Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Blogger: 365 Days of a Pandemic

I do not think there is anything I can say that has not been written in funny tweets, heartwarming youtube videos, or striking tiktoks. But at the same time I felt the need to write this entry, because writing always helps me. 

The Rage

I spent a whole year seeing posts online about what people were going through, having a hard time handling the four walls, not seeing loved ones, and well... I am sorry, but a lot of them had incredible first world problems. Especially in my own country I could not help but feel that the virus was a lesson in people appreciating what they have, and when you decide to go on a trip with your kids while there is a virus out there that is literally killing people, not only are you endangering their lives, but you are being a reckless fuck. You clearly do not appreciate what you have and are happy to throw is away with the first chance you get. There is a deeper message here about how consumer society is rotten to its core, and where we deem human relationships the same way we view an amazon order. Here, another nice metaphor for you, that I am sure you can decipher on your own. Long story short, there is need for change in the world.

Coming back to the pandemic, I would like to point out that I understand that people's sanity is dependant on having a walk outside, I am in no way calling out those who responsibly go for a walk in the park - wearing masks and social distancing -, but you cannot help but feel rage when all we need to do is to stay home and THAT proves to be a difficulty for some. Quite frankly, seeing the military taking away people on trucks in Italy into wooden boxes because they ran out of coffins, was more than enough for me to stay hidden in my apartment. How was that not enough for others? And I have no problem calling out those morally corrupt who, after hearing about the death of so many, decided to go with inspiration quotes and fueling people with such smart sayings as "This is no way to live!". It was disgusting. It still is. There is absolutely no way to live when you are dead from a virus, have you thought about that, genius?

If you are unhappy, get a divorce, move out, go to therapy; If you have serious depression, EXTRA get therapy; If you REFUSE to treat yourself, if you decide that your life is not important enough, at least STOP breaking quarantine and endangering the life of others. 

So many kept working, pharmacies, doctors, nurses, grocery stores, teachers, caretakers, and  society, better yet, governments, still have absolutely not learned how to value human life. And it is f*cking upsetting. 

Protests about having hair salons open? Seriously? Tell me how humanity is still worth saving. I'll listen.

Coping Mechanisms

I had good hobbies to take up my time. I mostly made sure I had my weekly post on my blog and that structure helped a lot. I was fortunate, really fortunate, that I was used to working from home and teaching online, and thus the home-office situation fit me perfectly. Of course, it was not ideal to sit here all day, and again, I have a balcony that helped me keep my sanity. 

I had a lot of friends who had it worse, and the people who lost their loved ones to the virus... I just cannot start telling you how sorry I am. If by staying at home I managed to keep safe at least my family, then it was worth it. 

It actually took me one year to get where people were during the first quarantine. Right now, I really feel like I cannot do this anymore. Until now I had other things in my life that occupied my mind, and kept me second guessing myself, I was no stranger to depression, but I was still lucky and I do not want to sound ungrateful about my luck. I am not here preaching to those that were forced to endure in this, but to those that still TODAY refuse to wear masks and dare to call it "just a flu". Think of the incredible hatred against Asian-Americans right now... does this feel like a world you want to live in? 

Sorry, I was going back to the rage part of it, let's stay here. As I said, I was lucky, and part of that was thanks to the energy I could put into reading, gaming, writing, and teaching, that then helped me charge my battery and pass my exam as well as be there for my family when they needed me. Most people were drained, and that is understandable. I also noticed that my need for humans around decreased to a point where I enjoy my own company far more than crowds. My social skills turned out to be muscles, all limp without exercise. And my craving for companionship is at an all time high, as I sit here and abide by the rules despite seeing more and more people breaking them and pushing off the end of this horrible pandemic.

And on top of everything, I just have to remind myself that these were not normal times. I don't care if some genius people invented or wrote great things during pandemics in the history of mankind. I am not a genius, I am not a great man. And even if I did have a muse appear in front of me, I would not flaunt my work, knowing all too well have most suffered during this time. 

The Future

I am sitting and waiting for my vaccine, having a horrible fear of needles and still knowing that vaccines are what save lives. We might go back to the rage here, but people still being against vaccines at this point in time just makes me want to scream into a pillow. You cannot try and go back to the way things were without change, compromise, and not having learned anything. I know many will, as they are represented by politicians who preach A and then do B. Too many idiots will survive, I know.

