Tag Archives: Defy Life Film Review

Screenings With Migs: Copshop (No Spoilers)

Good afternoon readers! Last week my lovely Editor and I attended an early AMC screening of Copshop, an action thriller starring Gerald Butler, Frank Grillo, and Alexis Louder.

Frank Grillo plays Teddy, who is a shady businessman that has gotten himself into a lot of trouble and is on the run in Nevada. Teddy is on the run because two contract killers are coming after him to collect the bounty on his head. One of those hitmen is Gerald Butler. Teddy decides the best way to get protection is to assault Officer Young (Alexis Louder) and get himself locked up. Young discerns that there is more to Teddy’s story that he is telling and that he isn’t as innocent as he makes himself seem. When Bob (Butler) and the other hitman show up to the police station it gets crazy! Bullets and blood galore!! I enjoyed the tense moments and the cheeky humor. I’m a fan of Butler and Grillo so it was cool to see them on screen together. Their interactions are funny. Alexis Louder is the standout though. She goes hard as Officer Young and held her own up against the tough guys! The thrills were solid for the most part. There was a couple of scenes that I thought were “ehh” but overall it was a good time. The film gave me Smokin’ Aces vibes. I kept thinking that in my head as I was watching. When I checked the credits I found out that Joe Carnahan directed both films so that made sense. If you are a fan of the cast members and you like action thrillers I recommend checking out Copshop. Early showings start tomorrow night and it hits theaters everywhere Friday. If you have theaters open in your area it’s a good flick to see on a discount day or a matinee.

Check my live review here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CTlRWApD6xR/

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

Screenings With Migs: The Night House (No Spoilers)

Good afternoon readers! When I saw the trailer for The Night House a few weeks back I knew I was in. It looked creepy and that is enough to get me in the theater. I went to an early screening on Monday and I dug the film! I’m going to watch it again because I think I missed a couple of things. I see myself saying “ooooohhh” the second time around!

This movie is the Rebecca Hall show. She puts on an emotionally gripping performance as Beth. Beth has been dealing with the suicide of her husband Owen. They’ve known each other for several years so not only is she grieving but she’s confused as to why he did what he did. When Beth is clearing Owen’s belongings out of their house she starts hearing noises. Seeing shadows. Getting phone calls from Owen. Or is she? Is Beth’s mind messing with her because she’s all alone in a big lake house or is there something else going on……

I liked this thriller. It’s a slow burn however Hall’s performance and the unraveling of the mystery kept me intrigued. I liked how atmospheric the house and the lake were. The setting was eerie and it makes you wonder what Beth was actually seeing. I didn’t find this to be scary but high on the bugged out factor and there were some well crafted moments of tension. There was one part toward the end of the film that made me say “ehhh” buuuuuuttttt it’s okay. I still ran with it! If you are a fan of thrillers then check this out. Hit that discount day or the matinee. You don’t need to spend more than 8 bucks seeing this one.

Check my video review here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CSqC9cMDtjC/

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

MOVIES WITH MIGS: 2020 CINEMATIC REVIEW

What’s going on fellow readers!!! My sincerest apologies for being almost four months late publishing my year end review. Normally this would have been out the first week of January but I didn’t watch all the 2020 releases I wanted to view by the end of the year and I fell behind. We’re here now so kick back and enjoy the read!

2020 was a weird and interesting year for movies due to the corona virus outbreak. After seeing Onward in March I wasn’t able to visit theaters until September. Since theaters were closed a lot of movies got pushed to future dates. Streaming services have been releasing original films and other content. There are movies being released on HBOMAX and in theater on the same day. When my local AMCs reopened I was in there! I waited until the end of 2020 to turn my AMC A List subscription back on but I’ve been enjoying the benefits since then. It’s been an experience (to say the least) as the world adapts.

My top ten is a mixture of theatrical releases and home releases from 2020. Time to dive in!!

THE CHAMP IS HERE!!

