We Review: Rogue One, IMAX 3D “An awesome compliment to the franchise.” – MR

Rogue One

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One, A Star Wars Story poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on Characters
by George Lucas
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Greig Fraser
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
Running time
133 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[2][3]
Box office $323.5 million[3]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (or simply Rogue One) is a 2016 Americanepicspace opera film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitzand Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. It is the first stand-alone film in the Star WarsAnthology series. Rogue One stars Felicity Jones,Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker, and follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of the unwilling designer of the Galactic Empire‘s superweapon, the Death Star, and her quest to retrieve his plans for destroying it.

Produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film is chronologically set after the events of Revenge of the Sith and immediately before the events of A New Hope. Principal photography began atElstree Studios near London during early August 2015 and wrapped in February 2016, with reshoots and additional filming taking place in mid-June 2016. Rogue One premiered in Los Angeles on December 10, 2016, and was released in the United States on December 16, 2016. The film has received mostly positive reviews with Donnie Yen’s performance, the action scenes, visual effects, and Giacchino’s score being singled out for praise. It has grossed $323 million worldwide.

 

Plot

Research scientist Galen Erso and his family are in hiding when Imperialweapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to force him to return to work on the unfinished Death Star project, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying entire planets. Galen is taken away and his wife is killed in the confrontation, but their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebelextremist Saw Gerrera.

Fifteen years later pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the moon of Jedha. Jyn is freed from Imperial captivity by the Rebels, who plan to use her to track down her father. However, General Draven covertly orders Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor to kill Galen rather than extract him.

Jyn, Andor, and his droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is mining Kyber crystals to power the superweapon; Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind warrior Chirrut Îmwe and mercenary Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who is holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the hologram, in which her father explains that he has covertly compromised the Death Star’s reactor design, directing them to find the plans at an Imperial high-security data bank on the planet Scarif.

Grand Moff Tarkin meets with Krennic on the Death Star and expresses skepticism about the project and its management. As a demonstration, Krennic uses a low-powered shot from the weapon to destroy Jedha’s capital and crush Gerrera’s insurgency, forcing Jyn and her group to flee; Gerrera elects to remain behind and die rather than run. Tarkin uses security breaches under Krennic’s command as a pretext to take control of the project. Krennic travels to Mustafar to seek support from Darth Vaderand the Emperor, but Vader ignores his appeals.

The Rebels track Galen to an Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu….

Cast

Our Thoughts

I didn’t realize this was the story of how the rebellion got the plans for the Death Star from the very first movie. I remember the one sentence spoken about it, but this elaboration was a compliment to the franchise and, I believe it will be cherished by fans. One of my gripes about Star Wars has always been the over abundance of alien types. Disney will take this to new extremes because they are a merchandising machine and, who can blame them. I would rather it all be a bit more realistic ie: seven or eight alien races in all, and with more realistic, graphic depictions, of the violence. There is very little blood in Star Wars. I completely understand why it is the way it is, and I still love it. I highly recommend this movie and believe it is well worth the price of a premium ticket. We saw it in IMAX 3D and were blown away. 5 stars – MR

 

Find Rogue One and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Office Christmas Party “It is what it is… FUNNY!” – MR

Office Christmas Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Office Christmas Party
Office Christmas Party.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Starring
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Jeff Cutter
Edited by
  • Jeff Groth
  • Evan Henke
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 5, 2016(New York City)
  • December 9, 2016(United States)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[2]
Box office $33.3 million[2]

Office Christmas Party is a 2016 American Christmascomedy film directed byJosh Gordon & Will Speck and written by Justin Malen and Laura Solon, based on a story by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The film stars an ensemble cast, including Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T. J. Miller, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer,Courtney B. Vance, Rob Corddry, Sam Richardson, Randall Park, Kate McKinnon and Jennifer Aniston, and was released on December 9, 2016 byParamount Pictures. It received mixed reviews and has grossed $33 million.

Plot

Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), Chief Technical Officer of Zenotek’s Chicago branch, meets with his lawyer to finalize his divorce in time for the holidays. Zenotek meanwhile has failed to meet its quarterly quota, and intermediate CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) threatens to lay off forty percent of the staff, cut bonuses, and cancel the annual Christmas party. Her brother, and branch manager Clay (T. J. Miller), is desperate to keep his staff. Carol harbors resentment toward Clay, whom she believed was her father’s favorite, and threatens to shut down the branch. Josh and Clay, along with Josh’s head of tech, Tracey (Olivia Munn) propose partnering with financial giant Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), whom they are having lunch with later that day, and Carol gives them the chance to win his business. Walter is pleased with the pitch, but concerned with another recent branch closure at Zenotek, feeling that the company is more about the budget than their people. Clay invites him to their Christmas party in hopes of showing him that their company is in good standing. Before leaving town, Carol offers Josh a position at her New York headquarters, confident her brother will fail.