But I must endure. We all must. Good people will prevail. We will mourn those we lost. We will thank the tireless work of those who did not have a quarantine when all others did. I personally will not forget the front-line workers and teachers who worked tirelessly. So many put others ahead of themselves and they need our appreciation and help more than anyone else after these time pass. I am always thankful for all my students, who come to class every Friday, poor creatures who had to endure graduation exams and the beginning of university or scholarships from their living rooms behind a computer. You guys kept me from going insane!

I have plans, bucket lists, travel lists, movie lists, book lists, and so on... I crave music that I can listen to while on public transport, I look forward to gas stations. Let me tell you that the best part of travelling IS gas station, and I miss overpriced bad coffee. More first world problems, I know. But this is where I stand and I will be the good student that I have always been until this is officially over.

Do you have something you really want to do after all of this is over?

Share it with me in the comment section!

Wash your paws, keep safe, and get a vaccine!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

What's Next On My List? The Bourne (Franchise)

Since I have to be at home (all the time) I decided to take this as an opportunity to go through my bucket list of famous franchises that I never got around. One of those was the The Bourne movies, and I do have a couple of thoughts. Instead of having a review per movie, I decided to put them together as it is much easier to analyze them by comparing them to each other. So let us dig in:

The Bourne Identity (2002) begins with someone fished out of the sea, a man, who later identifies himself as Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), and a long road to figure out who he is. He gets help from a student in need of cash, Marie (Franka Potente), who ends up being involved with him while he searches for clues on his past. And I really, I enjoyed his journey immensely. This is quite a unique idea for a secret agent and I was along for the ride. However... what agency was he working for? I have found it ridiculous that until the second movie, The Bourne Supremacy (2004), there was not even a plaque of the CIA, FBI, Homeland, counter terrorist units, nothing. NOTHING. Who the hell does Bourne work for? I couldn't shake the feeling that this was not deliberate, but an oversight, as one official immediately knows which branch of which organization to contact when he hears that an attempt on a foreign figure was unsuccessful (as we later find out, it was Jason who failed at his mission). He had absolutely no problem figuring out who sent that agent to carry out the hit, yet the viewers do not find out until later installations that there are secret project within the CIA that should not really be up and running.

With The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) you had a perfect trilogy. I'll admit it, these three went very well together, but I am still upset at the first movie because the lack of information about the "agency". Mostly, because, the lack of information is something that seeped into the sequel that followed the trilogy. Nonetheless, the ending of the second movie (Supremacy) was tied into this one, and it left me with my mouth open. I really enjoy sequels that showcase how the makers know their source material. I enjoyed the music, the plot, the idea, the characters and I was there for the ride with Jason... but perhaps it would have been better to end it there... I would like to add still, that every time after movie one, people asking Jason "You really don't remember, do you?" just made me scream... have you seen what he done so far to get answers??? Have you seen his file which claims amnesia?? When he has a gun to your face and asks you what the hell happened to him, I think you can safely assume that he does not remember! 

After all came The Bourne Legacy (2012) did not do as well, as one can expect, people did not want a story without its titular actor. Which is a shame, because movie three uttered that Threadstone (the project that made assassins like Jason), was just the tip of the iceberg. I personally incredibly enjoyed this side-chapter, especially because I liked the idea of a major conspiracy in the background and allowing us to have an insight, but I need to tell you, that there has to be a division between the story with the main characters, and the agency that was trying to eliminate them. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) and Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz)? Wonderful casting, wonderful chemistry, a slowly but steady relationship was built up between them and I cared and I loved every second of it. The action sequences were great (although seeing the stunt double did take me out at minutes, I would still like to thank them for their work #OscarsForStunts, because none of these awesome movies would exist otherwise), however... the agency... I was so goddamn pissed at the agency that tried to take him and everyone in the project out, because... WHY. OK, we see on TV that Jason turned on a chain reaction, these projects are getting shoved into the light and questioned by the right authorities, however, at the end of this it seems that everyone gets away with them anyway and that was simply enraging. The whole reason to kill of agents like Aaron, was to hide projects again, but then towards the end yet ANOTHER super secret project is mentioned to which one person says "That is up and running? I thought that was just a theory!", while the name of the project is WRITTEN IN LARGE FONT ON A COMPUTER IN THE BACKGROUND DURING THIS SCENE. *sighs audibly.* The whole point of the movie is to scrap evidence of something that nobody then has to pay for, nobody is brought up on charges, and Aaron himself does not care at all to stop it. Seeing three movies built on exposing the corrupt side of an agency meant to protect Americans was swept under the rug, completely undoing everything that Jason did in his trilogy. Again, take this movie and divide it into two: Aaron's journey was very entertaining and it made me crave for more, honestly, while the agency storyline was enraging and stupid, from casting decisions to pointless flashbacks all the way to zero consequences of the things they do to these poor agents under the promise of "You will be saving American lives".

