Movie Reviews – The Accountant; Black Butterfly; Collide

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The Accountant (2016)

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As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

I had such a fun time with The Accountant, it wasn’t what I expected at all. Filled out with a very effective story and great cast, including Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal and Jon Lithgow to name a few, this was one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in years.

Ben Affleck was as good as I’ve seen him, what a great character to sink his teeth into, so many layers. Playing an autistic accountant who happens to be a master with guns and at martial arts, I loved the journey he took us on.Β Christian Wolff is right up there with John Wick as a character I love and want to see more of. I’ve never been the biggest Anna Kendrick fan but she surprised me too, playing the dorky love interest but not in your typical way. Jon Bernthal has to get a mention too, I always enjoy seeing him, such a great screen presence and he doesn’t disappoint here.

The action was superb, lots of great gun fights, hand to hand combat and martial arts training straight out of The Raid playbook. A few twists and turns along the way, and the way it all wraps up was pretty smart I felt. The whole thing looked crisp and flowed nicely, I genuinely can’t find much to fault with this film. It’s been announced they are moving forwards with The Accountant 2, I just hope they can follow in the footsteps ofΒ John Wick 2 &Β The Raid 2Β and make a worthy sequel.

fourstar

Black Butterfly (2017)

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Outside a mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, Paul (Antonio Banderas), a reclusive writer, struggles to start what he hopes will be a career-saving screenplay. After a tense encounter at a diner with a drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Paul offers Jack a place to stay-and soon the edgy, demanding Jack muscles his way into Paul’s work. As a storm cuts off power to the isolated cabin, the two men begin a jagged game of one-upmanship that will bring at least one tale to an end.

I could write so much about Black Butterfly, but the very final scene just took away any love I had, and frustrated me so much my motivation disappeared and anger took over. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I mean. Maybe it’s just me (it’s not, Roger Ebert’s site reviewer gave this a much harsher review than I will) but I can’t comprehend why they ended it like that. I was really on board with this story, enjoying the twists and turns and trying to predict where the story was going, and as the final act revealed itself I was surprised in a good way, and felt the ending (or what I thought was the ending) really made the film. Our lead duo were engaging throughout, and Piper Perabo pops up now and then, but it’s all about our main two in the story. Then there was a quick couple second reveal as the credits rolled and that ruined it all. So I’m done, it lost me, and I’d love the blu-ray release to have an option to watch without that horrible ending. Such a shame.

threestar

Collide (2016)

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An American backpacker gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver, though he winds up on the run from his employers across Cologne high-speed Autobahn.

I’m assuming for a movie that cost a reported $21 million most of that went on hiring two Knight Bachelors, Sir Anthony Hopkins & Sir Ben Kingsley. I can’t figure out why else they would appear in something this generic. Surely their agents can find them better work than this.

Anyway, the plot has us following Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones in the routine boy must escape from bad men whilst trying to save the girl who needs an operation. It’s hard not to be too critical, it just feels like this plot has been done thousands of times before and a lot better. To be fair our lead pair do fine with what they are given, it just all felt a little bland. No real chemistry, not much of a threat, generic plot and bad guys and two icons of our time reduced to turning up for a pay cheque.

On the positive side, the car chases were good, it looked nice and well shot if you don’t detest the odd bit of shaky cam, I just didn’t come away from it feeling I’d enjoyed any part of it. Certainly nothing too memorable, an ok way to pass some time I guess but it felt about 20 minutes too long and it’s not something I’m in a rush to watch again. A shame really, as I was keen to watch this as the directors (Eran Creevy) previous film Welcome To The Punch was something I really enjoyed, and the man can clearly do action. Hopefully his next attempt is something more in line with his previous work.

twostar

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45 thoughts on “Movie Reviews – The Accountant; Black Butterfly; Collide

  1. i watched the first 20 minutes of The Accountant and thought Affleck was miscast to play the role, so I ended up turning it off. I didn’t think he was the least bit interesting. I turn a lot of movies off after about 20-30 minutes if it’s not interesting to me. I know a lot of people preach you have to finish a movie to judge it, but we now have access to so many movies that I’m not going to waste time watching a movie I think is dull when I can find another one to view that I’ll find interesting. I turn a lot of movies off, and it saves me so much time, which I use to watch something I like…

    However, if you’re comparing The Accountant to John Wick, then I will go back and revisit, but man, something interesting better happen SOON. I was drawn into John Wick from the opening credits and is one of my all-time favorite action movies; i also loved Denzel’s “Equalizer” that came out around the same time…

    That’s disappointing about Black Butterfly. Actually, if you hated the ending, maybe I’ll LOVE it. lol. I may give this one a go, and see what I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always stick a movie out even if I’m bored in the hope it gets better. Like 50 Shades of Grey or Star Wars πŸ˜‰

      The Accountant just reminded me of stuff like John Wick and The Raid. The silat martial art in The Accountant is used in The Raid, and Afflecks character here is a one man killing machine like John Wick. It definitely kicks up a few gears once the action hits. I saw some reviews say it didn’t know what film to be; comedy/drama/action but I liked the blend and it really worked for me. I’ve seen it 3 times now and enjoy it more with each viewing. I’d say stick with it but time is precious I get that.

      Right up till the VERY end Black Butterfly was pretty cool, and maybe it wouldn’t bother you. I feel you might not like the actual reveal which I did like, its kinda confusing without spoiling, but I like the main actors, and I wasn’t bored, engrossed in the story but sometimes a trivial thing bugs the hell out of me. I’d be intrigued what you think if you ever catch it though.

