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steveP

New member
I've been doing movie reviews for almost 3 and a half years with over 300 movies. As I enjoy movies far more than TV, I watch quite a lot and enjoy discussing them. I'm a regular listener to the podcast called The Film Vault, which also gave me the idea to blog about movies.
The Film Vault | with anderson and bryan


My original blogs/thread can be found here, but I will start from scratch again on this forum.
Flickfessions - Hardtuned.net


This thread is for recently watched movies you think are worth reviewing and recommending to others.


Guidelines:
- Don't go through you're movie collection reviewing everything you love. Only movies you've recently watched.
- They must be movies you've actually watched.
- Provide enough information about it (wiki or imdb link, cover art/promotion image).
- No spoilers (unless clearly warned).


I have created a Facebook page. Feel free to Like it so you can receive updates if you miss them on here.
http://www.facebook.com/Flickfessions
 
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steveP

New member
How To Make Money Selling Drugs
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276962/

A documentary detailing the hierarchy of drug dealers, starting with street corner hustlers and progressively getting to king pin and international drug lord. At each level of drug dealing, there are interviews with past and present drug dealers giving an insight into the culture and the amount of money they're making. As someone who has no association with drugs, this was quite fascinating, especially with the stats the documentary throws at you. For example, drug lords such as Pablo Escobar were shifting so much product, the majority of their time was used simply to count money. It's usually far too much a bank can handle so it's stock piled in mansions. This also gets into corruption within law enforcement and how that plays out. I found this really interesting and would recommend it, especially if you're a fan of Cocaine Cowboys.

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Honky Tonk Freeway
http://en.wikipedia....ky_Tonk_Freeway

An early 80s' road trip movie. A small town, Ticlaw, which survives off its tourism, is threatened by the construction of a new freeway that bypasses their town with no exit ramp. They try to bribe the council and even create their own exit ramp in the hope that they can get tourists back into their town. The other half of the movie follows random people on road trips that will inevitably cross paths at Ticlaw. Each of these characters' trips intertwine throughout the movie, so you're expecting something at the end to pull all their stories together, but it never happens. It's like someone has taken 2 incomplete movies and merged them together as nothing is resolved at the end. It's like a really rough first draft of the movie Rat Race. There were a few laugh out loud politically incorrect moments here like an open top SUV full of blatantly obvious homosexuals crashing and being drowned in fruit. There just weren't enough laughs or story here for me to recommend this.

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The Inbetweeners 2
http://en.wikipedia...._Inbetweeners_2

The sequel to the TV series and its first feature film from 2011. Jay has moved to Australia, where the other boys are at uni or working in England. Jay sends a letter to the boys to come visit him in Australia, and as usual talks up the lifestyle he's living in one of the best opening scenes I've seen a while. From here, the film follows a familiar formula of the boys not finding what they expected, Will obsessing over a girl out of his league, Simon throwing wild fits over trivial issues and Neil getting into awkward situations. I mean this in the best possible way, as it's what fans love from the series and it definitely delivers. Honestly I wasn't expecting much from this movie, and I'm a big fan of the TV series. I thought this was just going to be the boys milking the same jokes in a different setting. But this turned out much better than I was expecting. Even though this follows a formula based on the characters, there were many new situations and scenes that were hilarious. It's been a while since I watched a movie with as many quality laugh out loud moments. The scene at the water park had everyone in the cinema in stitches. The movie would be worth watching for that scene alone. There is a lot of explicit language in this, so if you're offended easily, it's probably not for you. Otherwise I highly recommend it as I think it's the best comedy of the year so far.

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steveP

New member
REC
http://en.wikipedia..../REC_%28film%29

A Spanish horror film that's a mash up of found footage/The Blair Witch Project, spirits/Paranormal Activity and zombies. A news team is doing a story on the local fire station, staying with them throughout the night and documenting real call outs like the TV series Cops. They receive a call out to a woman trapped in an apartment, but upon returned to the fire truck, they find themselves under quarantine with the building on lock down. As they try to figure out what's going on and even find a way out, they start to notice that some of the inhabitants of the apartment are infected with an unknown virus. You see the events unfold through the lens of the cameraman's camera, which adds to the realism. The only issue I had with this film was that the ending felt unfinished. However after doing a bit of research, this was done intentionally as the follow up sequel continues directly after. There are also another 2 squeals, and all seem to have good reviews. I might look up the sequel to this film later.

