Stunt Granny Movie Review: Brick Mansions

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“Brick Mansions” is a Spike/TNT special. A movie in which if you stumble upon it on a random Sunday afternoon, you’ll stay for the finish. It’s not a good movie. It’s not a well-made movie. It’s a goofy caricature of an action movie. Once you accept that, you’ll realize it’s an enjoyable movie. It’s a Luc Besson film that Liam Neeson and Jason Statham wouldn’t wipe their behinds with. Luckily Paul Walker doesn’t believe on standing on trite movie ceremony – this film is right in his wheelhouse as the likeable, slightly believable action star. He may get flack for being a mediocre actor (I look at him as a man who accepts and embraces his limitations), but compared to the rest of the cast, he might as well be Daniel-Day Lewis. Any film in which RZA is the second best actor by far should tell you the type if film being made. “Brick Mansions”  is a gussied up B movie with a silly plot, parkour, cringe worthy representatives of black people, and in flattering view of Detroit. “Brick Mansions” is basically RoboCop if Donald Sterling directed it and got rid of the robot.

Guess what – I enjoyed it. Within 5 minutes of the film I accepted it for what it was and enjoyed the ride. I accepted that Detroit walled off an entire section of the Detroit projects to reduce crime. I accepted that RZA somehow stole a military transport and was able to attach a neutron dirty bomb to a Russian rocket for ransom. A French parkour expert who never lost his accent despite growing up in Detroit, who defeated armed gunman through brooms and flips? No problem. Paul Walker basically playing the love child of Keanu Reeves and Jackie Chan? I’m all in. Thugs speaking proper stilted English as if it was learned at a French catholic school – damn right. It has no logic besides its own, and follows its own rules. It is a better movie for it. I still remember “Brick Mansions after a week and smile thinking about it…more than I could say for better movies which fall by the wayside. It also reminded me how enjoyable Paul Walker was on film. I would say it’s a shame that his last starring role was this film, but he wouldn’t. So go see it. Definitely turn off the logic and reason and have fun. -Shahid

Stunt Granny Movie Review: 3 Days to Kill

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What do you get when you take Luc Besson, add some Lifetime Network, and mix it in an American Blender?  You get Three Days to Kill, starring Kevin Costner.  A convoluted, cluttered, yet entertaining film, Three Days to Kill answers the eternal question = what happens when you make an American version of Taken after getting hit in the face with a frying pan?  It’s cluttered, convoluted, ridiculous, yet strangely entertaining.

1.  If there is a sole reason to watch this film, it’s Kevin Costner.  That name carries a certain baggage, due to films like the Postman and Waterworld, as well a shaky attempt at a British accent. But there is a  reason that he was one of the biggest movie stars in the world at one time – gravitas.  He gives weight and emotion to a flimsy role which could have devolved into farce and fluff. Playing a retired, terminally ill CIA operative on a final mission while reconciling with a teenage daughter, Costner supplies the backbone and soul of the film  He’s equally believable as an aging badass as well as a gruff yet caring father, as well as playing the straight man to an array of absurd characters and situations.  Without him, this movie would fall completely apart, due to its extremely ludicrous plot

2.  A retired CIA operative, who on his previous mission failed to capture The Albino, a henchman to an arms dealer known as The Wolf, is hired for one last mission by a femme fatale agency assassin played by Amber Heard to track down said albino, thus leading him, and hopefully killing his boss.  He’s lured out of a retirement by an experimental drug which “may” combat his terminal brain and lung cancer.  Of course, he’s reluctant to do so, as his primary goal is to somehow reconcile with a forgotten wife and daughter during his final months on Earth.  There’s also a squatter family from Mali involved, as well as shenanigans with a banker employed by the Albino, and an attempted rape…..

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