lover as well. I’m the kind of person that buys a season pass to a festival like MonsterFest simply because I don’t want to miss anything that screens there. Keeping that in mind and given my love for films like Baby Driver and the work of Quentin Tarantino there was always a good chance that I was going to like Gunpowder Milkshake.

From Israeli born cult film maker Navot Papushado (Rabies) Gunpowder Milkshake is a film that I enjoyed so much that I decided to watch it twice before it had even been released in Australia and to be honest I have shut up about it since I watched it.

It centres around deadly assassin Sam (Karen Gillan – Guardians Of The Galaxy) who does every dirty job that her employer – the criminal organisation known as The Firm – tells her to do. That loyalty comes from the fact that The Firm’s head honcho, Nathan (Paul Giamatti – Cinderella Man), took her under his wing after her own mother, Scarlet (Lena Headey – Game Of Thrones), abandoned her.

Now though Sam finds herself on the run after killing somebody she shouldn’t have. That leaves her trying to protect the life of eight year old (sorry eight and three quarters) Emily (Choe Coleman – My Spy) while turning to Scarlet’s mentors the mysterious group known as The Library – Anna May (Angela Bassett – Black Panther), Florence (Michelle Yeoh – Crazy Rich Asians) and Madeleine (Carla Gugino – Watchmen) – for help.

For me Gunpowder Milkshake has the perfect mix of style and substance. Papushado creates a noir look throughout the film that mirrors what we have seen previously in films like Baby Driver and Drive but is also skilled enough to give this film its own edge. With movies like John Wick and Nobody surfacing over the past few years the only way a director can make an ultra violent film like this and do things a little bit differently is to be creative with their fight sequences and it is here that Papushado comes to the fore.

The fight sequences in this film are creative and memorable. Yes, despite the flood of these types of films recently Papushado comes up with creative ways to kill and maim people while still making the plot viable and better still having the audience warm to Sam and of course The Library.

I’m sure I am not alone when I say that I ended up becoming so interested in the characters in this film that I started to plot ways the franchise could continue. Of course I would love to see a sequel but I also feel this franchise could benefit from a prequel that shows a younger Scarlet first teaming up with The Library. Yes despite the brilliance of Karen Gillan throughout this film, and she truly is amazing, it is Angela Bassett and Michelle Yeoh that steal the show. If a prequel was made about their characters then I would be one of those people yelling “shut up and take my money.”

The star here though is Gillan and she does enough in Gunpowder Milkshake to warrant the term ‘action star’ to be added to her resume. She delivers a powerful performance here and is well supported by young Chloe Coleman who continues to show why she is one of Hollywood’s next big things. Then there are the scenes between Gillan and Headey which again added a whole new element to the film.

If you don’t like graphic violence then Gunpowder Milkshake is not the film for you – if you do then you are in for a treat. With a serviceable plot, a noir feel and female leads putting in memorable performances this is a film that is going to wow you from start to finish.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 8th July 2021 (Australia), 29th July 2021 (Thailand), 7th July 2021 (UK), 9th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Cate Shortland

Screenwriter: Ned Benson, Eric Pearson, Jac Shaeffer

Cast: Ever Anderson (Young Natasha), Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Young Antonia), Nanna Blondell (Ingrid), Jordyn Curet (Young Ingrid), O-T Fagbenie (Mason), David Harbour (Alexei), William Hurt (Secretary Ross), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff), Olga Kurylenko (Antonia/Taskmaster), Michelle Lee (Oksana), Violet McGraw (Young Yelena), Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), Olivier Richters (Ursa), Liani Samuel (Lerato), Rachel Weisz (Melina), Ray Winstone (Dreykov)

Running Time: 134 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR BLACK WIDOW REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Black Widow Review:

Despite the fact she has many people’s favourite Avenger it was easy to start to think that Black Widow was the forgotten Avenger. Hardcore Marvel fans were furious when Captain Marvel became the first female led Avengers movie, they saw it as disrespectful to Black Widow who had basically been there since Day One.

Well now Black Widow gets her chance and finally actress Scarlett Johansson (Lost In Translation) gets her chance to step up in a film that not only tells the origins story of Black Widow but also fills in the gaps of what happened to her in between Civil War and Infinity Wars.

Directed by award winning Australian director Cate Shortland (Somersault), who was hand-selected by Johansson for the job, Black Widow reveals Natasha Romanoff’s (aka Black Widow) Russian spy ‘family’ including her ‘mother’ Melina (Rachel Weisz – The Constant Gardener), ‘father’ Alexei (David Harbour – Suicide Squad) and ‘sister’ Yelena Belova (Forence Pugh – Lady Macbeth).

While Natasha is on the run from Secretary Ross (William Hurt – Lost In Space) she reunites with Yelena and despite a testy relationship they decide to find Melina and Alexei and get them to help hunt down the man who created them and now wants them dead – the evil Dreykov (Ray Winstone – The Departed).

