We Review: 47 Ronin – “Even though Keanu can’t act, It was still good!” MR

47 Ronin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
47 Ronin
47Ronin2012Poster.jpg

Teaser poster
Directed by Carl Erik Rinsch
Produced by Pamela Abdy
Eric McLeod
Screenplay by Chris Morgan
Hossein Amini
Story by Chris Morgan
Walter Hamada
Starring Keanu Reeves
Hiroyuki Sanada
Tadanobu Asano
Rinko Kikuchi
Kou Shibasaki
Jin Akanishi
Min Tanaka
Music by Ilan Eshkeri
Cinematography John Mathieson
Editing by Craig Wood
Studio H2F Entertainment
Mid Atlantic Films
Moving Picture Company
Stuber Productions
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • December 6, 2013 (Japan)
  • December 25, 2013(United States)
  • December 26, 2013(United Kingdom, Hungary)
Running time 119 minutes[1]
Country United States
United Kingdom
Hungary
Language English
Japanese
Budget $175 million[2]
Box office $84,525,695

47 Ronin is a 2013 American fantasy action film depicting a fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life group of masterless samurai in 18th-century Japan who avenged the murder of their master (stories, plays and other dramatic performances of the 47 Ronin story are commonly referred to as Chūshingura in Japan). Produced by Universal Studios, the film is directed by Carl Erik Rinsch and stars Keanu Reeves. Filming started in Budapest in March 2011; it moved toShepperton Studios in London and was concluded in Japan.

Cast

Plot

The outcast Kai (Reeves), orphaned son of a British sailor and a Japanese peasant woman, joins a group of rōnin, led by Kuranosuke Oishi (Sanada), who seeks vengeance on Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano), a ruthless rival daimyo who, aided by the sorceress Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi), engineers the shaming and execution of their master and the banishment of the group by the shōgun. (The historical Kira was a protocol officer of the shōgun, not a daimyo.) The rōnin embark on a journey to get their revenge, overcoming challenges that would defeat most warriors.

 

Our Thoughts:

So I went into this film having not seen, or paid any attention to the trailers.  I have to say it was quality entertainment with very vivid imagery and costumes.  Keanu Reeves never uses the accent the rest of the actors do, and he barely has a facial expression throughout the film, but the movie is well written and well portrayed, especially since I learned that the legend of the 47 Ronin is a true legend that is celebrated in Japan every year. I recommend this to Ninja, Samurai, and oriental action film fans, and anyone who likes a good fantasy tale with dragons and beasts. Even though Keanu can’t act, It was still good!  4 stars – MR


We Review Anchorman 2 – I laughed as hard as I did at “Hangover,” maybe harder – MR

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anchorman 2:
The Legend Continues
Anchorman 2 Teaser Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Adam McKay
Produced by Judd Apatow
Will Ferrell
Adam McKay
Written by Will Ferrell
Adam McKay
Narrated by Bill Kurtis
Starring
Music by Andrew Feltenstein
John Nau
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Editing by Brent White
Melissa Bretherton
Studio Apatow Productions
Gary Sanchez Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 24, 2013(Sydney premiere)
  • December 18, 2013(United States)
Running time 119 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[2]

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a 2013 American comedy film, and the sequel to the 2004 film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. As with the original film, it is directed by Adam McKay, produced by Judd Apatow, written by McKay and Will Ferrell, and stars Ferrell, Steve CarellPaul RuddDavid Koechner, and Christina Applegate all reprising their roles from the first film. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was released on December 18, 2013 to positive reviews.

Plot

After the 1970s brought prosperity to the Channel 4 news team, the group disbands and hits rock bottom until a 24-hour news channel is being put together and the group is recruited to join the channel.[3]

Cast

Cameos:

Our Thoughts:

This was a real gut-buster. Will Ferrell is at his best and the rest of the crew is even better. There are scenes so stupidly funny that only these guys could pull them off. And then there are the cameos, which are listed above. While I didn’t really like the chaotic battle scene they were in, once again, the power of the acting made it work.