Clay funds an exorbitant Christmas party, much to the chagrin of Head of Human Resources Mary (Kate McKinnon). Joel (Sam Richardson) takes DJ duty, but the party struggles to pick up. Though initially reluctant, Walter is inadvertently doused with cocaine when it is accidentally fed into a snow machine and succumbs to his free-spirited nature. Throughout the party various employees cut loose: Nate (Karan Soni) tries to impress two of his staff by hiring an escort named Savannah (Abbey Lee Kershaw) to pretend to be his girlfriend, though Nate is found out when she gives a handjob to a fellow employee; Clay’s assistant and single-mom Allison (Vanessa Bayer) attempts to hook up with new hire Fred (Randall Park) but stops when he reveals he has a mom-baby fetish; and Customer Service supervisor Jeremy (Rob Corddry) cuts loose on the dance floor with Mary, whom he previously despised. Josh and Tracey get stuck on the roof and nearly kiss before Jeremy interrupts them. Back on the dance floor Clay wins over Walter’s business, and Clay promises everyone they’ll keep their jobs and receive their bonuses.

Carol’s flight is cancelled due to weather, and when she discovers the party is happening in a conversation with her driver after she took people to the party, she rushes back to the office.

Our Thoughts

This movie was funny. I laughed out loud at least a dozen times, and so did everyone else around me. There is nothing special about the plot or the settings, but the acting is spot on. These are funny people, doing funny stuff, and I loved it. 4 stars It is what it is… FUNNY! – MR

Find: Office Christmas Party and see the new trailer here.


We Review Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them IMAX 3D “All in all I give it 4.5 stars.” – MR

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Yates
Produced by
Written by J. K. Rowling
Based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by J. K. Rowling
Starring
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Edited by Mark Day
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • 10 November 2016(New York City)
  • 18 November 2016(United Kingdom & United States)
Running time
133 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States[2]
Language English
Budget $180 million[3]
Box office $479.7 million[4]

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2016 fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. A prequel of the Harry Potter film series, the film was produced and written by J. K. Rowling, in her screenwriting debut, and inspired by her book of the same name. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander with Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Ron Perlman and Colin Farrell in supporting roles. It is the first instalment in the Fantastic Beasts series, and the ninth overall in J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

Principal photography began at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden on 17 August 2015. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered in New York City on 10 November 2016 and was released worldwide on 18 November 2016 in 3D, IMAX 4K Laser and other large format theatres. It received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $479 million worldwide.

Plot

In 1926, British wizard Newt Scamander arrives by boat to New York City en route to Arizona. He encounters Mary Lou Barebone, a non-magical woman (“No-Maj” or “muggle“) who heads the New Salem Philanthropic Society, which claims that witches and wizards are real and dangerous. As Newt listens to her speak, a Niffler escapes from his magically-expanded suitcase, which houses multiple magical creatures. As he attempts to capture it, he meets No-Maj cannery worker and aspiring baker Jacob Kowalski and they accidentally swap suitcases. Demoted Auror Tina Goldstein arrests Newt for being an unregistered wizard and takes him to the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) headquarters, hoping to regain her former position. However, President Seraphina Picquery and Director of the Magical Security Percival Graves dismiss the case. At Jacob’s apartment, several creatures escape from Newt’s suitcase.

Graves approaches Credence Barebone, Mary Lou’s adopted son, and offers to free him from his abusive mother in exchange for his finding the host of an Obscurus, a dark, destructive force inadvertently manifested by young magical children forced to conceal their powers. The force can be unleashed during periods of anger and stress; Graves believes that it has caused several mysterious destructive incidents around the city.

After Tina and Newt find Jacob and the suitcase, Tina takes them to her apartment and introduces them to Queenie, her Legilimens sister. Queenie and Jacob are mutually attracted, though American wizards are forbidden to marry No-Majs or interact with them. Newt takes Jacob inside his magically-expanded suitcase, where Jacob encounters a contained Obscurus that Newt recently extracted from a girl who died. Newt persuades Jacob to help search for the missing creatures. After re-capturing two of the three escaped beasts, they re-enter the suitcase, which Tina takes to MACUSA. Officials arrest them, believing one of Newt’s beasts to be responsible for killing Senator Henry Shaw Jr., and decide to destroy Newt’s suitcase and obliviate Jacob’s memory. Graves interrogates Newt and Tina and accuses Newt of conspiring with the infamous dark wizardGellert Grindelwald. Newt and Tina are immediately sentenced to death, but they escape and meet up with Queenie and Jacob; the foursome then capture the last of the creatures after receiving a tip from the goblin gangster Gnarlack.

Credence finds a wand under his adopted sister Modesty’s bed. Mary Lou assumes the wand is Credence’s, but Modesty claims it is hers. When she is about to be punished, the Obscurus is unleashed, killing everyone except Modesty and Credence. Graves arrives and dismisses Credence as being a Squib (a non-magical person of wizard ancestry), and refuses to tutor him in magic after they enter Modesty’s biological family’s home. Credence then reveals himself as the host of the Obscurus, the real cause of Shaw’s death, and unleashes it upon the city in a rage.

