Jon Hoeber

Jon Hoeber

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RED 2 Review


Weak

That A-list cast of "retired, extremely dangerous" spies is back, coasting through another amiable but uninspired action-comedy. It may be occasionally funny, but the script is so lazy that it never does anything with the characters or situations. So there's never even a hint of suspense.

In the years since the events of 2010's RED, Frank (Willis) has been trying to live quietly with Sarah (Parker). But trouble seeks them out when their pal Marvin (Malkovich) is the target of a car bomb, and Frank discovers that MI6 and the CIA have sent assassins to kill him: his ruthless former colleague Victoria (Mirren) and the fiendishly unstoppable Han (Lee), respectively. So Frank, Sarah and Marvin head to Paris to solve the mess, crossing paths with Frank's ex, the seductive Katya (Zeta-Jones). Sarah isn't happy about this, but tags along to London, where they locate a nutty scientist (Hopkins) who has the key to all the chaos: namely that they need to get to Moscow to stop a rogue nuke.

As in the first film, the plot bounces along merrily without bothering with either logic or subtext. This is just a silly story about goofy old killers, and the film's main joke is seeing Mirren in camouflage firing a machine-gun. At least the cast shows that they're still feisty, taking on each other with gusto as they try to steal every scene. Malkovich's surreal humour, Mirren's snappy punchlines, Zeta-Jones' purring sexuality and Hopkins' scatter-brained genius are pretty funny, while Willis and Parker get the most thankless roles as a couple still working out their relationship.

Continue reading: RED 2 Review

Picture - Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber , Friday 5th October 2012

Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber - Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber Friday 5th October 2012 Battleship premiere at the NOKIA Theatre - arrivals at L.A. LIVE

Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber

Battleship Review


Good
You'd have to go back to 1998's Armageddon to find another film that so adeptly combines whopping apocalyptic action and corny save-the-planet heroics. Even if this feels like low-rent Michael Bay, it's a definitive popcorn blockbuster: a dumb movie that keeps us blissfully entertained.

Alex (Kitsch) is a smart guy who has wasted his life so, after getting in trouble while impressing a hot girl (Decker), his Naval-officer brother (Skarsgard) drafts him into service. Later on a Pacific Rim war-game exercise, Alex ends up in charge of the only ship nearby after aliens invade earth and put a force-field around Hawaii. Working with his plucky crew (including Rihanna, Asano, Tui and Plemons), Alex must figure out how to out-wit these Transformer-like killers. By the way, the hot girl turns out to be the daughter of the admiral (Neeson).

Continue reading: Battleship Review

Red Review


Weak
Based on the graphic novel, this action-comedy has a wacky tone that's entertaining but never involving. At least the strong all-star cast makes the most of the vivid characters, and the film's visual style keeps us watching even if there's nothing to it.

When "Retired, Extremely Dangerous" Frank Moses (Willis) has his quiet life disrupted by trigger-happy commandos he goes on the run, kidnapping a hapless pension clerk (Parker) to protect her from a ruthless high-tech hitman (Urban) who's chasing him. He then reassembles the old team from his black ops days, including smooth womaniser Joe (Freeman), paranoid nutjob Marvin (Malkovich) and seductive Victoria (Mirren). He even gets in touch with his former Russian nemesis Ivan (Cox). It all has something to do with a scandal involving the American Vice President (McMahon).

Continue reading: Red Review

Montana Review


Grim
Bad idea: Introduce your 12 main characters in one scene in the same room. Montana commits just such a sin and never really recovers, despite a promising and talented cast. As doublecrossing gangster movies goes, Montana is pretty tepid, with a load of stereotyped characters (fat mob boss, deadly hit man, idiotic son, and gorgeous-but-brainless moll) not helping matters. Only Kyra Sedgewick's bagwoman makes any kind of impression, but really, there's a reason why you've never heard of this film.
Jon Hoeber

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