So we arrive to the last movie, Jason Bourne (2016), at least so far, even if I cannot really imagine what it would be like to continue, mostly because this movie was horrible. It really lacked ... everything I enjoyed in the other movies. The biggest issue was, that the previous movies took time to set up the side characters too. You could tell what each CIA director was thinking, you could tell the struggle in Pamela Landy (Joan Allen)'s eyes, you could tell that both Conklin (Chris Cooper) and Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) were scared of their actions, and Bourne, catching up to them. I felt zero connection to any of the characters represented in this movie: Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) was completely uneffected by the events, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) played both sides in a way that was not convicing from any angle, and the super secret agent or Asset (Vincent Cassel) was closer to a mass murderer than a spy. Ultimately all Bourne movies are the same: initial chase sequence, the calm before the storm, on or two agents who care for him and want to help him, a major car chase scene followed by a fight, ending in the awesome song by Moby. And yet, despite the same recipe, the last one fell short in every account. Not to mention, that them killing of Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) instead of having her be with Jason after you put your audience through 5 movies made me so pissed off that I don't think I will ever forgive them. What a waste of a brilliant character for a quick emotional jab at the audience...

So watch them? Well, the original trilogy, definitely. Really good idea, stil unique, it stands the trials of time. The "spin-off" was still very smart when it came to 50% of the movie, and honestly, I did not miss Matt Damon. The last one? Just skip it. All of them are on netflix, as far as I could tell, so, since you are also probably forced to sit at home, have fun re-watching them!

Until the next item on my list!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

What's Next On My List? Mission: Impossible (Franchise)

Since I have to be at home (all the time) I decided to take this as an opportunity to go through my bucket list of famous franchises that I never got around. One of those was the Mission: Impossible movies, and I do have a couple of thoughts. Instead of having a review per movie, I decided to put them together as it is much easier to analyze them by comparing them to each other. So let us dig in:

As probably one of the most beloved franchises out there, with Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt, there isn't a lot I that hasn't already been said about these movies. I effing loved watching them and I will probably rewatch them many times in the future. However,  a few thoughts did come to me, that as far as I can tell, very few reviews discussed, so let us dive into them. The first movie, Mission: Impossible (1996), is from an era that has not yet developed what I would like to call "modern action movies". These, in an attempt to let the audience to breathe, allow for small comedic elements that work as a release valve and let everyone, on and off the screen, take a breathe. The first movie was action packed from the get go, and it probably has one of the best misleading opening sequences to this day. It was very serious, and it was also grounded in reality, no big fight scenes, no forced sex scene in the middle of the action. I also loved the quiet scenes... I forgot to catch my breathe to make sure that I do not ruin the mission for Ethan. But, the problem for me was with casting... and that is an issue that persisted so far in every movie that I have seen, as each one had one horrible miscast. In this first one: Jon Voight playing Jim Phelps. I understand that these spies need to have the ability to blend in, but he was just too unbelievable to be such a great agent to pull of this whole thing... he commands respect and he is older, yes, but that age difference made him too unlikely to be good at what he does and he was just laughable.