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      • i finished The Accountant last night, and thought it was pretty good. I think what bored me so much in the first act were all the flashbacks. I felt they were redundant and not enough of the current story had been established to make me so interested in so many of the flashbacks. He was autistic, I get it, i don’t need a flashback from every outburst he had as a child! lol. But i agree the film had multiple genres, and I also liked the blend. I’m still not crazy about Affleck in this role; he played the role okay and did well w/ the physical stuff, but an actor with a wider range could have went deeper into the character. Ben looked like Clark Kent when he was accounting at Lamar Blackburn’s firm w/ that trench coat and glasses. Overall, i think the film was pretty good, though after the first act. I plan to watch Black Butterfly today. I will report back if I do. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glad you gave it another chance and didn’t hate it. We are very far apart on our opinions on Affleck and the flashbacks but I’m happy you at least enjoyed the film a bit.

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      • I just finished Black Butterfly.

        SPOILERS BELOW FOR ANY READERS. Don’t read if you haven’t watched…

        Honestly, I figured out the end from the beginning; as he typed “I am stuck” and then his mind drifts, it looks like he’s imagining a story. *Also, since I write screenplays and have been “stuck” many times, I recognized his agony. lol. And yes, a writer will sit in their seat for hours at a time trying to visualize what happens next. I have done this quite a few times…

        But the ending didn’t bother me, mostly b/c I thought the entire film was a story Paul was creating in his mind. I did predict the ending straight from the start, but I still couldn’t tell what exactly was going to happen in the story, therefore it didn’t matter to me if the story was all a work in Paul’s mind the entire time…

        What I actually thought was going to happen was Jack was going to be a figment of Paul’s imagination. I was going to be extremely annoyed if that were the case as we’ve seen this done to death, so I’m glad it wasn’t that…

        What I did say to myself as I was watching was, “Antonio Banderas should be the bad guy, and Myers be the good guy”. lol. So at the end of Paul’s story, I was actually correct about that. But the biggest surprise for me was that Paul was a serial killer and Jack and the real-estate agent were FBI agents tracking Paul the whole time. That was a nice reveal.

        Overall, I thought was a pretty good solid thriller…I’d give it a 7/10.

        Here’s why I think you should forgive the ending, and if you loved the film until the final reveal, it shouldn’t matter to you that much:

        EVERY movie you watch is WRITTEN; this one was no different; this one was also written; it just so happens that on the final minute of this film there’s a reveal that our central character was imagining the story in his head – but every time you watch a film the story was imagined in the screenwriters head. So, there’s really not a big difference. This was a fictional movie, therefore really shouldn’t matter. If you enjoyed the story Paul created in his head as the movie played out, then you should enjoy the movie. The movie is fiction, therefore it shouldn’t mater if the story came from the actual screenwriter of the film – or the central character’s imagination; either way, the story was written by a screenwriter all the same. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Always love your detailed replies. Hard not to spoil this but we’ve warned people. For me, if it played right up to the FBI ending, I’d of raved about this. But to then find NONE of that happened, the whole film didn’t happen, it’s just a massive ‘fuck you’ I felt. Just an insult. I get what you’re saying that it’s fiction, but why show him at the end, just felt like an utter waste. Happy that you watched it and took something very different away from it. This is what I’ve missed, just shooting the shit with folks like yourself and dissecting movies and seeing other opinions. Mine won’t change on this, but at least it provoked a reaction out of me I guess. I just feel they messed up what could of been a really solid film with a stupid nonsense ‘it was all a dream’ ending.

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      • yeah, but none of it did happen, regardless if Paul wakes up at the end or not; if Paul hadn’t waken up at the end, the story still didn’t really happen b/c it’s a fictional movie. We got to see the same story unfold on-screen and its that story you enjoyed watching. Same with me and High Tension; one of the dumbest endings and reveals ever, but I loved watching the story with all the suspense I watched on-screen, regardless where the source came from. You probably liked The Usual Suspects, right? That wasn’t reality, either. I would agree w/ your sentiments if the story was passed off as a “true story” or “Based on true events” but in fiction anything goes and quality storytelling can be done many different ways, and in this case it was told in Paul’s imagination, which is fine b/c we still get to watch the same story play out on-screen. I actually like the way this display gives the audience a glimpse what it’s like to be a screenwriter; it is agonizing work. You do get stuck, and you do sit around and think and visualize for minutes and even hours at a time.

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  2. I was surprised how much I liked ‘The Accountant’…my sister (who’d already seen it once) insisted we see it, and I’m glad we did. Actually, I liked it so much I immediately bought the Blu-ray when it was released. And wouldn’t that be cool to have another Scorsese crime film starring those three? And maybe he could throw Sharon Stone into the mix as well, just for the hell of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same, bought the blu ray on day of release, seen the film 3 times in total now, each time I enjoy it more.

      The Scorsese film is happening, Netflix I believe smashed records to buy it, all cast signed on, I just want to see stills so I know its filming. Cannot wait!

      Like

    • Hello mate. I’m all good, how’s things with you?

      Yeah I’d be interested in more thoughts for Black Butterfly. I seem to like it more than the ‘professional critics’.

      Glad you’re still around, I’m slowly working through the sites I used to frequent, was good to see your name popping up πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I got a new recommendation for you: “The Invisible Guest” which has another amazing twist! I did not see that coming at all!!! lol. Check it out asap! πŸ™‚

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    • Hey buddy.

      I actually downloaded that a while ago, haven’t watched it though but I’d read good things. Will let you know my thoughts. Trying to work out a more efficient way of posting reviews, seen so many films recently that I might resort to just putting a title and a score up. Don’t know how people do a review a day!

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      • Easy, they don’t have kids! lol. But yeah, i suspect you’ll like The Invisible Guest; that twist at the end!! Aw man, I did not see that coming. Pay attention to all the dialogue b/c there’s one line in small talk you think is basically meaningless that turns the entire movie upside down at the end. Very clever!

        Liked by 1 person

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