In a subway tunnel, Newt talks to Credence but is attacked by Graves. Tina, who knows Credence, arrives and attempts to calm him, while Graves tries to convince Credence to listen to him instead. As Credence begins to settle into human form, Picquery arrives with Aurors and decides Credence’s life must be forfeited to keep the existence of magic hidden. The Aurors apparently disintegrate him, but Newt notices a tiny wisp of the Obscurus fleeing.

Cast

Director David Yates and the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International.
  • Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander:[5] an eccentric, introverted wizard, magizoologist and an employee at the Ministry of Magic. Scamander is the future author of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry standard textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
  • Katherine Waterston as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein:[6] a grounded, down-to-earth witch and a former Auror employed by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). She longs to fight for what is right, but was demoted to a position well below her skill level.
  • Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski: a genial No-Maj cannery worker and aspiring baker who is accidentally exposed to the New York City magical community after meeting Newt.[7]
  • Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein:[8][9] Porpentina’s younger sister and roommate, described as a bombshell, free-spirited, and big-hearted, and is accomplished in Legilimency.
  • Colin Farrell as Percival Graves:[10] a high-ranking Auror and Director of Magical Security for MACUSA. He is charged with the protection of wizards and assigned to track down Newt.
  • Carmen Ejogo as Seraphina Picquery: the President of MACUSA.
  • Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone:[11][12][13] Mary Lou’s troubled and mysterious adopted son.
  • Samantha Morton as Mary Lou Barebone:[14] a narrow-minded No-Maj and the sinister leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society (the NSPS, or “The Second-Salemers”), an extremist group whose goals include exposing and killing wizards and witches.
  • Ron Perlman[15] as Gnarlack: a goblin gangster who owns a speakeasy nightclub called The Blind Pig.
  • Jon Voight[16] as Henry Shaw Sr.: the father of U.S. senator Henry Shaw Jr. and Langdon Shaw.
  • Josh Cowdery as Henry Shaw Jr.: a U.S. senator who holds a rally picketed by the New Salem Philanthropic Society.
  • Ronan Raftery as Langdon Shaw: the youngest of Henry Shaw Sr.’s sons, who begins to believe in magic.
  • Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty Barebone:[17] a haunted young girl and the youngest of Mary Lou’s adopted children.
  • Jenn Murray as Chastity Barebone: the eldest of Mary Lou’s adopted children[11][18]
  • Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald: one of the most dangerous dark wizards of all time.
  • Zoë Kravitz[19] as Leta Lestrange: Newt’s former love while the two attended Hogwarts. Leta betrayed his trust, leaving him bitter, but he still carries her picture.

Our Thoughts

While I liked the story, and I love anything to do with magic, the special effects (which are amazing) are of the previously “over used” sort.  It was like watching a Marvel Comics movie. The terrible Obscurus looked like a modulating Transformer, or those evil aliens from The Avengers and many of the little tricks that would have seemed amazing if this was the first time I’d seen them, well, as I said before…. They have been “over used.” I am sure they will continue to use these type of effects in all movies, until something better comes along. I did like the way they reconstructed the city at the end. The unbending of iron beams, and how they fit together was spot on. Too bad the effect was wasted on a closing scene.

This story is great. But just like in Harry Potter,  the bad guys poof away when they are ended, and the good guys never even hardly kiss the girl.  I suffered through the kiddie parts, though. Fantastic Beasts was a bit more adult-ish, and I appreciate that. My two main complaints are…  JK Rowling has no business creating a little plant guy that is basically Groot, re-imagined. He was so much like Groot that it irritated me.  (I am talking about the baby Groot at the end of GOTG.) And then there was the twist at the end. One of my favorite actors will be in the sequel and that is my other gripe. No one told me Johnny Depp was in this. And he will be in the rest of the followups, because he is Grindelwald.

All in all I give it 4.5 stars, taking the half star away for using something too much like Groot. – MR

See the latest trailer here.

 


We Review: Arrival “Nothing new, but still entertaining 3.5 stars” – MR

Arrival

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arrival
Arrival, Movie Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Produced by
Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
Based on Story of Your Life
by Ted Chiang
Starring
Music by Jóhann Jóhannsson
Cinematography Bradford Young
Edited by Joe Walker
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
(North America)[1]
Sony Pictures(International)[2]
Release dates
  • September 1, 2016(Venice)
  • November 11, 2016(United States)
Running time
116 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $47 million[4][5]
Box office $39.2 million[5]

Arrival is a 2016 American hard science fiction thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short storyStory of Your Life” by author Ted Chiang. The film stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg and Tzi Ma.[6]

Arrival had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 1, 2016, and was released in the United States on November 11, 2016, in IMAX by Paramount Pictures. The film received positive reviews, and praise for its story, sustained intense and suspenseful atmosphere, and Amy Adams’s performance. It has grossed $39 million.

Plot

Twelve mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft, nicknamed “shells” by the U.S. military, appear across the Earth. It is unclear why they have arrived or whether there is any logic behind their choice of sites. Linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is selected to join a special team created to analyse the alien species at the US site in Montana, due to her skills in translation and her existing high level security clearance. Also on the team are theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), and a US Army Colonel named Weber (Forest Whitaker). The story opens with a sequence of Louise with her daughter, who dies of a rare type of cancer while still young.