This seriousness that I told you about was somewhat let go in the next installment, unfortunately, it backfired. Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) is probably the worst of the series. The main reason, in my opinion, being that it is just over the top. Of course, all of these movies have something impossible to them, and as I complained about the villain, let me tell you that having another spy that was as young as Ethan made it a whole lot better... but I would still argue about the casting, because, had it not been for subtitles, I would not have understand a single word that came out of Dougray Scott's Sean Ambrose. I just... I still have no idea what accent he was speaking in. Was that Scottish? And having him talk with Australian actor Richard Roxburgh (Hugh Stamp) was just the worst decision on everyone's part. Having a movie question my English skills is not a good time... I appreciate the choices in casting but for me it was another miss. [Author's note: this movie also had a horrible rape scene, where the main actress, played by wonderful Thandie Newton, went back to the bad guy and had to force herself to pretend to like him. All of her struggle, instead of being voiced, was framed as if it was Ethan who fell victim to the plan that they executed and that is some major bullshit... I hated that part of the movie and it is exactly what is wrong with story telling that focuses on a male character. And thankfully this changed in later movies.]
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
is where I think that the movie really found its groove. First, it finally succeeded into this new era of action movies that allow for comedic elements and also enhanced who Ethan Hunt really is. Luther, played by Ving Rhames, is a constant in Ethan's life, probably the only one that will stick it out till the end, and I actually love his dynamic with the character (not to mention that Tom Cruise has chemistry with anything on screen), and still, it was movie three that I think really started this franchise all over. Second, Ethan Hunt is ultimately America's James Bond, and if you look Pierce Brosnan's 007 movies in order of release, and the M:I movies, you will see how they inspired each other to keep kicking up the bar for spy movies, and you can tell that the Daniel Craig series takes it to a whole other level. But Ethan is not a womanizer, he is a one woman guy, he is a teacher, a friend, and a husband, not to mention a patriot till the very end. Movie three established how Ethan's character can evolve and give us so much more, and for that I think it is really the first movie of what the franchise has become. I told you all in the beginning that there was issues with casting in all the movies, well, here I feel that Jonathan Rhys Meyers was not really used to the best of his abilities. He is a great actor, and I would have loved to see more of him, like we did with Renner, so let us get into the next movie. I do think that my favorite was Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), and it wasn't even for the incredible stunts. Cruise has been pushing himself with every movie and his work is just outstanding, really, a lot of movies have to have actors who can do it all simply because of this franchise. And if you ever want to check out behind the scenes materials of major blockbusters, boy, make sure you start with these! Now, my favorite scene was the sand storm, because it left me without breathe just like the first movie did. However, every one of these movies tries to trick its audience and have really good twists, but having Jeremy Renner be another agent just did not cut it... you are not going to cast this person as an analyst and expect your audience to believe it... but that is only as far as the twist is concerned, a bigger issue was Paula Patton, Jane, the agent who ended up working with them for this unsanctioned mission, and who, was incredibly underused. She had scenes where she gave me shivers, and others that were utterly forgettable. I blame the director, but that is the miscast for this movie.
With both Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), we are stepping into a whole new territory, as this movies are just... one better than the other. I loved Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa, a character that needed opening up and thankfully she was in two movies already. I could tell that she had something going with Ethan, but I loved that the story took time to tie off his story with his wife and did not force something, because really, Ethan is NOT Bond. The way his character developed over the years is simply a perfect example of how franchises should develop around their main characters. But... as I told you, we have another issue with these movies and surprisingly both five and six shared this issue: the villain. I am sorry for Sean Harris (Solomon Lane), but I could not care less about him. Now, I loved that this organization was present for two movies, because otherwise it would have made the plot of the fifth movie feel shallow. Honestly, 5-6 feel like they were meant to be viewed together. And that just shows you why M:I is so unique. And yet... even if I understand that they wanted a villain that can be lost in the crowd, a spy that has a forgettable face, that is exactly what they got, someone I already forgot. And being the leader of such a huge evil organization, I expect them to be at least memorable to the audience. It just did not click for me... On the other hand, Henry Cavill (August Walker) was a wonderful casting, and someone I will probably never forgot, and showing us that Ethan had his showdown with him further emphasize that this villain was not as majestic as they would have liked us to believe.

So watch them? Obviously. I decided to focus on minor issues because these movies actually make us want more and want quality, a good story, good cast, good twists, good stunts! And because the bar is so high, and these movies put it there, that I felt the need to nit-pick and really get into it. I, of course, look forward to more movies and I want to see where Ethan Hunt's story goes, not to mention that of the recurring characters. And please, in future movies, can we just ONCE have the agency behind Ethan trust him?? I am so tired of him ALWAYS having to go against his own government to keep saving them. Take a note from MI6 agent M, a leader who always trusts Bond, creating a connection that extends to the audience as well... just how many more times does Hunt need to save the world for you to trust him? 