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Diner
http://en.wikipedia....iner_%28film%29

A movie I've heard a lot about and regularly see in "top movies of all time" lists, so I was ready for a story and plot I could really sink my teeth into. However half way through this movie I was still waiting for something to happen and eventually realised this isn't the movie I was expecting. This is a period movie set in late 50s about a group men growing out of their late 20s and moving on with their lives and where most are about to or get married or have just gotten married. Many of the scenes are just the character discussing relationship issues or general banter groups of males have with each other. I can see what this movie was trying to do. It's focus is nostalgia and looking back on the days where your buddies came first and you would regularly get up to mischief before having to grow up and kids came into the picture. This is re-enforced as the movie title is a reference to diner eateries where people in parts of America would hang out and get a meal on the way to something import or even use the diner a the destination. This isn't a movie for everyone and I don't think it holds up over time.

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The Good The Bad The Weird
http://en.wikipedia...._Bad,_the_Weird

A genre I've never seen before, a Korean western. I haven't seen a lot of Korean movies, but all have been amazing and this is no exception. The movie starts out with an outlaw hi-jacking a train to obtain a treasure map, however as he gets to the carriage, a local thief has inadvertently stolen the map and killed the army generals. To confuse things even more, a bounty hunter is after the outlaw and their paths briefly intersect on the train. From here it becomes a cat and mouse game between the 3. As a fan of westerns, they have done a great job with this movie making it feel authentic, yet unique to Korea. There are many great scenes in this. I'm usually not impressed by big action shootout scenes, but this movie probably had one of the best I've ever seen, and that wasn't even the climax of the film. I don't want to say too much else about this in fear of spoiling parts, but I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

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steveP

New member
Religious
http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Religulous

A Bill Maher documentary somewhat about his spiritual journey, but mostly him mocking religion, but I say that in a good way. I'm not a fan of Maher as he seems to take pleasure in belittling people for his own comedic benefit. However in this documentary he preaches uncertainly and to always ask questions, which is a good way to live your life in all aspects. Unlike most films or people who mock religion, Maher is reasonably knowledgeable in the area and questions religious leaders about what their own books preach. This is amusing when the leaders have to either admit it doesn't make sense or use illogical reasoning. If religion interests you at all, this is a must watch. The only thing I didn't like about this is the one-siding editing when talking to religious leaders. Maher will ask them a question that they no doubt can answer, but the camera cuts to them looking confused, and then on to the next question. He even inserts subtitles into the conversation of whitty comments he wasn't able to think up at the time. I felt this cheapened the film as Maher is throwing out commentary that the other person isn't aware of. Other than that, it was very entertaining.

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The Searchers
http://en.wikipedia....hers_%28film%29

A classic John Wayne film from the 50s based on a true story. During the mid 1800s near the Mexican border there is an on-going rivalry between Americans and the Native Indian Comanche tribe. In the latest act of vengeance, the Comanche lure the men out of town to investigate stolen cattle. This is a ploy to murder and abduct some women and children. Ethan, a war veteran takes a small group to track the Comanche, seek revenge and return home with the women and children that are missing. Despite being out numbered and endlessly wandering the American plains, Ethan is determined to bring justice, even if it takes years. I was amazed at the production value and high definition of a movie from the 50s. Reading reviews on this, people seem to either love it or hate it. There are many subtle elements going on with the story, such as why Ethan dedicating years to finding his niece he barely knows. It does seem like a film that needs multiple viewings to take in all the minor details put in deliberately, as well as being an entertaining story. This is regularly rated in the list of Top 100 movies of all time. However those not into westerns will surely see this as another Cowboys & Indians movie where they just chase each other on horses. After watching this, it made me reminisce about Red Dead Redemption. I might use this as an excuse to catch up on the westerns I've been meaning to see.

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Ted
http://en.wikipedia..../Ted_%28film%29

A movie that everybody has probably already seen. I'm a fan of Seth MacFarlane and his style of comedy, but when this came out, it was spammed everywhere and everyone was so pushy to get you to see it. So I intentionally didn't see it out of principle. Essentially this is a rom-com, but comedy men will like. It follows the standard structure of partners on the verge of breaking up, it happens, they both regret it, and then desperately race across the city to get back together. However this time there's a novelty talking teddy bear thrown into the mix, which seems to be a reincarnation of Brian Griffin from the Family Guy. I found that the jokes were about 50/50 hit and miss. Obviously a lot of laugh out loud moments, but there were just too many toilet jokes that didn't feel right for the movie. For a comedy, it's one of the better ones in recent years, but as a movie, I would rate it just above average.