Number 1: Sonic The Hedgehog
I grew up playing Sonic. Sonic 2 is still one of the best games from Seeeeegggggaaaaaahhhhh!!!! Fans all over the world have been waiting for this film. I’m glad that Paramount Studios cleaned up the design of Sonic because what they originally showed fans was trash and it was rightfully trashed. Everything worked out in the end. Sonic was dope and Jim Carrey starring as Dr. Robotnik was a fun casting choice. The special effects and CGI were nice so it was cool seeing Sonic in action. My man Cyclops (James Marsden) got some on-screen respect finally! The closing credit sequence is fantastic. The whole movie should have been 32 bit style animation! IJS. I preordered the steelbook pictured above. Shoutout to Best Buy for having the hot collector’s items and taking lots of my money. I had to have that for the collection. I’m looking forward to the sequel. My dude Miles Prower is on deck!!

Number 2: Justice League Dark: Apokolips War
This is one of thee toughest features DC has released! It’s rated R and it earns it. Bloody, harrowing, and quite thrilling. The Justice League plan a massive preemptive strike against Darkseid and you get to see the worldwide ramifications of their failure. Alliances are broken and new alliances are formed. It’s insane!! Do yourself a favor and watch this feature.

Number 3: Just Mercy

A heartfelt story of a gross injustice being undone brought tears to my eyes. This real life account tells the story of Walter McMillian’s false and disgusting murder conviction and the fight led by defense attorney Bryan Stevenson in order to get Walter released from death row. Michael B Jordan and Jamie Foxx’ portrayals of Stevenson and McMillian were touching. I felt their pain and anguish. It’s a shame that McMillian was another black man in a long list of black men that faced this treatment in the South. Even to this day. Stevenson had to go all the way to the Supreme Court before McMillian’s conviction was overturned and he was released. He spent 6 years on death row based on a lie. Seeing his suffering depicted on screen hit me but I can only imagine what McMillian went through for real. I never heard of his story until I started seeing trailers for the movie. It just makes you wonder…….

Number 4: Bad Boys For Life
New directors and a fresh screenplay ended up making history! Bad Boys For Life holds the title of the biggest January release….EVER. Good to see Marty Mar and Smith back together and having that magic from the first film. Even though I own the movie I’m not a fan of part 2 so this installment was like Miami weather. It felt good. Most of the jokes landed, the action was decent, and the callbacks were too funny. I thought the mid credit scene was ehh but we shall see what comes of it!

Number 5: Mulan
I really wanted to see this in the theater. I had tickets for IMAX that I had to cancel. Darn you corona!! ******SHAKES FIST********
Disney+ streamed the movie later in the year but I wasn’t paying an extra thirty dollars to rent so I waited and bought the 4K steelbook. This is NOT a live action remake of the cartoon. The premise and some of the story is the same but there isn’t comic relief in the form of a tiny dragon. It has a serious tone and not geared for smaller children. Solid performances and the action sequences were beautiful. This was my first time seeing Liu Yifei and I thought her portrayal of Mulan was ovation worthy. Great job by the production team as well. The costumes were a treat for the eyes.

Number 6: The Invisible Man
I’ve been a fan of the Universal Monsters (Wolf Man, Invisible Man, Dracula, The Mummy, etc) since I was in grade school so I was all in for this remake. I found the perspective change to be intriguing. Instead of making the movie about the mad scientist it’s told from the perspective of his victim/former love interest. Elisabeth Moss’ performance was on point. She does a good job making you feel the dread of knowing someone is there but you can’t see them or prove it. There was some well-placed tension throughout the film. I wish the last 20 minutes was stronger but overall a worthy update that did good at the box office right before the theater shutdowns started . Crazy thing is that this movie was supposed to serve as another chapter in the “Dark Universe” but 2017’s The Mummy failed big time so that probably won’t happen. Tom Cruise couldn’t even do the impossible there. **PEW PEW**

Number 7: Freaky
I enjoyed this bloody spin on the Freaky Friday body swap curse but STOP SHOWING EVERYTHING IN THE TRAILER!!! The trailer shows three (maybe even four) of the death scenes. WHY WHY WHY!!! In this film a high schooler named Millie gets attacked by a serial killer but the weapon he used is cursed so they switch bodies after the attack fails. Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn lead and seeing them portray each other’s on screen persona was a trip. This isn’t a scary horror film but it’s fun and there was some good splatter gore. One scene made me cringe. Major OOHHHHHHH! Kudos to Blumhouse Productions for my 6th and 7th picks!