The team makes ‘first contact’ with two cephalopod-like aliens, which they call ‘Heptapods’ because they have seven ‘arms’. Ian nicknames them Abbott and Costello.

Louise decides that two-way communication in the aliens’ spoken language would be impossible. However, she discovers that they can communicate using their written language, which is based upon complicated circular symbols with inter-related components. With Ian’s help she begins to learn the symbols that correspond to a basic English vocabulary, hoping to build understanding so that she can eventually ask why the aliens have come to Earth. As Louise begins to become more proficient with the alien language, she starts to see images of herself with her daughter, both whilst communicating and later, as dreams.

The potential ambiguity in translation becomes a serious issue when the aliens communicate symbols that translate as “offer weapon”, with similar translations (for example “use weapon”) being deduced at other sites. As other nations, which had initially all been sharing their data and analysis, translate their versions of the message, they close down communication with each other. Some start to scramble their military, believing the message to indicate a threat. Louise believes that, due to the difficulty of translating the language’s complex structure, the “weapon” element of the symbol might have an alternative meaning, such as “tool”.

Rogue soldiers take matters into their own hands and plant a timed C4 explosive device within the shell. Louise and Ian are unaware of the device and go back into the shell, to communicate with Abbott and Costello again. Costello guides Louise to write one of their symbols on the barrier, and then both Abbott and Costello fill the screen with hundreds of smaller symbols. The device continues to count down as the rogue soldiers engage in a firefight with troops from the command centre. Costello leaves just before the device explodes but Abbott stays behind long enough to push Louise and Ian out of the communication chamber. They wake up in the base camp with concussion as the shell rises higher into the sky, out of reach.

Ian analyzes the pattern of symbols that the aliens had displayed to establish that it relates to the concept of time, and that what they received was one twelfth of an intended whole.

Meanwhile China makes preparations to attack their shell, and some other international forces do the same.

Cast

Our Thoughts

The concept and first part of this movie were fresh and spot on, but it turned into the same lost child/lost parent psychological drama that “First Contact” was. Amy Adams looks so much like Nicole Kidman, I thought it was Nicole until my date told me it wasn’t. That is a compliment to Amy’s acting. All of the actors did a great job, the story just ended up being the same ole, same ole. The movie was intriguing to me, and it taught me about some linguistics theory I would have never know had I not seen this film. However, it is what it is, a newer version of “First Contact,” differing enough that they don’t seem like the same thing. Nothing new, but still entertaining. 3.5 stars – MR


We Review: Doctor Strange “No surprises, even less plot, but still good. 3.5 stars” – MR

Doctor Strange (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange, wearing his traditional costume, coming out from a flowing energetic portal, and around him the world and New York turning around itself with the film's cast names above him and the film's title, credits and billing are underneath.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Produced by Kevin Feige
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Ben Davis
Edited by
  • Wyatt Smith[1]
  • Sabrina Plisco[2]
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • October 13, 2016(Hong Kong)
  • November 4, 2016(United States)
Running time
115 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $165 million[4]
Box office $350.7 million[5]

Doctor Strange is a 2016 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comicscharacter of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the fourteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Scott Derrickson, who wrote the film with Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton. InDoctor Strange, surgeon Stephen Strange learns the mystic arts from theAncient One after a career-ending car accident.

Various incarnations of a Doctor Strange film have been in development since the mid-1980s until Paramount Pictures acquired the film rights in April 2005 on behalf of Marvel Studios. Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimerwere brought on board in June 2010 to write a screenplay. In June 2014, Derrickson and Spaihts were hired to direct and re-write the film, respectively. Cumberbatch was chosen for the eponymous role in December 2014, necessitating a schedule change to work around his other commitments. This gave Derrickson time to work on the script himself, for which he brought Cargill on to help. The film began principal photography in November 2015 in Nepalbefore moving to the United Kingdom, and concluded in New York City in April 2016. Filming also occurred in Hong Kong.

Doctor Strange held its world premiere in Hong Kong on October 13, 2016, and was released in the United States on November 4, 2016, in 3D and IMAX 3D. The film has grossed over $350 million, and was met with positive reviews from critics, who particularly praised its visuals, acting, and musical score.

Plot

In Kathmandu, Nepal, the sorcerer Kaecilius and his zealots enter the secret compound Kamar-Taj and murder its librarian, keeper of ancient and mystical texts. They steal a ritual from a book belonging to the Ancient One, a sorcerer who has lived for an unknown time and taught all at Kamar-Taj, including Kaecilius, in the ways of the mystic arts. The Ancient One pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius escapes with the pages and some of his followers.