I will give this 4.5 stars and recommend it to anyone who wants to laugh, because I laughed as hard as I did at the original “Hangover,” maybe even harder – MR


We Review The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Smaug is AWESOME! – MR

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Hobbit:
The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug theatrical poster.jpg

Final theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Starring
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by Jabez Olssen
Studio
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • 2 December 2013(Los Angeles premiere)
  • 12 December 2013(New Zealand)
  • 13 December 2013(United Kingdom)
  • 13 December 2013(United States)
Running time 161 minutes[1][2]
Country
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Language English
Budget $200 million
Box office $8,500,000[3]

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a 2013 epic fantasy adventure film co-written, produced and directed by Peter Jackson. It is the second installment of a three-part film series based on J. R. R. Tolkien‘s 1937 novel The Hobbit, beginning with An Unexpected Journey (2012) and set to conclude with There and Back Again (2014). The three films together act as a prequel to Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film series.

The storyline continues the events of An Unexpected Journey, in which the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) travels with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a company of thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) into the Kingdom of Erebor, taking them through MirkwoodEsgaroth, and Dale to combat with the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Jackson wrote the screenplay with his longtime collaborators and Lord of the Rings co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, originally chosen to direct the Hobbit films. The film also stars Evangeline LillyLee Pace,Luke EvansKen StottJames Nesbitt and Orlando Bloom.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premiered on 2 December 2013 in Los Angeles, and was released internationally on 11 December 2013.[4] Like its predecessor, the film used a shooting and projection frame rate of 48 frames per second. The new projection rate was advertised as “High Frame Rate” to the public.

Plot

A flashback set in the human town of Bree reveals Gandalf the Grey persuading Thorin Oakenshield to obtain the Arkenstone so that the latter can become the King of Erebor. Gandalf mentions that a stealthy burgler – Bilbo Baggins – needs to be recruited to steal the item from the dragon-guarded mountain. Twelve months later, not long after the end of the previous film, Bilbo along with Gandalf, Thorin and the Dwarven company are chased by the Orcs down from the Carrock, where they encounter the bear form of a charging skin-changer, Beorn. Gandalf urges the company to seek refuge in a nearby house which happens to be the abode of the calm human-form of Beorn. After expressing his hatred of Orcs over that of Dwarves, Beorn loans his horses to the company so that they can outrun the pursuing Orcs.

Gandalf departs before the others enter Mirkwood, urging Bilbo and the dwarves to follow the forest path and to wait for him before entering the mountain. After losing their way in the forest, the dwarves are captured by giant spiders. Bilbo, with the help of his invisibility ring, manages to free them from the webs of the spiders. However, while figthing the attacking spiders, the dwarves are captured by the Wood-elves.

Tauriel, a female elf, becomes enamoured with Kili, one of the imprisoned dwarves. As a result, feelings of jealousy are evoked within Legolas, the son of the Elf King Thranduil, when he discovers it.

Under the cloak of his ring, Bilbo steals the keys and helps the dwarves to escape from the Elf Kingdom using empty wine barrels that float down the river. Along the way, they are attacked by the Orcs who had been lying in wait. While trying to open the river gate, Kili is injured by a poisoned orc arrow. Subsequently, Bilbo and the gang meet Bard, a bowman and descendant of the orginal Lord of Dale, who was waiting to collect the empty barrels in his river barge. Pooling their coins to bribe Bard to smuggle them inside Lake-town, the gang are eventually captured by the Master of the Town when they try to steal battle-worthy weaponry. After Thorin convinces the townfolk and Master that they will share the riches of the recaptured mountain, the adventurers receive a grand send-off.

Meanwhile, the Elf King learns from a captured orc that “The One” has returned, and so decides to seal off the Elf Kingdom to protect it from the impending evil. However, Tauriel leaves to help the injured Kili and a concerned Legolas gives chase.

At the mountain, Bilbo deciphers the Last Light of Durin’s Day clue and uses the moonlight to locate the hidden keyhole that opens the secret door into the mountain. After entering, Bilbo attempts to steal the Arkenstone by himself, but is discovered by the awakened dragon, Smaug. At the same time, Gandalf knowingly steps into the orc-ambushed Dol Guldur and engages the Necromancer in a fierce battle.

The elf pair arrives in the nick of time to fight off the attacking orcs in Lake-town before splitting up. Tauriel attends to the wounded Kili using her healing magic while Legolas chases after the retreating orcs. Sensing that something foreboding would happen, Bard, tries to affix a Black Arrow to the town’s launcher so that it can pierce the weakened spot of the dragon that was spotted by Bilbo earlier. However, he is captured by the Master’s men before he can do so.

