Shaft is an action-comedy directed by Tim Story and written by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. Unlike its predecessor, which was distributed by Paramount Pictures, this film is produced by New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the fifth film in the Shaft film series and a sequel to the 2000 film with the same title. Given the last version of Shaft, I didn’t expect too much from this version — however, it ended up being pretty decent and pretty funny.
The film starts in 1989, John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson), his wife Maya Babanikos (Regina Hall) and their infant son, John “JJ” Shaft Jr., survives an assassination attempt by druglord, Pierro “Gordito” Carrera (Isaach de Bankolé). Concerned Shaft’s lifestyle would expose them to even more danger, Maya thought it best to leave her husband and raise their son on her own. 25 years later, JJ (Jessie Usher) is a grown man with a degree from MIT. He has just landed a position as a cybersecurity expert with the FBI.
After JJ’s childhood friend, Karim (Avan Jogia), dies a suspicious death, JJ concludes he must have been murdered, so he travels to Harlem to investigate further. The drug dealer who runs the neighborhood and sold the heroin that allegedly killed Karim, has JJ violently ejected from his property. While recovering in the hospital, another childhood friend, who is a nurse, Sasha (Alexandra Shipp) reads Karim’s toxicology report and realizes that the amount of heroin in Karim’s system would have killed him long before he could take that much by himself, providing proof he was murdered. With no other recourse, JJ turns to his father, John Shaft II, who is a private investigator, for assistance. Shaft agrees to help after realizing that JJ’s case may lead him to Gordito, who he has been holding a vendetta against for years. The two begin investigating together, but JJ’s progressive white-collar outlook on life clashes with Shaft’s old-school street ways. After confronting Manuel Orozco (Ian Casselberry) again, Shafts investigates “Brothers Watching Brothers”, the drug rehab clinic Karim was a part of. There they learn that Karim stopped going to rehab in favor of attending services at a mosque, currently under suspicion by the FBI for terrorism.
Apparently, this version of Shaft was the better of the two versions featuring Samuel L. Jackson. Some of the jokes were really funny. The plot was somewhat predictable but made sense. The story goes into Shaft’s raunchy lifestyle of women, booze, drugs and violence. For the most part, the acting was good however, Jessie Usher could use a bit more polishing. As usual, any movie with Samuel Jackson has way too much profanity. Shaft was no exception to the amount of bad language throughout the film. Also, the use of the “N” word was excessive. I understand in that space and time, the “N” word was considered only semi quasi bad, however, I could have done without it. Shaft will probably be offensive to some and some will be okay with the verbiage. The original Shaft Sr. (Richard Roundtree) was a nice touch to end the movie, however, I would wait for the DVD or skip it altogether. Shaft received mixed reviews from critics, but positive responses from audiences and has grossed $17 million. Check It Out if you dare!
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Tagged alexandra shipp, avan jogia, Bennie rodriguez, Freddie p, isaach de bankole, jessie usher, jj shaft Jr, John shaft ii, Karim hassan, Lauren velez, major Gary cutworth, Matt Laurie, Maya babanikos, method man, Pierre "gordito" Carrera, private investigator, regina hall, richard roundtree, robbie Jones, samuel l jackson, Sasha arias, sergeant Keith Williams, shaft, shaft sr, special agent vietti, titus welliver
The only reason I gave Transformers an 8.5 is because of it’s non-stop action and story telling. I didn’t really care for the endless plots within plots but I realize it’s getting harder and harder to make these sequels interesting and meaningful. How many times can we humans be rescued by these unwanted machines (Autobots) and how many villains are out there trying to get a piece of the autobot action? Cade Yeager (Mark Walhberg) a struggling inventor, and his 17-year old daughter Tessa Yeager (Nicola Peltz) along with Shane Dyson (Jack Reynor) who plays Tessa’s not so secret boyfriend, battle the bad guys together.
Transformers: Age of Extinction begins millions of years ago, during the Cretaceous period which include dinosaurs. According to the story, Beings or Creators detonate many seeds causing the dinosaur’s extinction on Earth. The story then picks up 4 years after the battle in Chicago, we’re now focused on Cade Yeager and his business partner, Lucas Flannery (T. J. Miller). Down and out, Cade purchases an old truck he is planning to strip down and sell for parts. The truck turns out to be Optimus Prime who is in dire need of repair.
In the meanwhile, Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer), a CIA agent is assigned to hunt down the remaining Decepticons but is secretly hunting down Autobots as well. Harold gets help from a Transformer named Lockdown, who is a bounty hunter and along with Harold, kills Rachet. Cade tries to repair Optimus, after his identity is discovered and Optimus activates the remaining Autobots: Bumblebee, Hound, Drift and Crosshairs.
Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci is head of the KSI Corporation and has perfected Transformin, which is the metal the Transformers are made of. Joshua has also imprisoned Brains, the Autobot’s Drone sidekick to decode dead Transformers’ brains, Megatron being one of them, for use in human made Transformer brains. As a result, KSI’s ultimate Transformer, Galvaton is created. To complicate matters a little more, James Sovoy (Titus Welliver) is a field leader of Cemetery Wind, an elite CIA unit tracking Decepticons and Transformers along with Harold. James makes up the third bad guy and greedy human to round out this band of bandits. There are so many players, one can get pretty confused. You have the original Transformers (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Leadfoot, and Brains), The bounty hunter (Lockdown), the man made Transformer (Galvaton) and a new species called Dinobots. You also have the bad guys versus the good guys and all that’s in between.
As usual, the original Transformers prevail and gives a speech about morals, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Transformers: Age of Extinction is 2 hours and 47 minutes long but keeps moving so that you don’t really notice the time. It started in Chicago and ended up in China. The destruction was enough to declare the world a dismal, hopeless, disaster. In case you didn’t get it, this movie was all about getting the Seed, the only one left that could annihilate the Earth. Overall, lots and lots of action — worthy of the big screen. In order to put closure to this story so that it makes perfect since, take a leap of faith and buy a ticket, you probably will like it.
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Tagged autobots, battle of chicago, bounty hunter, boyfriend, brains, bumblebee, cade yeager, cemetery wind, cia, creators, cretaccous period, crosshairs, decepticons, detonate, dinobots, distruction, drift, field leader, galvatron, harold attinger, hound, hunting, inventor, jack reynor, james savoy, jushua joyce, kelsey grammer, ksi corporation, lockdown, lucas flannery, mark wahlberg, megatron, nicola peltz, optimus prime, parts, ratchet, repairs, rescue, seeds, shane dyson, tessa yeager, titus welliver, transformer, transformers: age of extinction, truck