Stephen Strange, an acclaimed neurosurgeon, loses the use of his hands in a car accident. Fellow surgeon and former loverChristine Palmer tries to help him move on, but Strange, believing he can regain use of his hands, instead uses all his resources pursuing experimental surgeries in vain. After learning of Jonathon Pangborn, a paraplegic who mysteriously was able to walk again, Strange seeks him out, and is directed to Kamar-Taj. There, Strange is taken in by another sorcerer under the Ancient One, Mordo. The Ancient One shows Strange her power, revealing the astral plane and other dimensions such as the Mirror Dimension. Strange begs her to teach him, and she eventually agrees despite his arrogance, which reminds her of Kaecilius.

Strange begins his tutelage under the Ancient One and Mordo, and learns from the ancient books in the library, now presided over by the master Wong. Strange learns that Earth is protected from other dimensions by a spell formed from three buildings called Sanctums, found in New York City, London, and Hong Kong. The task of the sorcerers is to protect the Sanctums, though Pangborn chose to forgo this responsibility in favor of channeling mystical energy into walking again. Strange advances quickly over several months, even secretly reading from the text Kaecilius stole from and learning to bend time with the mystical Eye of Agamotto. Mordo and Wong warn Strange against breaking the laws of nature, comparing his arrogant yearning for power to that of Kaecilius, who believes, after the deaths of his loved ones, that everyone should have eternal life.

Our Thoughts

While I enjoyed this movie, especially the IMAX 3D effects, I knew what was going to happen.  These Superhero movies are great, but even the comic books relied on the same repetitive formula, a formula that is getting worn thin. I loved Ant man, and I will forever love Iron Man. This just wasn’t on that level, as far as acting and depth of plot go, not for a Marvel movie getting such rave reviews. America is desperate for a hero, it is clear.  B. Cumberbatch is good in the role, but the supporting cast was mediocre at best. It is worth the full price of a premium ticket for the special effects alone, even though you have seen almost all of them before in “Promethius,” and “Inception.” I can only give the movie 3.5 stars, because at no time did I even say wow. The best thing about the whole movie was the eye makeup on the bad guys. And the special effects have been used before, in several movies, just not in this combination.  – MR


We Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back “4.1 stars 100% as expected. No Surprises, but still entertaining” – MR

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Jack Reacher Never Go Back poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Edward Zwick
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Never Go Back
by Lee Child
Starring
Music by Henry Jackman
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Edited by Billy Weber
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • October 16, 2016(New Orleans)
  • October 21, 2016(United States)
Running time
118 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[2][3]
Box office $60.2 million[2]

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a 2016 American actionthriller film directed by Edward Zwick and written by Zwick, Richard Wenk and Marshall Herskovitz. A sequel to 2012 film Jack Reacher, the film stars Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh and Holt McCallany. The plot follows Reacher going on-the-run with an Army Major who has been wrongly framed for espionage.

Principal photography began on October 20, 2015 in New Orleans and the film was released on October 21, 2016 in IMAX[4] and conventional formats. It received mixed reviews and has grossed $60 million.

Plot

After dismantling a human trafficking ring, former military investigator turned vigilante drifter Jack Reacher returns to his old military headquarters to meet Major Susan Turner, who has been assisting him in his investigations, only to learn from his old rival, Colonel Sam Morgan, that Turner has been accused of espionage and detained.

Turner’s attorney, Colonel Bob Moorcroft, reveals that there is evidence that Turner is involved in the murders of two soldiers in Afghanistan, but Reacher believes she is being framed. Moorcroft also reveals an old acquaintance of Reacher’s, Candice Dayton, has filed a paternity suit against him, claiming he’s the biological father of her 15-year-old daughter, Samantha Dayton. Moorcroft is later killed by an assassin known as “The Hunter”.

Reacher reaches out to Samantha, but she rebuffs him, believing he’s after her biological mother due to her past as a drug addict. Reacher is later framed for Moorcroft’s murder and detained alongside Turner. Assassins arrive to kill them, but Reacher neutralizes them, rescues Turner and they escape to Morgan’s house, having deduced he’s involved in the conspiracy, to extract information. After they leave, the Hunter kills Morgan and frames Reacher.

Reacher and Turner uncover surveillance pictures of Samantha and surmise she’s in danger, arriving at her home to find her foster parents dead and a Samantha hiding in the kitchen. Upon learning from a friend, Sergeant Leach, that he’s also been framed for Morgan’s death, Reacher decides to escort Samantha to a private school for protection, but discover that she has her mobile phone with her and the enemy probably knows exactly where they are. They discard the phone and make a quick exit, during which Samantha steals a backpack from one of the students to use the credit cards.

Reacher, Turner and Samantha travel to New Orleans in search of Daniel Prudhomme, the only eyewitness to the murders that Turner has been framed for. They find him in a derelict warehouse filled with drug addicts and learn that Prudhomme is connected to Parasource, a private military organization that is trying to cover up the murders. Reacher contacts Turner’s friend, Captain Anthony Espin, to move Prudhomme into custody, but they are ambushed by assassins and Prudhomme is killed, while Reacher rescues Espin and finds out that the assassins are Parasource contractors. Parasource’s CEO, General James Harkness, then sends his enforcer, the Hunter, to capture Samantha after she uses a credit card to order room service.

