Sabotage

“Spend enough time on the job, the job bites back!” – John ‘Breacher’ Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Sabotage Film Poster

Seconds into the opening credits, a petite elderly woman leaned over to her son and whispered, “He’s getting a little bit too old for this!” Those were my sentiments exactly when finding out that California’s former Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was in yet another movie.

If you saw the Terminator’s last performance in Escape Plan (2013), you might have lost all hope. But a quick redemption is in order with Open Road Films’ “Sabotage.” Schwarzenegger might be old, difficult to understand, and slightly delayed since his body building days, but he was tolerable in this movie.

As John ‘Breacher’ Wharton, the 66-year-old leads a highly-capable Drug Enforcement Agency special operative team into dangerous waters to capture drug cartel top officials. When an internal money laundering scheme backfires, it is up to Breacher to find the person who is responsible for killing his DEA team members one-by-one. The movie stars Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Mireille Enos, Terrence Howard, and Joe Manganiello.

The foul language was abundantly present in “Sabotage.” This special DEA team is filled with “f—“ word slinging tough guys (and a girl), not to mention the nasty, sexual references. Now, “Wolf of Wall Street” used the “f—“ word 506 times, and “Sabotage” is not that bad. But the movie also was not 3 hours long either. For 109 minutes, there is a lot of profanity to endure. And unlike other meticulous movie critics, I did not have the patience to count every swearing instance.

Writer and Director David Ayer brought some of his similar techniques for this film. The gruesomeness and vulgarity of the storyline are similar to the works of “Training Day” (2001) and End of Watch (2012). Ayer’s use of dark thematic scenes or boldness of capturing a city in its most popular element is what sets his movies apart from the rest. You immediately recognize the rural and urban grounds of Atlanta because Ayer uses those landmarks to encapsulate significant scenes.

Bad-boy Terrence Howard and sweetheart Harold Perrineau have officially participated in their third movie together. Other than “Sabotage,” the pair starred in the Best Man (1999) and the Best Man Holiday (2013) where they played best friends, Quentin and Julian. The actors were not on the same playing fields in this movie though. Howard plays “Sugar”, a hot headed undercover DEA agent, whereas his buddy, Perrineau, plays Atlanta homicide Investigator Jackson.

2.5 Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career has come with a sense of maturity. Eventually he’ll have to stop physically fighting the bad guys and find some “Grumpy Old Men” roles. (Sylvester Stallone too) Taking the good with the bad, Arnold Schwarzenegger did not look as long winded as I thought he would.

In theaters March 28th!

The Best Man Holiday

Best Man Holiday Film Poster
We’ve waited long enough. After almost 15 years, “The Best Man” (1999) crew has reunited for Christmas at the Sullivan’s in “The Best Man Holiday.”
The original cast returns starring Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, Regina Hall and Melissa De Sousa.

The issues from the first “Best Man” sadly spill over into the sequel. Jordan (Long) finally lands a beau, but that doesn’t stop Robin (Lathan) from believing Harper is still longing for his old friend. Lance (Chestnut) still holds the anger and betrayed emotional state from Harper’s night of passion with his wife, Mia (Calhoun). And Julian (Perrineau) and bachelor-party stripper, Candy (Hall) have to withstand the onset lurking of stuck-up, Shelby (De Sousa).

So many new things surface within this sea of friends too. The element of surprise is an understatement because the Best Man Holiday does not quite hold the fairy tale story line or epic Electric Slide conclusion like the earlier version.

The Best Men of “The Best Man Holiday”
All four men did an exceptional job, especially “Boyz ‘N The Hood” star Morris Chestnut. He has not aged and must be stricken with the Benjamin Button disease because there’s no way he is pushing 45. I’m certain the power of the camera and little bit of MAC makeup might have deceived my perception but Morris Chestnut looked amazing. Since the original “Best Man,” Chestnut has not made a lasting impression with his latest movies like “Not Easily Broken” (2009), “The Perfect Holiday” (2007), and “The Game Plan” (2007), but he has returned in this movie with a youthful, sprightly look.

Terrance Howard has had a busy year! Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and “Prisoners” were both summer box office hits and Howard played vital supporting roles in both movies. Howard’s character is true to his outspoken, wild-humored self and he raised the bar on the stirring trouble in the company of his college buddies.

I was hesitant and skeptical to see this movie. After Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too,” I thought there was no hope for Black directors and their sequels. “Why Did I Get Married Too” had a dry plot and a surprise ending that was not conducive to movie’s sequence of events.
“The Best Man Holiday” initially had the same feel but Director Malcolm D. Lee transformed the movie with a strong climax and it turned out to be a remarkably impressive movie. I found myself crying (‘cause y’all know I’m a softy) as some of the movie’s shocking moments hit close to home.

4 STARS: The holiday season always emerges with some wonderful movies like “Home Alone” (1990), “This Christmas” (2007), and “Elf” (2003), and you can add “The Best Man Holiday” to the list.

The wait is officially over!

A very special shout-out to all of the Movie Scene Queen peeps that came out to the advance screening of the Best Man Holiday. Thank you!!!

Win 2 Tickets for The Best Man Holiday Advance Screening

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The Movie Scene Queen has waited almost 15 years for the sequel to the Best Man. The wait is over and on November 15th the Best Man Holiday will hit theaters. The original cast returns for the holidays.

MORRIS CHESTNUT (Identity Thief), TAYE DIGGS (Baggage Claim), REGINA HALL (Scary Movie franchise), TERRENCE HOWARD (Hustle & Flow), SANAA LATHAN (Contagion), NIA LONG (Soul Food), HAROLD PERRINEAU (Zero Dark Thirty), MONICA CALHOUN (Love & Basketball) and MELISSA DE SOUSA (Miss Congeniality) reprise their career-launching roles in The Best Man Holiday, the long-awaited next chapter to the film that ushered in a new era of comedy. Throughout the years, there have been marriages, children and divorces—not to mention all the love and heartbreak that accompany a life well lived—but the group has not been able to manage a proper get-together since Lance and Mia’s wedding. But that’s all about to be remedied. When the college friends finally reunite over the Christmas holidays, they will discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and passionate romances to be reignited. (courtesy of Universal Pictures)

For your chance to see the movie before the rest of the world, the rules are simple! Comment below with your favorite scene from The Best Man (1999) and your email address…and the tickets are yours!

The screening will be held on Tuesday, November 12th at AMC Waterfront 22. The screening will begin promptly at 7:30PM.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

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