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steveP

New member
Field of Dreams
http://en.wikipedia....Field_of_Dreams

A film I've had on my list for a while, but not being a baseball or sports fan in general, I haven't actively sought it out. This tells a very different story than most baseball films and from what I was expecting. Ray is still troubled over the death of his father and doesn't feel closure on their issues. One day in Ray's corn field, he hears a voice to build a baseball field. Being a spontaneous person, he does this, despite the cost of losing part of his crops. After the field is completed, famous but dead baseball stars start to appear. The voices continue and Ray is driving across America, following clues. There is quite a bit of ambiguity in this film as you're not sure if Ray is imagining things, only he can see ghosts, and at what point are the people alive or ghosts. This film has very highly rated reviews from people who have lost a family member with unresolved issues. I can see how this film can relate and bring closure, but for me it was a bit average.

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The Maze Runner
http://en.wikipedia....nner_%28film%29

The latest Hunger Games clone out in cinemas. The concept behind this movie is that once a month a new teenage boy is sent to an enclosure surrounded by a maze. This has been going on for a few years, so about 40 people now live and survive in the enclosure. Some of the strongest and smartest boys track the maze during the day in hopes of finding a way out. They must return before night, as the gates close and monsters roam the maze. The movie follows Thomas who is very eager to get out of the maze and is prepared to take risks the other boys aren't. There had potential, but everything just seemed too farfetched or unrealistic without much explanation or reason to care about what was happening. At one point, a girl shows up, yet these teenage boys show very little interest in her, despite not seeing a girl in years. This movie is part 1 in a 3 part book series, and you can tell they were stretching out the plot for the sequels. I just felt this was a bit poorly written without anything interesting going on.

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Stolen Seas
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1981690/

A documentary about the piracy currently going on near Somalia. Documenting the real life events that the movie Captain Philips was based on, this takes a closer look at why piracy is so rife in this part of the world. Basically it boils down to a combination of corrupt government, civil war and illegal fishing by other countries. This leaves the Somali people will little job prospects. The other aspect explored is how the major shipping companies deal with the pirates. There is a standard protocol and taxes are built into shipping fees knowing they will have to pay ransoms at some point. The shipping companies try to hold off paying as long as possible to discourage the pirates, but will always choose to pay instead of arresting the pirates and processing them in court. Going through the legal system meals the ship and all cargo will be tied up for at least a year and the pirates can them claim asylum after the case; a much more costly exercise. I found this quite interesting.

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steveP

New member
Full Metal Jacket
http://en.wikipedia....ll_Metal_Jacket

A famous Kubrick film based on the Vietnam War, much like Apocalypse Now or Platoon. The first act of the movie is based around the training of new army recruits. All seems well and routine like most war films, but this partially tackles the issue of mental illness and the possibilities of pushing someone who's mentally unstable past their limit. I thought this first act of the movie was done really well. The drill Sergeant is excellent. The film then puts you on front line of the war, witnessing both the ugly and humane side. I felt like I had seen this many times before and no film does it better than Platoon. Still an enjoyable ride and I recommend it if you haven't seen it.

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The Beguiled
http://en.wikipedia....ki/The_Beguiled

A bit of an experimental film for Clint Eastwood from his usual war, western and cop films. In this he plays a Union soldier during the Civil War, stranded and critically injured while fighting in the south. He's temporally taken in and mended by an all girls' school that plan on surrendering him to the opposing army once he's well. However during this time he manages to seduce all the women, from the young girls and salves to the head mistress. Once well, he must decide who to pursue without upsetting the others and being turned over to the opposing army. This film is a bit of a guilty pleasure, in that the plot is quite thin and not much happens, but I'm sure it's a fantasy many people would love to experience, especially soldiers. Unless you're really into Eastwood films, I would give it a miss.

Beguiled43.jpg



Gone Girl
http://en.wikipedia....Girl_%28film%29

The latest David Fincher film in cinemas at the moment. This is based off a standalone book, so this won't be milked into a series like many other films at the moment. The basic plot is that a woman goes missing from what appears to be a normal family in normal circumstances. As the investigation from the police digs deeper, you soon realise things are far from normal and the woman's husband becomes the prime suspect. This is a movie that's hard to talk about without ruining it. As you would expect from a Fincher film, the are many layers to the plot and it just gets deeper as the film goes on until you're not even sure of your own suspicions. My only criticism is that the first half of the movie was a little long and could have been trimmed at this goes for two and a half hours. That, and the ending felt a little weak. Apart from that it's a very good movie and one of those films that you will think about for days after.