Eventually, the dwarves enter the mountain to rescue Bilbo. Tricking the fire-breathing Smaug to rekindle the forge using his fiery flames, they attempt to kill the dragon by drowning him in molten gold. However, Smaug stumbles out of the mountain and takes to air, shaking off the gold-coating and heads toward Lake-Town to wreck havoc and to seek revenge.

Our Thoughts:

This was a great movie, with the excellent special effects we have come to expect from Peter Jackson and crew. The dragon, Smaug is just plain awesome. Even though our magnificent dragon does not appear until the last third of the film, it is he you will go home remembering. The romance between Tauriel and Kili is not necessary, but I suppose it is better with it there. All in all they are doing the book justice, even if you can read the whole book, “The Hobbit” faster than you can watch part one of the movies. I highly recommend this film, especially if you liked part one. Smaug is AWESOME! 5 Stars – MR


We Review: Elysium Amazon Streaming Version “A great and original movie idea done well.” – MR

Elysium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Elysium
Elysium Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Produced by Neill Blomkamp
Bill Block
Simon Kinberg
Written by Neill Blomkamp
Starring Matt Damon
Jodie Foster
Sharlto Copley
Alice Braga
Diego Luna
Wagner Moura
William Fichtner
Music by Ryan Amon
Cinematography Trent Opaloch
Editing by Julian Clarke
Lee Smith
Studio Alphacore
Media Rights Capital
QED International
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release dates
  • August 9, 2013 (US)
  • August 21, 2013 (UK)
Running time 109 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Spanish
Afrikaans
Budget $115 million[2]
Box office $286,007,248[2]

Elysium is a 2013 American dystopian science fiction action thriller film written, directed and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.[3] It was released on August 9, 2013 in both conventional and IMAX DigitaltheatersElysium is a co-production of Media Rights Capital and TriStar Pictures.[4]

The film takes place on both a ravaged Earth and a luxurious space habitat called Elysium.[5] It explores political and sociological themes such as immigration, overpopulationtranshumanismhealth careexploitation and class issues.[6]

Plot

In 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a luxurious Stanford torus-style space station called Elysium, and the poor who live on an overpopulated, devastated Earth. While residents on Earth are policed by ruthless robots, Elysium’s citizens live in comfort and regularly use bed-sized medical devices called Med-Bays to keep them free of disease and injury.

Max Da Costa (Matt Damon), a former car thief and parolee, lives in the ruins of Los Angeles and works at an assembly line for Armadyne Corp, the military company that supplies arms and weapons to Elysium. An accident at the plant exposes Max to a lethal dose of radiation, giving him only five days to live. Meanwhile, when a caravan of illegal immigrants from Earth attempts to reach Elysium and its Med-Bays, Elysian Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster) orders vicious mercenary Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to shoot down the shuttles. Disapproving of her methods, Elysian President Patel (Faran Tahir) reprimands her and dismisses Kruger from service. Delacourt, vowing to protect Elysium and her own power, bargains with Armadyne’s CEO John Carlyle (William Fichtner) to write a program that can override Elysium’s central computer and make her President. Carlyle creates the program in his office on Earth and uploads it to his brain for safekeeping, encrypting it with a lethal denial system.

Max, knowing his only chance for survival is a Med-Bay, seeks help from notorious smuggler Spider (Wagner Moura), with the assistance of his friend Julio (Diego Luna). Spider agrees to get Max to Elysium only if he helps him steal valuable financial information from Carlyle, who is preparing to leave Earth. Recognizing Max’s weakened condition, Spider has his doctors implant Max with a powered exoskeleton, giving him superhuman strength, as well as an implant in his brain that can store data. Max, Julio and a team of Spider’s men intercept Carlyle’s ship, and Max downloads the data (including the program) to his own brain. However, due to the encryption of Carlyle’s brain data the information appears unusable. Delacourt secretly deploys Kruger to rescue Carlyle and recover the program. In the ensuing firefight, all of Max’s allies are killed, Carlyle is mortally wounded, and an injured Max retreats to the house of Frey (Alice Braga), a childhood friend whose daughter, Matilda, has leukemia. After learning that Max intends to smuggle himself to Elysium, Frey begs him to take Matilda with him so that she can be cured, but Max refuses. With Max on the run, Delacourt orders an airspace lockdown over Los Angeles to buy her enough time to recover Carlyle’s program.

