Movie review: “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum” (2019)

“Your ticket is torn. You may never return home.”

What the John Wick sequels have lacked in conventional story, they have more than made up for in sheer architecture, grafting additional layers of cold-blooded and/or cutthroat bureaucracy and attendant intrigue onto the original’s stylish if still fairly straightforward tale of revenge. Who knew the international hitman community required such substantial infrastructure to operate, or that the phrase “honor among thieves” translated so elegantly to professional killers as well? There are lots of moving parts in any John Wick sequel – a good many of them invisible, it turns out – and, whether airborne or spent, only (approximately) 70% are bullets. Seeing as the original presented him as a gun-toting tsunami in human form, the sequels, for their sometimes glaring flaws, have also been effective at ratcheting up Wick’s external threat level to a somewhat plausible sustained plateau of omnipresent, multi-directional incoming danger Continue reading “Movie review: “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum” (2019)”

Movie review: “Knock Knock” (2015)


“What do you want?”

“I want to play hide and seek.”

Normally, I allow a movie a decent amount of time to settle within me – within my brain, my heart, the pit of my stomach, or whatever destination it might have claimed – before launching into the process of writing a review. My digestive system failed me fairly early on, however, as I watched Eli Roth’s Knock Knock. Reviews on DAE are fussy, cockeyed things to begin with, greenlit or squashed like a grape on little more than a whim and subject to sudden, sometimes staggering change at all times. Some wait for their author in the back alley with a tire iron and mounting impatience while others have to be cobbled together out of endlessly revised individual parts days, weeks, or even longer stretches after the fact. Well before I finished Roth’s 100-minute dog whistle concerto, I had already determined there was no real point in writing about it, a decision that, although I made myself slog to its end, still almost single-handedly rescued the remainder of my Sunday from a waist-high and deepening pit of despair. Continue reading “Movie review: “Knock Knock” (2015)”

Movie review: “John Wick” (2014)


The lethal former mob enforcer John Wick has much in common with the movie that bears his name. Both are lean, laconic and single-minded, heroically overachieving corpse production engines that run with understated flair and ruthless efficiency. Where the man and the vehicle diverge is in the realm of public regard. John Wick is a truly legendary killer, the type of cold steel assassin whose very mention gives significant pause to the most fearless, formidable and blood-thirsty bosses, hit men and goons the underworld could possibly belch up, a man whose reputation not only precedes him but armors and enhances him against his enemies, who are both legion and, amusingly enough, overmatched. Continue reading “Movie review: “John Wick” (2014)”