Number 8: VFW
Veterans vs street gang in a bloody battle of attrition at a local VFW! Stephen Lang, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, and Bill Sadler go to war after they decide to help a young woman who comes under wrath of a violent gang. This film reminded me of the original Assault On Precinct 13th but with death scenes out of horror movies from the 80s. The old guys can still bang heads into pulp! This was a blind buy last year. I knew nothing about the film but the cover grabbed me. Check this out if you haven’t seen it. The action and the banter is tough!

Number 9: Promising Young Woman
Carey Mulligan portrays Cassie, a woman who moonlights as a “vigilante” against predators that prey on women. After a chance encounter Cassie receives information that may allow her to expose a criminal from her past so she sets herself on a path of revenge. There are up and downs in the story. There’s levity and then BAM……super dark! I found Cassie’s motivation to be compelling even though I thought she should have ripped some faces off! This movie deals with rape and rape victims so it can get touchy and emotional. Not recommended for the faint of heart. I enjoyed Mulligan’s performance and she is getting a lot of praise critically. The film has several Academy Award nominations so *clap clap clap* to director and writer Emerald Fennell.

Number 10: To Your Last Death
Last but not least is an animated tale of murder and time travel! An activist named Miriam is given a chance to undo her father’s killing spree but there is a catch. The entity that granted Miriam this power can make changes as she sees fit. Horror fans…this film is for you. If you like splatter then check this flick because it features some crazy, highly graphic kills. I purchased this blind as well. The cover grabbed me like VFW did.

Not top ten but recommended: The Gentlemen, Birds of Prey, Onward, Come Play, Possessor, The Hunt, WW84, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Bill & Ted: Face The Music, The High Note, Dolittle, Monster Hunter, Vanguard

Acceptable: Like A Boss, Underwater, The Lodge, Peninsula, Honest Thief, The Photograph, Bloodshot, Unhinged, The Way Back, Soul, Tenet, The New Mutants

BASURA: Color Out Of Space, John Henry, The Rhythm Section, Fantasy Island, The Call, Da 5 Bloods (more of a letdown than garbage), Coffee and Kareem, Deep Blue Sea 3

That’s it folks! I do appreciate you taking some time to read my 2020 cinematic wrap up. Leave comments please. I’d love to hear back from you. Tell me what your 2020 top ten is. Visit me on Facebook and IG as well. Search “Movies With Migs” and I should pop right up. I have plenty of content for you to check out including corresponding video reviews for most of the top ten films I listed. I’ll also have some new reviews posted later this week! Take care and continue to stay safe!

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

Movies With Migs: One Night In Miami…

Hello readers! I’ll get right into this and say if you have access to Amazon Prime Video WATCH THIS MOVIE! If you watched it already then WATCH IT AGAIN! Major kudos to Regina King for her directorial debut. Her direction and screenplay by Kemp Powers is rightfully receiving praise and accolades. This film is adapted from the play of the same name and is set around a fictional meeting in Miami. You may have heard of the attendees….