Until the next item on my list!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

What's Next On My List? The Terminator (Franchise)

Since I have to be at home (all the time) I decided to take this as an opportunity to go through my bucket list of famous franchises that I never got around. One of those was The Terminator movies, and I do have a couple of thoughts. Instead of having a review per movie, I decided to put them together as it is much easier to analyze them by comparing them to each other. So let us dig in:

The Terminator (1984),
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a robot sent back in time to kill the mother of the human resistance, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), is one of those early sci-fi movies that deserved a remake. That did not happen, because its early success got it made into a major franchise, and it is a good thing. I do not think that the first movie aged well (I totally did not fall asleep almost ...), but for the exception of the ending in the factory it was quite forgettable. I love movies from the 80s, but technology has advanced quite a lot and a lot of remakes and rebooths gave justice to the original idea, which was quite unique. There are hundreds of stories about futures where robots take over, however, had this not been unique in its style and plot, it would not have survived, as it was the case for a lot of 80s scifi movies. When it comes to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) I can tell you for sure that it is one of the best ones of the series. People loved it and I do not think that we would have had the franchise we got, were it not for this movie. I find that the best thing the script writer realized he could use to his advantage, was noticing the popularity of Schwarzenegger, and making him an ally instead of an enemy. I do not feel the need to go into a big review here, the main character is young John, who reconnects with his mother after realizing that her fear of the future is more than justified. And his good relationship with this model of the Terminator is essentially what leads to the third movie. 
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
you all know what I am going tosay, because we all know what is wrong with this movie: the casting. There is no excuse for this. And I do not want to be mean to the main actor, I have seen some of his work, and he knows what he is doing, but pairing him with Schwarzenegger and Claire Daines was a major mistake. It was just maddening, because frankly, this would have been my favorite movie of them all, as the evil terminator got me shitting my pants, while the good one managed to be both the hero as well as the comic relief. Something incredibly hard to pull off... my favorite scene has to be from the beginning, where he gets the clothes of a performer at a women's bachelorette (I'll link it below), and all along the movie had heart. A lot of heart. But there is only so much suspension of belief when it comes to the saviour of mankind being... capable. His recast was imminent. 

Terminator Salvation (2009) was not received well and I can tell you that people are f*cking idiots. This movie was simply fantastic. While watching the first three movies me and my partner looked forward to seeing the horrible post-apocalyptic world that seemed inevitable. And we LOVED IT. It was everything you would not want your world to be and more with effing outstanding casting. I was scared but intrigued and scared some more. It was simply wonderful. Would I have liked for the real Schwarzenegger to be there? Sure. Did I still enjoy every second of a story that encompasses what makes us separate from machines? 100%. I am very upset that the timelines decided to "cancel" this movie, because it really needs to be revisited by... everyone. (Shout out to my best friend who told me that it is good, you were right buddy, you were right as always!)

So where to go from there? Well, we can either see how John Connor then used the time machine - the one that brought back the first terminator from the original movie - or we could see another chapter of the post apocalyptic world. The answer was closer the to the first, with the exception of also erasing movie two... and thus Terminator Genisys (2015) was born. I don't get that. As I said, movie four was not bad at all, but you know what made it even better? The fact that this one tried so hard to erase it. I am endlessly upset with this movie. So f*cking mad that I don't even know where to begin... first, my rage stems from the fact that is was NOT a bad idea, actually, it was quite genius, I love, that since we are pushing off Judgment Day, as a result technology is also advancing, and by the time Skynet takes over it is incomparable to its variant presented back in 1984. I also love the idea that the stupid flock of sheep that humanity has become can be so easily controlled "We won't tell you what this is, but get it for your phone!" and then humanity was like "OK!". The satirical element in this movie is simply wonderful. But as far as good things go, the plot, Schwarzenegger and Emilia Clarke are the only three items on my list. With our male lead Kyle Reese... this movie went as far as remaking the first few scenes from the first movie, frame by frame... but they decided to cast a guy three times the size of actor Micheal Biehn and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY. It got me disconnected from the movie everytime poor Jai Courtney was on screen, because aside from the color of his hair (not even the shape of it), he had nothing in common with the actor who made this role famous. It was enraging. He did and OK job, he had good chemistry with Emilia Clarke too, they were not a bad pair I can see them reading the lines together, but when you make so many hints and references to the first movie, I cannot believe that you could not find someone who had at least the proportions of the original Reese... you know, someone like Matt Smith, who WAS part of the cast and got a total of three scenes??!! What are you thinking movie?? And this was not the only mistake in casting... then they decided "hey, let's cast an actor that we only cast as a villain in every movie ever and make him John Connor. NOBODY WILL SEE THE TWIST." But we did. It was in your face all along. There was not one moment where I cared for this John Connor (and not because Jason Clarke is not a great actor!), despite having seen 5 movies with him being the lead. I do believe that having Christian Bale him and having him turn bad would have been sooo much better for this movie. Not to mention, that I felt lost... the only hope for humanity is this one person, making him an antagonist felt like there is really no point in trying to fight this evil machine.
And once you have so many movies determined to have me care and believe that there is hope for humanity yet... taking that from me is not a great idea. At least, I thought so until I got a movie that actually did it right: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) I did not think that it was possible, but movie six was the best. I cannot think of a single mistake with the plot. I just had my mouth open the whole time and was excited and intrigued and even if I knew what the ending would be it still made it incredibly entertaining. Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor was simply f*cking badass and entertaining at the same time. Her sarcasm and devotion to a cause after having lost her son - whoops spoiler - was outstading. However brought her back to the series deserves and award, because this basically all female cast was the biggest gift I could have asked for, following such good stories as Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. To everyone in the back: YES, we do want MORE female heroes!

