Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Hit Girl (Kick-Ass)
Yu Shu Lin (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)
The Bride (Kill Bill)
There has been no short supply of strong women in movies lately. It looks like Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is going to cement itself in box office history. Not only that, but we now have Charlize Theron, who just got done playing the villain in The Fate of the Furious, starring in Atomic Blonde, where she is doing her own stunts. In honor of that, I’m going to look at the top 5 badass women in movies. There were a lot to pick from, so it was tough to get it down to five. I hope no one I left off the list comes after me.
Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
A bit of a deep pull, but stick with me on this. Eowyn spends all her screen time begging her father to let her go fight with Aragorn but he refuses, so she dresses as a male soldier in order to fight. Then, when the Witch King of Andmar takes out her Dad, she puts herself between him and the Nazgul where she promptly cuts off the beast’s head. Even then the Witch King takes her by the throat and tells her "No man can kill me," to which she replies, "I am no man" and then does what literally no other person on the battle field can do. That line all by itself is badass and is the reason she finds herself on this list.
Hit Girl (Kick-Ass)
She may be young, but Hit Girl has a mouth like a sailor and isn't afraid of a little bloodshed. In fact, her character is responsible for the most of the violence in the movie. It was shocking to see a 13-year-old on screen kill so many people and say such vulgar things, so much so that parents’ groups complained to the studio. The second movie suffers from too much repetition, but Hit Girl is still the most memorable part of either story. This character steals the show and helped launch the career of a promising young actress in Chloe Moretz.
Yu Shu Lin (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)
Not only is the character a badass, but the actress who plays her, Michelle Yeoh, is a badass in her own right by doing her own stunts. She actually tore her ACL during the early filming of this movie, had to fly to the US get it repaired, and then would fly back and forth to work on the non-action scenes while getting physical therapy. Once her knee was fixed she went back to doing her own stunts. Yeoh shows off all her martial skill by taking on another worthy female actress in Zhang Ziyi. However, I’m picking Yeoh because she wins the more interesting fight, and without the Great Sword of Destiny on her side.
The Bride (Kill Bill)
She was the first person I thought of when thinking of this list. The Bride pushes herself to be strong enough to take out the gang of assassins who tried to kill her; she breaks out of a coffin by punching a wooden board from 6 inches away, and in the best scene of the movie set she takes on an army of Crazy 88s. Kill Bill is full of unnecessary blood splatter, and is also probably one of the best movies of Quentin Tarintino's already legendary career.
Sigourney Weaver is the first modern female action hero and the one every female action star is measured up against. Sure she survives the Xenomorph threat in the original movie, but in this one, she takes the fight directly to the Queen. The yellow exoskeleton is iconic, the line "Get away from her you bitch" is perfect, and Sigourney Weaver became the most well-known woman associated with the science fiction genre because of this movie and this role. That is the definition of badass.
At this point in his career Christopher Nolan has a blank check book from Warner Brothers to do whatever he wants. I imagine that is your reward for making the Dark Knight Trilogy. Even with his notoriety and acclaim as a director, I was still amazed that a movie studio would give a $150 million dollar budget to a movie this experimental.
Dunkirk is about the World War II evacuation of the Belgium beach of the same name after the allies have lost the battle. The movie is an interesting experiment with time and is told using three different narratives. One takes place on the beach with the troops; one takes place on the boat of a rescue mission led by civilians, and the third takes place in the air with the air force trying to protect the shores and ships. On the beach, the story occurs over the span of a week; on the boats the story spans a day, and on the plane the story takes place in an hour. In all three stories everyone is trying to do the same thing–survive.
The movie boasts a mix of relative unknowns in major roles and an all-star cast including Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, and Harry Styles. While all the performances are great, this is not an actor's movie. I couldn't name any of the characters if I tried. The best example of this underutilization of the actors is Academy Award nominee Tom Hardy. He spent 99% of the movie in an airplane cockpit, and even then most of the time his face is covered with his pilot’s mask. I would be shocked if he had more than ten lines of dialogue.
The structure and timeline of the movie took me a little while to figure out. The only explanation you get is during the opening minutes when you see a title card that lists the setting and window of time, but it’s never explained what this time span means. This kind of time manipulation has been a theme throughout most of Nolan’s movies, so I doubt he felt the need to explain himself. The film also doesn’t offer a back story to any of its characters. The reasons they are fighting the war or what they have back home are inconsequential to their objectives.
The movie is tense and the threat of death for anyone on screen is felt throughout with the constant barrage of bullets, but the movie doesn't glorify violence. This isn't a Mel Gibson Hacksaw Ridge type story where there are blood and guts in every frame of battle. When a bullet hits there is no big blood splatter; victims just fall to the ground in a heap. I have never seen war so don't know which depiction is more accurate, but I appreciated Nolan's take.
This movie's dealings with time are so prevalent that most of the movie's soundtrack consists of a ticking clock slowing down and speeding up. The ticking clock adds to the tension and provides an early hint as to how the movie will be structured.
Nolan shot the movie using a combination of IMAX and Super Panavision film in order to get the maximum possible image quality, and something will be lost on the smaller screen, so if you can, spend the couple extra bucks to see it in IMAX. There is also a pretty good chance you will be hearing about this movie come awards season. Dunkirk is the movie other movies will have to measure up to the rest of the year. A
The new season of Game of Thrones starts on Sunday night and I am excited. I have been rewatching old episodes, listening to Game of Thrones podcasts. I am ready. As we gear up for season seven let’s take a look at the seven people who hold the real power in Westeros.
Honorable Mention: Lyanna Mormont
The first one to declare her loyalty to Jon Snow and helped in proclaiming him the King of the North. She may be small but can clearly inspire those around her, even when they are well her elder. It also helps that she was the stand out star of season 6. If I don't see more Lady Mormont we riot.
