JOHN WICK | BLU RAY REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

We revisit Kernel Andrew’s lovefest, aka review for Keanu’s JOHN WICK actiondeathfest. The movie releases on the 4th of March on DVD, Blu Ray and Digital Download in Australia and the peeps from Roadshow Entertainment have given us 3x copies on Blu Ray to giveaway. So enjoy for the first time or revisit Andrew’s review and find out how to win a copy. All the best………..JK.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM OCTOBER 28TH, 2014

JOHN WICK – the action film starring Keanu the world has needed since THE MATRIX. He has always been one of my favourite action guys since SPEED and POINT BREAK – at college he was all over my folder and I even had a framed pic of him on my wall and still have his autograph on a picture from POINT BREAK. The world can handle more Keanu and luckily you are getting him in a good one if Kernel Andrew’s review is anything to go by. I must fit a screening of this, and PRIDE, in this weekend! JOHN WICK is an unusual story that is basically about animal rights and standing up for innocent puppies :). Not really but it starts the ball rolling. JOHN WICK is out this Thursday 30th September in Australia from Roadshow Films, it runs for 101mins and is rated MA15+. Enjoy Andrew’s review…………all the best……………JK.

 

JOHN WICK MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
JOHN WICK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY ANDREW BRUSENTSEV

JOHN WICK is a tried and true formula. You have all seen it before. A retired bad guy comes back for one last job, one last mission, one last kill. Fueled by an injustice which he cannot walk away from. Could he ever really walk away from the life of a man like that? Before you sigh and give this a miss, I say don’t. This movie is one not to be missed in 2014 and actually as a big fan of B action movies ranks up there with some of my cherished favourites of recent memory. JOHN WICK takes the tried and true formula and asks everyone to stand clear and puts the paddles to its chest. This may be a done to death premise but thanks to some brilliant live action fight choreography, gorgeous visuals and a new classic vintage anti-hero everyone in the cinema will be in for a treat. Keanu Reeves is back and for me this is the role I have been waiting decades for him to play.

 

JOHN WICK IMAGE
JOHN WICK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE MORAL OF THIS MOVIE – DO NOT HARM PUPPIES

 

What can be said about Reeves? He is fifty but he doesn’t look it. Stylishly handsome, athletically lean and back in full action-star mode. In fact I think this movie makes his former hit in SPEED look like a mere prelude to what you could expect from the man.

It has to be said that Keanu has always been limited in people’s perceptions as an actor. There has always been something about him that I have loved. Either in MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO to BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE to THE MATRIX, he has been a favourite. That calm that he always seems to exude is perfect in this role, it just works. John Wick is his finest action hour. He can still be boyishly cool, Zen-like in confidence but can deliver the hurt or the deadpan one-liner with a kind of swavish detachment. When the going gets physical as always Reeve’s is a revelation. He is a great physical actor. His directorial debut MAN OF TAI CHI proves this. If you haven’t seen it, do yourselves a favour and run and get it. A fine martial arts movie made by an obvious fan boy.

Now to JOHN WICK. Reeve’s is John Wick, a man who has recently and painfully lost the love of his life, his wife (Bridget Moynahan). Late one night, whilst asleep in bed his home is invaded by a group of Russian gangsters. They beat Wick within an inch of his life and what is worse kill a small beagle puppy in the process. They also steal his car, the obvious target of their robbery. This is a horrific and painful scene, what makes it worse is the fact that this dog was a posthumous gift given to him by his wife to remember her by. You can literally see the calm Wick die in front of your eyes as he stares at the lifeless bloody pup. Someone else then looks back at you.

 

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JOHN WICK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | KEANU REEVES AS JOHN WICK

 

It turns out that the Russian gangsters brash and reckless young leader is Iosef (Alfie Allen, you would know him from GAME OF THRONES as Theo Greyjoy). Iosef is the son of a former associate of Wick’s, the powerful criminal overboss Viggo Tarasov (played beautifully with the right bit of scare and sophistication by Michael Nyqvist). When Viggo finds out what has transpired he is horrified. He knows what Wick did, has done and now will do. Wick is a legend in the underworld. As Viggo says to his trembling son. Wick is the man you send to kill the bogeyman.

Purely and simply that is the premise. Everyone knows where this is going. It’s not the point. But that does not mean that the script by Derek Kolstad is not entertaining on its own. There are delicious one-liners, expositions and quips galore. It really is a writer reveling in the stereotype. Hard to do as quite literally for the next hour or so it is scene after scene of Wick taking out entire rooms full of people who are foolish enough to stand in his way.

 

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JOHN WICK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | IOSEF TARASOV (ALFIE ALLEN) AND VIGGO TARASOV (MICHAEL NYQVIST) – CHOP HIS DICK OFF!!

 

To make the two work together the directing team of Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (long time stunt team collaborators) do an exceptional job. David Leitch is a phenomena in the movie business. For those in the know he is a veteran of the stunt game. The man knows how to make action flow like a ballet. He has done it all.  He was Brando Lee’s body double in THE CROW (after Brandon’s tragic on set death) and Reeves’s in THE MATRIX trilogy. The list goes on Pitt’s stunt double in FIGHT CLUB and MR AND MRS SMITH as well as Damon’s in THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. The man intuitively knows action, he knows what a human can do with a punch or a kick and it shows. The action scenes in this movie are spectacular. I would put moment up there with any modern action masterpiece.

It’s hard to believe that this is work from first-time directors. They’re smart enough to let the intricate choreography speak for itself. They let the fight scenes play out without relying on a lot of nauseating shaky-cam or special effects. It really is physical, brutal and in your face. Other movies really should take note.

 

JOHN WICK MOVIE IMAGE
JOHN WICK | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOHN WICK FIGHTING A BAD DUDE

 

That is not all though, it should be but it’s not. The cinematography by Jonathan Sela is perfect. We have a real paint pallet here working. We have the dark hues to paint a canvas of a sinister ominous underworld. A world filled with desperation, violence and regret. There are the gorgeous crisp desaturated scenes that almost look black and white, scenes playing as if from memory, filling a backstory. Others yet fill the screen with gorgeous green tinges. Adding a vibrancy which serves the fighting being depicted. The colours and visuals are simply a feast for the eyes.

Rather than become repetitive, the movie becomes ever more expansive and brash as the body count grows. JOHN WICK gets better and better as you follow its bloody journey. In fact the more it moves along the more fantastic backstory there is. A world meticulously worked out. It’s set in New York City of today but there is a world here within a world. Wick and his fellow denizens live in a world with their own quaint customs, rules, currency and lingo.

Special credit must be given to a who’s who of cameos: Willem Dafoe, John Leguizmano, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick (he of “The Wire” fame an odd hotel concierge) and Adrianne Palicki as Ms Perkins (a gorgeous psycho killer hired to take Wick out, who flaunts all the rules of this seemingly rules-bound world).

If you love action you have to run to see this. I predict I will see this a couple more times in the cinemas. John Wick has entered my anti-hero hall of fame. Mr Reeves….welcome back.

 

KERNEL ANDREW’S POP SCORE:

4 and a Half Pops

 JK’S POP SCORE:

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

With special thanks to Roadshow Entertainment to win one of the 3X BLU RAYs of JOHN WICK you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

What is your favourite Keanu movie and why? I have three I cannot choose between – all cheesy commercial films but also brilliant, two of them were during my I heart Keanu phase, SPEED and POINT BREAK and the other for pure sci-fi madness in THE MATRIX.

If you do not have social media then get with the times – you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent after MAR 15th! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

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