The early stages of this film have Shortland’s DNA all over them. When it comes to directing Shortland normally prefers gritty dramas and early on it feels like Black Widow is going to be more like an episode of Alias or La Femme Nikita then anything we have ever seen in the Marvel universe previously. To be honest that look and feel suited what kind of film Black Widow should be and it was almost disappointing when the film seemed to capitulate about halfway through and become yet another all action and very little plot clog in the Marvel machine.

That is not to say that Black Widow is not an enjoyable film – it is to a certain extent. But you would have to stay that the clichéd ending to the film makes it an average film rather than the brilliant film that could have changed Marvel forever if it had continued with the Shortland hard-edge that the film had during the open scenes. Most of the disappointing aspects of Black Widow lay with the screenplay – the finale is derivative of the end action sequences of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and introduces us to a villain that wouldn’t be out of place in one of the lamer James Bond films.

On the plus side though are the acting performances. Johansson shows that she deserved her own Avenger film a lot sooner with a performance that shows both heart and pure action skills no matter what she has to do during a fight sequence. David Harbour steals the show with his comedic timing while Florence Pugh puts in a brilliant performance and it is exciting to know that we get to look forward to her character returning in Hawkeye later this year. Eager fans will notice that the post-credit scene with Black Widow strongly shows how she will enter into the Hawkeye series.

While some people feared that Shortland’s style of filmmaking would not fit the Marvel universe the truth is that her style almost pulled off one of the best Marvel films to date… it’s just sad that it was pulled back by her overly Marvelised ending. The film does hold up due to the acting performances of its leads but it could have been so much better.Black Widow is currently available on Disney+ and will be released in Phuket cinemas on July 29th.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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You can read our review of Black Widow in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/black-widow-return-of-a-true-marvel-80707.php

Trailer:

Nobody quite does twisted horror like M. Night Shyamalan and if you are a fan of his you may want to check out this new giveaway that we are doing for the release of his brand new film Old – The new edge of your seat thriller from Writer & Director M.Night Shyamalan.  OLD, Only in Cinemas July 22

Thanks to our good friends at Universal Pictures we have some double passes to the film giveaway.

For your chance to win simply go to the Subculture Entertainment Facebook page and private message us the word ‘Old’.

If you are an action buff then you are going to want to see Gunpowder Milkshake, after all our very own Dave Griffiths has just called it one of the films of the year! Want to see it now? Well Studio Canal and HEAVY Cinema may just have something for you.

Starring Lena Headey and Karen Gillan Gunpowder Milkshake feels like the kind of movie that Quentin Tarantino would surely embrace, and now thanks to Studio Canal we have some double passes to the film giveaway.

For your chance to win simply go to the Subculture Facebook page and private message us the word ‘Milkshake’.

From director Steven Soderbergh comes No Sudden Move. Set in 1954 Detroit, No Sudden Move centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

The film stars Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, with Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Noah Jupe, Craig muMs Grant, Julia Fox, Frankie Shaw, and Bill Duke.

Curt Goynes (Cheadle) is down on his luck. Recently released from prison, Curt is dogged by a missing “code book” and his questionable history in the underbelly of Detroit’s African-American crime syndicate. Approached by a shady go-between known only as Jones (Fraser) to do a babysitting job on the family of a low-level auto executive, Matt Wertz (Harbour), Curt sees an opportunity to climb out of the hole he’s in. But it’s not that simple. Turns out, it’s a three-man job as Jones recruits two more petty criminals, Ronald Russo (Del Toro) and Charley Barnes (Culkin) to sit with Matt’s wife, Mary (Seimetz), and two kids (Jupe, Holt) in their middle-class neighborhood while Matt plays the unlucky pawn for Jones’s mysterious boss.

Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, leading Curt and Ronald through a maze of Detroit’s midcentury criminal elite vying for interest in an ever-growing scheme of complexity and danger involving competing figures of the local crime world, like Frank Capelli (Liotta), his wife Vanessa (Fox) and Aldrick Watkins (Duke), who is often mentioned but rarely seen. Their activity draws the attention of the State Police, in particular Detective Joe Finney (Hamm), who throws yet another monkey wrench in the works as he navigates the deceptions on both sides of the law, blurring the line between them.

All of this over a piece of paper. Locked in a safe. But not the safe where it’s supposed to be. And the information on this document clearly has implications for a much broader conspiracy that entangles the myriad paper chasers in a web of double-crossing, deceit and shifting loyalties as everyone attempts to get in on the action in hopes of a mounting, monumental payday. And just like every high stakes game, there are winners and losers on both sides.

Soderbergh directed the film from a screenplay written by Ed Solomon and produced by Casey Silver, both of whom he collaborated with on his HBO series Mosaic. Julie M. Anderson executive produced.

The director’s creative team behind the scenes included Oscar-winning production designer Hannah Beachler (Black Panther) and costume designer Marci Rodgers (BlacKkKlansman), with music by David Holmes (Baby Driver, TV’s Killing Eve).