Our Thoughts:

This movie has an original plot, (I mean an un-worn out plot.) and the effects were great. The overwhelming parallel between modern wealthy society and poverty was spot on. The technology was a little on the miraculous side. Outside of a few cheesy characters that could have been played better it was a refreshing SciFi movie. I recommend it to all fans of Sci Fi Action Thrillers. “A great and original movie idea done well.”  MR


We Review – Dallas Buyers Club. Hands down Best Actor AND Best Supporting Actor! MR

Dallas Buyers Club

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
We donate to Wiki! Do you?
Dallas Buyers Club
Dallas Buyers Club poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Produced by Robbie Brenner
Nathan Ross
Rachel Rothman
Screenplay by Craig Borten
Melisa Wallack
Starring Matthew McConaughey
Jennifer Garner
Jared Leto
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Yves Bélanger
Editing by Martin Penza
Jean-Marc Vallée
Studio Truth Entertainment
Voltage Pictures
Distributed by Focus Features[1]
Release date(s)
  • September 7, 2013 (TIFF)
  • November 1, 2013(United States)
Running time 117 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5.5 million
Box office $6,450,000[2]

Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Matthew McConaugheyJared Leto,Jennifer Garner, and Steve Zahn. The film is based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, who was the subject of a lengthy 1992 article in The Dallas Morning News written by journalist and author Bill Minutaglio.[3] The film was released on November 1, 2013.

Plot

In 1985 Dallashomophobicdrug addicted rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof is diagnosed with AIDS and is given 30 days to live. He begins taking theFood and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved AZT, the only drug legally available in the U.S, which brings him to the brink of death. To survive, he smuggles anti-viral medications from all over the world, which were still unapproved and unavailable in the U.S. Other AIDS patients seek out his medications forgoing hospitals, doctors, and AZT. With the help of his doctor, Eve Saks (Garner) and Rayon, a fellow patient, Ron creates the Dallas Buyers Club, one of the dozens which form around the country, providing its paying members with these alternative treatments. The clubs, growing in numbers and clientele, are brought to the attention of the FDA and pharmaceutical companies, which wage an all out war on Ron.

Cast

Our Thoughts:

McConaughey and Leto are superb, and this movie will at least be nominated for Best Picture. I don’t see how anyone could outdo Matt. He emaciated himself to play an AIDS victim and it was no wasted effort. My only complaint is the release timing of this movie. It is a sad depressing story about a bunch of people with HIV fighting ignorant FDA men. I mean they have AIDS. There is no magic cure and we know that from the beginning. This is not a “Holiday Film.” BUT, it is a great film that I recommend everyone take the time to see.  I say: Hands down Best Actor AND Best Supporting Actor! MR


We review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire “Great action, cliffhanger ending!” MR

We review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Catching-Fire poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Produced by Nina Jacobson
Jon Kilik[1]
Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
Michael Arndt
Based on Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins
Starring Jennifer Lawrence
Josh Hutcherson
Liam Hemsworth
Woody Harrelson
Elizabeth Banks
Lenny Kravitz
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Jeffrey Wright
Stanley Tucci
Donald Sutherland
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Jo Willems[1]
Editing by Alan Edward Bell[1]
Studio Color Force
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date(s)
  • November 11, 2013(London premiere)
  • November 22, 2013(United States)
Running time 146 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $140 million[3]
Box office $6,300,000[4]

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an American science-fiction adventure film based on Suzanne Collins‘ novel, Catching Fire, the second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy. The film is the sequel to The Hunger Games, and the second installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced and distributed by LionsgateFrancis Lawrence directed the film, with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt (credited as Michael deBruyn). Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen along with Josh HutchersonLiam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonLenny KravitzElizabeth BanksStanley TucciDonald SutherlandToby JonesPaula Malcomson and Willow Shields also reprising their roles.

Months prior to the first film’s release, Lionsgate greenlit the second film and Gary Ross, director of the first film, was expected to return as director. However, on April 10, 2012, he announced his departure from the project due to the tight and fixed production and on May 3, Francis Lawrence was hired as the film’s director. Throughout July and September 2012, the film’s supporting cast was filled out, with Phillip Seymour HoffmanSam ClaflinJena MaloneLynn CohenMeta GoldingAmanda Plummer, and Jeffrey Wright brought in to portray key roles. Filming began September 10, 2012 in and around metropolitan AtlantaGeorgia before moving to HawaiiThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released on November 15, 2013 in Brazil, November 20, 2013 in Norway, and in IMAX on November 22, 2013 in the United States.