Reacher and Turner, along with Espin, acting on information provided by Prudhomme, intercept a flight of weapons due to leave the country, where they confront Harkness and his men and accuse them of corruption. Upon opening the crates, however, Espin find weapons as declared in the flight manifest. Before Turner can be re-arrested, Reacher opens up one of the weapons crates and discovers that they are filled with opium. They learn that Harkness framed Turner, who had been investigating his activities, for the murders of two soldiers who discovered that Harkness was selling weapons to insurgents and smuggling drugs into the United States. Espin and his men then arrest Harkness, clearing Reacher’s and Turner’s names.

The Hunter and his men locate and chase Samantha through the streets to lure Reacher into a confrontation. Turner kills one of the assassins, whilst Reacher takes out another one on the rooftop. The Hunter captures Samantha and threatens to kill her, but she manages to escape and steal his gun. Reacher then tackles the Hunter and they have a vicious fight that culminates with Reacher breaking the Hunter’s neck. Reacher then admits to Samantha he might be her father.

Following Harkness’ arrest, Turner is reinstated in her old position and goes back to her office, where her collegues and Captain Espin all welcome her back. Reacher promises to keep in touch before meeting Samantha at a diner to meet Candice, whom he surmises he will recognize as he remembers everyone he has slept with. Samantha reveals that the waitress that had been serving him is in fact Candice and that Reacher can’t be her father as they didn’t recognize each other. Reacher and Samantha then reluctantly part.

While preparing to leave, a phone rings in Reacher’s pocket and finds Samantha’s phone, which she had slipped on his pocket, with a final goodbye. Reacher smiles as he hitches a ride to the nearest town.

Cast

Our Thoughts

Was it good? Yes.

Did I like it? Yes.

Is it as good as the first Reacher movie? No

Will I go see a third Reacher flick? Absolutely

BUT, I still found myself a little dissapointed. The acting and characters are superb, it was just too predictable. 4.1 stars 100% as expected. No Surprises, but still entertaining. – MR

 

Find  Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and see the new trailer here.


We Review: The Accountant “A Jason Bourne / Rainman sort of thing” – MR

The Accountant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Accountant
The Accountant (2016 film).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gavin O’Connor
Produced by
  • Lynette Howell Taylor
  • Mark Williams
Written by Bill Dubuque
Starring
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Edited by Richard Pearson
Production
companies
  • Electric City Entertainment
  • Advanced Underwriting Concepts
  • RatPac Entertainment
  • Zero Gravity Management
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
Running time
128 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $44 million[2]
Box office $9.1 million[2]

The Accountant is a 2016 American actionthriller film, directed by Gavin O’Connor, written by Bill Dubuque and starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow. The film follows a small town certified public accountant who makes his living cooking the booksfor dangerous criminal organizations.

The film premiered in Los Angeles on October 10, 2016, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 14, 2016 by Warner Bros. Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $9 million.

Plot

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is an autistic mathematics savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Using a small-town CPA office as a cover, he makes his living as a forensic accountant for dangerous criminal organizations. With a Treasury agent (J. K. Simmons) hot on his heels, Christian takes on a state-of-the-art robotics company as a legitimate client. As he gets closer to the truth about a discrepancy that involves millions of dollars, the body count starts to rise.

Cast

Our Thoughts

An entertaining Jason Bourne / Rainman sort of thing. I liked it. 4 stars and recommended. – MR

 

Find The Accountant and see the new trailer here.


Project Hardcover a Kickstarter by Mathias Publishing

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Click here to go to the Kickstarter page for the original post and see the amazing rewards available for those who “kick in.” Thanks – MR

About this project

The Royal Dragoneers, book one of The Dragoneer Saga, and The Sword and the Dragon, book one of The Wardstone Trilogy were both deemed “Top 10” indie fantasy releases of 2010 by Fantasy Book Critic, alongside Michael J. Sullivan, back when his big hit was called Wintertide. Mathias’s two series starters were also listed in the first ever Publishers Weekly Indie Select issue.

The Royal Dragoneers was nominated for the Locus Poll in 2011, and book six of The Dragoneer Saga, Blood and Royalty won the 2015 Readers Favorite Award, after being a semifinalist for The Kindle Book Award the same year.

The Wardstone Trilogy, has been in the Amazon Top 10 in the US, UK, and in its German language form in the Amazon.DE store, and has sold over 325,000 kindle copies worldwide.

Since these highly rated and well reviewed titles were released independently, they never saw brick and mortar store shelves. Nor did they ever have fancy hardcover versions made. Many fans of the two series, and M. R. Mathias’s other series, have requested hardcover versions for their bookshelves or gifts for family and friends.

We hope you are interested in helping. As a token of our intention, we have made The Royal Dragoneers, book one of The Dragoneer Saga free at all eBook stores. Google Books, Google Play, Kobo, Kindle, and the iTunes book store have all dropped the price to FREE. We want you to read what you are supporting, and we hope, like the many M. R. Mathias fans out there, that you decide you like the story enough to put a hardcover on your shelf.