It’s February 1964 and Cassius Clay has become boxing’s heavyweight champ. After his bout he meets with Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke. Now this is supposed to be a celebration but it turns into so much more. The 60s was a tumultuous decade for Black people in America, to say the least. Each one of these men was a prominent figure and they were all up against racism and dealing with personal problems. As a Muslim Malcolm explains the need for urgency to stand against oppression against Blacks however Cooke and Brown don’t agree with everything he says. It’s an interesting crossroad for Clay, who is contemplating devotion to the Nation of Islam, but he still has reservations. You see the clash in ideals and as Jim Brown states….”We aren’t all the same.” You feel the emotions as these men deal with the times they were living in and how they planned to use their influence in a world that wanted to keep their voices suppressed. Even though this meeting didn’t actually happen the actors made it feel real. Their differences created compelling dialogue. The conflicts were loud and in your face. The dynamics to resolve the conflicts felt personal. I never heard of Kingsley Ben-Adir until this film but his performance as Malcolm X had a lot of emotional depth. Aldis Hodge plays a young Jim Brown and even though his role was the lesser of the 4 his performance was good. Eli Goree and Leslie Odom Jr knock it out as Cassius Clay and Sam Cooke. Goree had Clay’s mannerisms down. Odom is a singer and songwriter and he was able to channel that into his portrayal of Cooke. Odom’s performance stood out to me. I appreciated how he was able to command the screen at certain points but also able to take a backseat. For me it’s a bit harrowing seeing films about real people and past events. Retrospect is crazy because later that year Sam Cooke was shot and killed and early 65 was when Malcolm X was murdered. Their influence and mark on American society still lives on. Clay became Muhammed Ali and also one of the greatest boxers ever. Arguably thee greatest. Ali recently passed but he will be quoted and imitated for a LONG time. Jim Brown is the only one who is still alive. He made his mark as one of the greatest players in the NFL and he’s also starred in a few decent movies. He’s my dude in Mars Attacks! So if you have the ability to check out One Night In Miami… please do so. I highly recommend it. Strong dialogue, performances and direction. BRAVO BRAVO!

See my live review here: https://www.facebook.com/324698124776582/videos/248593186648632

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

Movies With Migs: Vanguard (No spoilers)

Jackie Chan is back and showing that he can still throw hands!! AMC Theatres are open in my area so I was browsing to see what was available to watch and I came across Vanguard. Last week was my first time seeing anything about the film but you don’t have to tell me twice when it comes to an actioneer starring Jackie Chan. The AMC I go to has the film in Dolby Cinema so I was all in. If you’ve read some of my previous reviews then you may have seen my love for Dolby. In my opinion it’s the best format when it comes to sound and presentation quality. I don’t know why Vanguard is available in this presentation though. Aside from the few eye popping scenes it’s not a huge treat for the eyes. The various gunfights had some extra oomph with the sound system so that was cool but regular format is okay here. I have AMC A List so I’ll watch anything in Dolby just because.

In the film Chan plays Tang Huanting, CEO of Vanguard, which is a company that specializes in providing protection to high profile clients. The movie opens with a small cell from Tang’s network providing protection to a client who knows a secret worth a lot of money. When an international gang fails to kidnap this client they go after his daughter so Tang’s people have to get to her as well. I won’t say anymore of the plot beyond that because that spoils the film. It’s a bang bang cat and mouse thriller, complete with awesome fight choreography, terrible dialogue, CGI straight out of a SyFy made for tv film, bullets galore and old man Jackie beating dudes down! I had a good time watching! I was chuckling at the bad CGI because WOOF. It was weird that the production used de-aging CGI on Chan’s face. We know he is old. We know he has wrinkles. His character wasn’t young so I don’t know what that was about. Seeing Jackie Chan and costars put the hurt on bad guys was awesome. Some of those fights were brutal! This movie didn’t blow me away but I found it to be enjoyable. The last two Chan films I watched (The Foreigner and Lego Ninjago) didn’t do much for me so it was great seeing him providing whoopings in this movie. Overall…….Not bad. Jackie Chan fans should enjoy this. Casual fans of action likely will also. If you have an opportunity to check this out in a theater (safely of course) I’d recommend it. I don’t see this staying around on the big screen too long so you might see it at Redbox or available to stream soon.

Check my video review here: https://www.facebook.com/MoviesWithMigs/videos/997921664033561/

CHEERS!
Migs Rodriguez

Red Pill or Blue Pill: The Matrix…….21 years later

The year is 1999. The Wachowskis gave us The Matrix, a sleeper hit that went on to become a global phenom. The story telling, the science fiction, the special effects……AMAZING!!! It’s been 21 years since its release so take that red pill with me and let’s reenter The Matrix! 

Continue reading Red Pill or Blue Pill: The Matrix…….21 years later