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steveP

New member
My Own Private Idaho
http://en.wikipedia....n_Private_Idaho

Not knowing this was a Gus Van Sant movie going in; I was expecting a road trip style movie about two guys on a journey of self discovery. In a way is sort of was that, but in true GVS style, the story is mostly left open to the interpretation of the viewer. Scenes don't make sense, the plot is patchy, and you're assuming the story will come together at the end, but instead you're left with a lot of loose ends. If you're into those kind of throw away movies that leave you feeling like you've just stared out the window for an hour, great. The story itself is about two best friends, both borderline homeless and part time gay prostitutes. One is the son of a wealthy business man and is about to contractually receive a large sum of money on his 21st birthday. The two men then try to bring clarity to their lives in preparation for this. This isn't really a movie I can recommend to anyone.

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I Am Steve McQueen
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2649194/

A recently released documentary about the acting and personal life of Steve McQueen. I have seen most of his movies from The Magnificent Seven to The Towering Inferno, and this was a trip down memory lane to revisit some great and iconic movies. Being a Paul Newman fan, I've always heard that McQueen was a bit of a dick with an inflated ego, as what happened with The Towering Inferno. This documentary sort of confirmed that, but in a way it was necessary for him to break into Hollywood. He certainly was an alpha male and had presence. I didn't know he was such a big racing fan and had a big part in motorsport outside of his acting career. Even though he had such a massive film career, he died in his early 50s and had potential to be a movie star for decades more. If you haven't seen many of McQueen's movies, this will give you a good list.

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Rio Bravo
http://en.wikipedia....ravo_%28film%29

An iconic John Wayne western that had massive success in the 50s and has inspired many films since. The town, looking suspiciously like Armadillo from Red Dead Redemption is very short staffed of law enforcement. There is an uneasy standoff occurring between the law men and an outlaw gang increasing in numbers and residing in the town. After one of the gang members kills a man in a bar fight, he's thrown in the local jail until the marshals can arrive and take him away. Hold up in the jail, the law men try to keep the status quo during the tense standoff while defending themselves against attacks and bribes. For a simple premise, there's a lot going on within the story and many suspense filled scenes. I really liked this and would easily include it in my Top 10 Westerns list. This is an easy movie to jump into and is entertaining all the way through.

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steveP

New member
Videodrome
http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Videodrome

A B-grade horror film from the 80s (much like all 80s' horror films) about a TV executive in search for black market/snuff/borderline illegal videos to launch a new TV network. Being the birth of network TV, the air waves/channels are very experimental. Other parties are testing mind control techniques through TV sets. As the TV exec believes he's found what he's looking for, he gets lost down the rabbit hole where reality and hallucinations are blurred. This started off kind of cool with a few twists in the story. But towards the end it kind of goes off the rails a bit and the ending feels very unsatisfying. It was quite funny seeing all the ancient technology in action though. Probably worth the watch if you're a fan of 80s' horror.

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The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
http://en.wikipedia....of_Aaron_Swartz

A documentary about the life of Aaron Swartz; one of those freaky child geniuses. Aaron started his claim to fame by being a founder in web technologies such as Reddit and RSS feeds. He also had his own version of Wikipedia before it became what it is today. Being a genius and having a strong interest in web programming, he had his hand in everything that was up and coming. After becoming successful, yet this not being his goal, he changed his focus to activism and making the web a fairer place. One issue he focused on was JSTOR, a third-party business that sold US public domain court documents. They held ownership over free information that could potentially be helpful to people defending themselves in court. Through loopholes, Aaron backed up terabytes of these documents and provided them for free. As a result he came under investigation from the FBI for computer fraud. He refused to take a plea bargain; meanwhile his paranoia started to get the better of him. If you haven't seen a good documentary in a while, I highly recommend this. There is so much irony here with the corruption of the US government. The exact thing Aaron was trying to fix was turned on him and caused his demise.

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Blackfish
http://en.wikipedia....fish_%28film%29

Another documentary, which came out last year and became a surprise hit that had a real world impact on SeaWorld shares. It's no secret that animals in captivity don't have the best lives, but this documentary takes it to another level; not just showing the cover-ups of animal mistreatment, but the human deaths as a direct response to the mistreatment. Killer whales have been held in captivity for entertainment purposes since the 70s. Since then there have been consistent attacks on humans, which appears to be a result of the intelligent animals' frustration from being kept in a sensory deprived environment. Despite this going on for over 40 years, SeaWorld refuses to acknowledge this fact as they the killer whales are a cash cow. What's worse is that in all cases they report the attacks are due to 'trainer error'. So SeaWorld is knowingly putting people in harm's way, and when the inevitable happens, they blame the innocent trainer. Not surprisingly SeaWorld copped a lot of backlash from this film and tried to disprove a lot of what you see in this. A very interesting and eye opening documentary.