7) Arya Stark
Does she have a chance at the Iron Throne? I doubt it. But you know what she does have the power to do? Change her face into anyone she wants to be. She has become one of the best killers in the game and can cross anyone off her list. She also has the power to kill a couple of Freys, chop them up, and make them into pies without being caught. Now that is a power play. Now that she finally has a name back, she is going to become a major x-factor the rest of the way.
6) Petyr Baelish
You know who knows nothing? Jon Snow. He can't see the danger standing right next to him because Littlefinger has situated himself as Winterfell's biggest ally. But Petyr Baelish is the man who saved Jon Snow from the Boltons. As the Lord of the Vale, the Starks are indebted to him for his help, and he will be needed by Jon Snow in the wars to come. Littlefinger can use that to his advantage as his goal remains singular—sit on the Iron Throne. And I wouldn't doubt his abilities if it wasn't for some dragons, along with his blind spot for Sansa. If Littlefinger doesn't wake up he will only go as far as she lets him.
5) Tyrion Lannister
The new hand of the Queen is giving advice to someone who is more than willing to listen to him. He has been playing the game of thrones for years and was quite successful as the previous hand, even stopping an invading Baratheon army. With no one to snatch power away from him, he looks like he is in the position to be the right-hand man to the ultimate power when everything is said and done.
4) Jon Snow
He once swore that he would hold no lands and wear no crowns. But that was before he was stabbed and murdered and his contract was nullified. Sure he tried his best to lose the Battle of the Bastards and only lived due to the last minute save by the Knights of the Vale, but he has still put House Stark back in a position of power as the King of the North. With an army of Wildlings as his allies, he is ready to take on threats to the south and the north.
3) The Night King
He doesn't have a lot to say, but with a simple lift of his arms he was able to raise an army and tell Jon Snow "Come at me, bro". He has command of a land that very well may be bigger than all of Westeros. And if that isn't enough, his men will do anything he wants. "Hey guys, do me a favor and throw yourselves off that cliff?" His army gladly does it and then keeps going. That's a motivating leader right there. Once he figures out how to get rid of that wall he is going to be a force that everyone is going to have to come together to beat. Best of luck.
2) Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragon. By the time Dani gets through all her nicknames the first episode may be over. But she has the power to back those names up. Not only does she control the Unsullied and three enormous dragons, but now she has ships courtesy of the Greyjoys and control of the Dothraki. And if we learned anything from Robert Baratheon, you never meet the Dothraki in an open field. She is coming for the crown and is in the best position to win it when this is all said and done, but as of right now she is still chasing the title.
1) Cersei Lannister
You win the game of thrones or you die. And guess who is sitting on the Iron Throne. Her days may very well be numbered and the odds of her getting out of the season are fucking slim, but to be the man you gotta beat the man, and she was able to kill all her enemies in one terrifically executed swoop. Sure, everyone is coming for her now, but they are coming for her because she holds all the power. Much like the Warriors, the Penguins, and the Patriots, Cersei was wearing the crown at the end of last season and until the new season starts she remains the most powerful character in Westeros.
Spider-Man: HOmecoming Reviewed
Over the course of 15 years, we have had six Spider-Man movies with three different actors. And while we have web-slinger to thank for the recent explosion of superhero movies, the last two Amazing Spider-Man movies with Andrew Garfield didn't exactly help Spidey's street cred. Knowing that we've been burned before, can entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe help reignite the world's love of Marvel's most popular superhero?
Spider-Man: Homecoming begins after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Now that Spider-man has gone toe-to-toe with Cap he's ready to be the next Avenger. But Tony Stark still thinks he needs a little bit of training and wants him to be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
First off, it is an absolute treat to not have another Spider-Man start with his origin story. We've seen the spider bite twice now; everyone knows how Spider-Man got his powers. Besides watching Bruce Wayne's parents getting shot it's one of the most well-known origin stories in the comics, so I was relieved to see no mention of Uncle Ben. It's also a treat to have actors that look like they could be in high school playing high school students. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were both in their mid-twenties when they played Peter Parker, so casting 19-year-old Tom Holland was refreshing.
A superhero movie can only be as good as its villain and Michael Keaton's fantastic as The Vulture. Keaton is straight up crazy in this movie in the best possible way. He is a blue-collar worker who resents having been snubbed by the 1% and wants to get his so he can provide a good life for his family. This type of villain fits into the small-time feel that the movie is going for and it's refreshing to know that not every Marvel movie has to feature a world-threatening event.
There are a lot of good action sequences in this movie as well. The movie uses the Marvel effects team instead of Sony's, so it looks like the other Marvel movies that fans have grown accustomed to. It's a shame the action is ruined by a sense of familiarity. Not only have we seen all of the movie's major action beats in the trailer, but in other Marvel movies as well. While we've never seen a boat cut in half in any other movie, and it's cool when he jumps over a helicopter, by now that all seems par for the course, which is kind of incredible to say.
Spider-Man has always been a very relatable character, well-known for his snark, and the young Tom Holland is terrific in the title role. But with five previous Spider-Man movies and this being the 16th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can we really be surprised anymore? This story is only unique to Marvel in that it's the first one about a high schooler, but that's well-trodden territory elsewhere. Marvel is one of the most successful studios out there and if you've liked their other movies you will like Spider-Man: Homecoming as well. Just don't expect to be taken back by anything, because no matter how good this movie is we've been here before. B
If you really have to go to the bathroom as soon as the two-hour and 13 minute movie ends then feel free. The two post-credit scenes don't do anything to further the over-arching story in the MCU. However, the scene at the very end is very funny.