So watch them? I honestly think that to appreciate them all you need to see every one of them, even if the first one did not age at all well, I'm sorry, but it has to be said. And I do believe that the last one, with its strong message of women being  powerful and humanity always having another figure to follow that will not give in to the despair, was also the strongest. Great casting and just... there is no amount of Schwarzenegger and Hamilton that I could say no to.

Until the next item on my list!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

What's Next On My List? John Wick (Trilogy)

Since I have to be at home (all the time) I decided to take this as an opportunity to go through my bucket list of famous franchises that I never got around. One of those were the John Wick movies, and I do have a couple of thoughts. Instead of having a review per movie, I decided to put them together as it is much easier to analyze them by comparing them to each other. So let us dig in:

John Wick (2014) seems like a simple revenge story, of a man who has lost literally everything, and then we slowly find out that he used to be the go to hitman for various mob bosses and that you do not want to get on his badside. I remember watching this movie when the third one came out and feeling happy that there are more movies to see because I was on board immediately. Keanu Reeves is a special person, somebody I deemed to be a wonderful actor all my life, and he made this character come alive. I really wish he would be in some more fun action movies too, like The Expandables, or really anything with Tom Cruise in it. This movie is a great example of why we need sequels for certain stories to be fully told. The world that was established in the first movie brought about a lot of questions, and I really loved the idea of having a code of honor when it comes to assassins, and I also liked that the universe created easy rules to follow and to adhere to. The more we found out about this world, the more curious I got. 

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) was probably my favorite. Growing up in Italy I followed the career of Riccardo Scamarcio quite closely and I loved to see him face-off with Reeves in this movie, and if you are expecting a big battle based on my review, well, then you need to watch it to understand what I mean by face-off. The Italian branch was very well constructed and I love how each country has its own version of the hotel and each one follows its rules. Each action movie franchise branches out into the world as they make sequels, they include at least three countries, mandatory for one to be in Europe, and then the final conflict takes the main character back home. Now, Wick is similar in that setup, but this organization is just there, it always was and it always will be, and going around the world feels like a logical decision for someone on the run. The fact that these movies can exist in the same universe that I am living in gives it an edge in my opinion, something that most stories use as a device to scare us, but here, we co-habit with assassins and the mob, rather than be terrified by them. And this mostly because the rules are taken seriously.
At the time when I am writing this review, we only had three chapters of this franchise, and I got to see the third one just a little bit after it came out. What I believe is wonderful about these three movies is that they are connected, but they work separately as well. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) had the best action sequences in my opinion. Reeves does a lot of his own stunts, and actually, his way of fighting is quite straight forward, it is a mix, and he does do some martial arts, but essentially he uses what he has, from cars to ranches to... pencils. I do believe that when you are good at something you don't have to have finess to it. Wick has his own style and that is a constant gem in this trilogy, and in the franchise that is still on going. 

So watch them? I would be very surprised to learn that you have not. Most movies are stand-alone, but the MCU brought about the idea of having its audience want more and think of stories as chapters rather than separate books. Something that the titles of the Wick movies emphasize as well. And personally, I cannot wait for the other chapters. 

Until the next item on my list!