Thank you,

Mathias Publishing

 

Risks and challenges

Being that the front covers of all these titles have been created, what we are doing is relatively simple, but only if you are an experienced book formatter.

Each title needs an interior format, a dust jacket, and also a full paperback format made. Each book cover format costs about $100. Each book needs two formats made. One for the new hardcover’s dust jacket, and one for the new paperback. Interior formatting is about $75 a title, and since we buy ISBN #s in blocks of ten, we are doing the 6 Dragoneer saga novels, the 3 Wardstone Trilogy novels, and The Butcher’s Boy, 2011 Readers Favorite Award winner for horror, that was published by M. R. Mathias, under the pen name Michael Robb (Mathias.)

But there are Dragoneer Saga paperbacks currently available at Amazon, you ask? Yes, there are, but if we use Amazon’s distribution system we have to charge as much as $5 more per book, when Amazon lists them at B&N, and other stores, just to make a profit. The Amazon paperbacks will stay available at Amazon, but these new paperbacks, allow us to save customers that $5 increase when they shop for our books outside of Amazon.

10 books at +/- $275.00/ea is $2,750.00 The remaining $750.00 of our budget will go toward prize shipping (Notice we are not charging you awesome Kickers shipping on ANYTHING.) What is left after shipping, if anything, will go toward paying the www.mrmathias.com; webmaster (DesignCreatives) to add the new titles and covers to the M. R. Mathias website.

We are making book one, The Royal Dragoneers, in hardcover now, out of pocket, and will soon have it to show as an example of what the other books will look like when complete. Once these formats are made and uploaded to Ingram, the books will be available in days! It is that easy. Go get a free eBook copy of The Royal Dragoneers at Smashwords, the iTunes bookstore, Kobo, or Google Books, and decide for yourself if this is a series you’d like to support.

Thanks again,
Mathias Publishing


We Review: The Magnificent Seven “Four stars, recommended for a good night out.” – MR

The Magnificent Seven (2016 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Magnificent Seven
Magnificent Seven 2016.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Seven Samurai
by Akira Kurosawa
Shinobu Hashimoto
Hideo Oguni
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Mauro Fiore
Edited by John Refoua
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release dates
  • September 8, 2016 (TIFF)
  • September 23, 2016(United States)
Running time
133 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget
  • $108 million (gross)[2]
  • $90 million (net)[3][4]
Box office $58.6 million[5]

The Magnificent Seven is a 2016 American westernaction film directed Antoineby Fuqua, and written by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. A remake of the 1960 western film of the same name, which in turn was a remake of the 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai, the film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo,Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard. It is the final film of composer James Horner, who died the previous year after composing a part of the score; his friend Simon Franglen completed the music.

Principal photography began on May 18, 2015, in the north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Magnificent Seven premiered on September 8, 2016 at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in the United States on September 23, 2016, in conventional and IMAX theatres.[6] The film received mixed reviews from critics, although the cast was praised, and has grossed over $58 million worldwide.

Plot

In 1879, corrupt industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) besieges the mining town of Rose Creek, and slaughters a group of locals led by Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer) when they attempt to stand up to him. Matthew’s wife, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), and her friend, Teddy Q (Luke Grimes), ride to the nearest town in search of someone who can help them and come upon bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), who initially declines their proposal until he learns of Bogue’s involvement.

Chisolm sets out to recruit a group of gunslingers who can help him, starting with gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt). They are later joined by sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), knife-wielding assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), skilled tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Comanchewarrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) and notorious Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo).

Arriving in Rose Creek, the seven engage in a gunfight with Bogue’s enforcer McCann (Cam Gigandet) and his men and drive them away with a warning to leave Rose Creek alone. Surmising that Bogue and his forces will return in a week, the seven and Cullen train the townspeople to defend their home and grow fond of them. Robicheaux, haunted by the horrors of the Civil Warand fearing the inevitable killing he will be a part of, abandons the group and is replaced by Cullen.

Bogue arrives with his forces and attacks the city, but the bandits are ambushed by the townspeople, leading to a shootout during which Robicheaux rejoins the group, McCann is killed by Vasquez, and Horne is killed by Bogue’s Comanche assassin Denali (Jonathan Joss), who is later killed by Red Harvest. Bogue then unveils his secret weapon, a Gatling gun, with which he kills numerous innocents. Realizing they’re outgunned, the seven drive the townspeople away and mount their last stand.

Robicheaux and Rocks are killed by a second round of gunfire as Faraday sacrifices himself to destroy the Gatling gun and the rest of Bogue’s men, riding up to them in a final charge and then detonating a stick of dynamite right next to the gun. Bogue flees into town, where he is confronted by Chisolm, who disarms and wounds Bogue. As Chisolm is strangling Bogue, he reveals that Bogue and his men raped and murdered his mother and sister during a raid several years earlier, in which he himself survived being hanged. Bogue is then fatally shot by Cullen while reaching for a hidden gun in his boot.