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steveP

New member
Layer Cake
http://en.wikipedia....Cake_%28film%29

An English gangster movie from director Matthew Vaughn before he made Snatch and before Daniel Craig was James Bond. The movie starts out with a successful cocaine dealer with semi legit businesses on the side planning his retirement from the underworld. However the underworld kingpin is privy to this and plans to use the dealer and spoil his plans. As with any good gangster movie, things don't go as planned and the plot has many layers of double crossing and surprises; and thankfully this is a good gangster movie. There's a lot going on within this movie, but not enough to overwhelm you. If you're a fan of Snatch, this is a must see.

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The Grey
http://en.wikipedia....Grey_%28film%29

A Liam Neeson action/survival film from a few years ago I didn't get around to seeing until now. Oil workers in remote Alaska are involved in a plane crash and the survivors must defend themselves against a pack of wolves. A cool premise, but I couldn't believe how uneventful and dull this movie was. This has great reviews and is pretty highly rated, but everyone else must have watched a different movie. The main characters in this are bickering over nothing that drives the plot, the action scenes don't make sense, and everything the survivors did went against anything logical. I was kind of hoping for something numb and chilling like The Road where humans were replaced with wolves, but this was just a story pushed through the Hollywood gears for the sake of making a movie.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
http://en.wikipedia....E2%80%93_Part_1

The latest instalment of The Hunger Games franchise. I've had to go and see all past movies in the cinema, and honestly I couldn't tell you much about them other than in some alternate history or future (that's never clear), there's an arena with poisonous smoke, tidal waves and kids who kill each other with bow and arrows. The franchise so far certainly isn't bad, but it's not really my genre. However the interesting "arena event" that drove the last 2 movies doesn't make a return as now the story is a lot more political and focuses on there being an uprising to overthrow the government or the king; whatever the main dude is. If you liked the previous movies, this feels very much the same and I'm sure will satisfy fans of the franchise. The only thing that really stood out that was annoyingly bad was a new female character with an offensively bad haircut. All the other characters fit into the time period (whenever that is), but this one character is clearly trying to cater to the new 'retarded lesbian haircut' crowd. It was so hideous it took me out of the movie every time she was on screen.

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nazzysmith

kuncesmith
What was that fucked up movie [MENTION=9014]KungFooGoo[/MENTION]; mentioned that time...


The Serbian??? Or something like that???
 

steveP

New member
Haha that's right up there with Cannibal Holocaust, Irreversible and Martyrs as the most disturbing films ever. I have all of those on DVD.

Actually I should start a Most Disturbing Films thread.
 

Neddysmith

Standard kunce
yeah your review of The Grey was pretty spot on, i saw it at the movies and felt so violanted......and disappointed Neason would do such a poor movie
 

steveP

New member
Life Of Pi
http://en.wikipedia....f_Pi_%28film%29

A movie from a few years ago I really wanted to see but I just didn't get to the cinema. As most would know, the plot centres around a ship wreck where a young Indian boy, Pi, survives on a life raft with a few other animals that escaped the sinking ship. Being wild animals from a zoo, they are not tamed and inevitably kill each other until all that remains is a tiger and Pi. Fearing for his life, Pi creates a make-shift raft attached to the main life raft while they drift through the ocean waiting to be rescued. As food rations get low, and Pi being vegetarian, he faces a moral dilemma of risking his own life so the tiger doesn't die. I guess you could classify this movie in the 'fantasy' category as in a sense it's not very believable and the events that take place are very weird and wonderful. The imagery is great and this is a movie that both adults and kids will get something out of.

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Touching the Void
http://en.wikipedia....Void_%28film%29

Being a fan of I Shouldn't Be Alive, this seemed like a primitive feature length documentary of the same concept. However I was wrong as this is far superior to any TV series and a fascinating story that was a novel before the film. This will be hard to talk about without spoiling the story, but two experienced mountain climbers climb a challenging mountain and disaster happens. One climber is assumed dead, yet he isn't, and he must do everything within his power to make it back to camp before the climbing party leaves. The series of events that took place were astonishing. This is a great documentary and I highly recommend it.

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Looper
http://en.wikipedia....oper_%28film%29

A recent time travel film with a somewhat new take on the genre. In this movie, time travel is a one way technology that has been invented in the future. People are contracted in the near future to kill people sent back in time as it can be tracked too easily in the distant future. All seems fine until they send back the contracted killers' future self to 'close the loop'. Sometimes the future selves aren't killed and they need to be hunted down to clean up the mess. This movie is based on one of those scenarios. The movie starts off strong with lots going on and plenty of action without getting over complicated. But then the story totally shifts gears in the second half and focuses on a somewhat love interest and a child who will be a future mob boss. I wanted to like this movie more, but there are just too many plot holes.

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