 

Plot

After winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12. On the day Katniss and Peeta are to start a victory tour of the country, she is visited by President Snow, who explains that when she defied the Capitol by breaking the rules so that she and Peeta both survived the last Hunger Games, she inspired rebellions in districts and now must continue to pretend to be in love with Peeta or her family will be killed.

The first stop of the tour is in District 11, home of Katniss’ friend Rue, the 12-year-old who competed in the 74th Hunger Games. Peeta offers to read the speech from a script Effie provides them, but throws it away and voices his thoughts instead. As they leave, a sorrowful Katniss delivers an inspiring speech that causes a man to whistle the tune Katniss used during the 74th Hunger Games to inform Rue she was safe, and provides the three-finger salute. Everyone follows the man until Peacekeepers shoot him dead, causing Katniss to scream in panic. Fearing for their safety, Haymitch tells Katniss and Peeta they have become a political target. The two youths proceed to visit the other districts. To solve disputes between Katniss and Snow, Peeta proposes to Katniss in public.

When they return to District 12, they find Gale has been punished and is being publicly whipped because he defended an old lady when the Commander and his troops were destroying the Black Market. Peeta, Katniss and Haymitch try to save Gale. Snow, watching them, reads out that the 75th Hunger Games will be the Quarter Quell, an event taking place every 25 years in which existing champions must compete once more. Katniss is devoted to allowing Peeta to become the champion of the Quarter Quell and makes a deal with Haymitch that whatever he does he must make sure Peeta is safe and will win. When they draw the tributes for the Quarter Quell, it turns out the tributes will be Katniss and Haymitch, but Peeta volunteers and Haymitch has no power to avoid him from joining.

The games are set around a saltwater lake, during which Katniss becomes an ally of Mags and Finnick Odair, both from District 4. Mags sacrifices herself when they are attacked by fog that causes their skin to swell, allowing Finnick, Katniss and Peeta to escape. The trio rests in the middle of the forest where they are attacked by baboons. After they escape the baboons and rest at the beach, they are met by Wiress and Beetee from District 3, who are extremely smart, and Johanna from District 7, who is cunning and violent. Wiress soon learns the saltwater lake is arranged like a clock and that every hour, lightning will hit upon a tree where it marks an hour has passed and the start of another attack will come—the first being the fog, and the second being the baboons. After Wiress dies, Beetee suggests a plan that requires them to direct the electricity from the lightning to the lake to electrocute the remaining two tributes from District 2. When the wire snaps, Katniss attaches the remaining wire to an arrow and shoots it at the force field to destroy the arena, causing her to black out.

She awakens in an aircraft with Beetee, who is unconscious. Entering the cockpit she finds Haymitch, Finnick and Plutarch the gamemaker, who is actually their ally and a rebel against Snow. She learns Johanna and Peeta were taken away by the Capitol, causing her to attempt to attack Haymitch because he did not fulfill his promise. He sedates her before she can do so. She awakens days later with Gale by her side and learns her family is safe but that District 12 has been destroyed.

 

Our Thoughts:

Katniss Everdeen has HGPTSD (That’s Hunger Games Post Traumatic Stress Disorder…lol)  To make things worse President Snow is forcing the winners of the previous contests to play the 75th games.  There is tons of action and drama, and a tad of romance thrown into Katniss’s love triangle. The acting is well done and the imagery top notch. If I have a gripe it is that we were forced to suffer through too much pre games build up. All in all I highly recommend this flick. – MR


Saint Elm’s Deep Releases November 20th + A cover peek of Book Four!

The Legend of Vanx Malic Book Three – Saint Elm’s Deep Releases

November 20th Order/Pre Order from Amazon Here!

And as promised here is a sneak peek at the cover mock up over the finished art for

The Legend of Vanx Malic

Book Four - That Frigid Fargin Witch

Due January 8th 2014.

As always you can find out more about M R Mathias and

his bestselling fantasy adventure books by visiting:

www.mrmathias.com

Or follow his tweets

@DahgMahn


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