In the aftermath, Faraday, Robicheaux, Rocks and Horne are buried in town and honored by the people of Rose Creek as heroes, while Chisolm, Vasquez and Red Harvest ride off, with Cullen remarking that their heroism made them legends.

Cast

The Magnificent Seven

Our Thoughts

It has been a while since I’ve seen a good shoot-em-up western film. This one was as expected… Outlandish, unbelievable, and over acted.  I liked Pratt’s character, because he didn’t say too much, and waited until the end to show his stuff.  If you liked the older version, or if you like westerns in general, this one is worth the price of a ticket. I’ll give it four stars, and recommend it for a good night out – MR

 

Find  The Magnificent Seven and see the new trailer here.


We Review, Star Trek Beyond “The new adventures and cast members have fully won me over.” – MR

Star Trek Beyond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Star Trek Beyond
The USS Enterprise flying through the universe, with the film's title "Beyond", and the film's billing below.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Justin Lin
Produced by
Written by
Based on Star Trek
by Gene Roddenberry
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Stephen F. Windon
Edited by
  • Greg D’Auria
  • Dylan Highsmith
  • Kelly Matsumoto
  • Steven Sprung
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • July 7, 2016 (Sydney)
  • July 22, 2016 (United States)
Running time
122 minutes[2]
Country
  • United States
Language English
Budget $185 million[3]
Box office $195.4 million[3]

Star Trek Beyond is a 2016 American science fictionadventure film directed Justinby Lin from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, based on the series Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the thirteenth film in theStar Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series, followingStar Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock, with Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin reprising their roles from the previous films. Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella also join the cast.

Principal photography began in Vancouver on June 25, 2015. The film premiered in Sydney on July 7, 2016 and was released in the United States on July 22, 2016.[4] The film is dedicated to the memory of Yelchin, who died a month prior to the film’s release, as well as fellow Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, who died during pre-production.[5] The film received positive reviews, with many critics praising the performances, action scenes, musical score, visual effects, and tributes to Yelchin and Nimoy, and has grossed over $195 million worldwide.

Plot

Three years into its five year mission, the USS Enterprise arrives at Starbase Yorktown, a massive space station, for resupply and shore leave for her tired crew. Struggling to find continued meaning in their mission of exploration given the endless nature of that objective, Captain James Kirk has applied for a promotion to Vice Admiral and commanding officer of Yorktown. He recommends Spock as the new captain of the Enterprise. Meanwhile, Hikaru Sulu reunites with his family, Spock and Nyota Uhura amicably end their relationship, and Montgomery Scott works to keep the ship operational. Spock also receives word from New Vulcan that Ambassador Spock has died.

The Enterprise is dispatched on a rescue mission after an escape pod drifts out of a nearby uncharted nebula. The survivor, Kalara, claims her ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet within the nebula. The rescue turns into an ambush when theEnterprise is overwhelmed by a massive swarm of small ships and is quickly torn apart. The swarm’s alien commander, Krall, and his crew board the ship, and unsuccessfully search for a relic called an Abronath that Kirk had obtained for a failed diplomatic mission. Krall has taken many of the crew from the ship. As the Enterprise continues to break up the saucer section hurtles towards the planet; the survivors abandon ship in escape pods.

On the planet’s surface, Sulu, Uhura, and other surviving crew are captured by Krall. Kirk and navigator Pavel Chekov, accompanied by Kalara, locate the wrecked saucer section. Kalara is discovered to be Krall’s ally when she tries to retrieve the Abronath for him. To escape Krall’s soldiers, Kirk activates the still functional boosters, causing the saucer to lurch forward, crushing Kalara. Meanwhile, a wounded Spock and Dr. Leonard McCoy search for the other survivors. Spock confides to McCoy that he intends to leave Starfleet to continue the late Ambassador Spock’s work on New Vulcan. Meanwhile, Scott is rescued by Jaylah, a scavenger who previously escaped Krall’s encampment. She takes Scott to her makeshift home, the grounded USS Franklin, an early Starfleet vessel that went missing over a hundred years before. With Scott’s help, the ship is repaired. Scott is reunited with Kirk, Chekov, McCoy, and Spock. Using the ship as a base, they plot to raid Krall’s camp and transport the crew to the Franklin, then escape the planet. Meanwhile, Krall threatens to kill Sulu and coerces Ensign Syl to hand over the Abronath that she had kept hidden for Kirk. The Abronath is the missing half of an ancient bioweapon, created by the planet’s original inhabitants, that can instantaneously disintegrate a humanoid. With the device now complete, Krall intends to attack Yorktown and kill its inhabitants, and, using its advanced technology, go on to attack the Federation. Krall demonstrates its deadly effect on Ensign Syl as a horrified Uhura helplessly watches. Kirk and the others free the crew as Krall launches into space with the bioweapon, leading his drone fleet to Yorktown.

Our Thoughts

This was an all new Star Trek adventure for me. I’m not sure if the story was based on one of Bradbury’s books or not, but it was pretty awesome, and not related to the older “original cast” movies. There isn’t much to say other than, 5 stars and Highly Recommended. The imagery is fantastic, as are the characters. The new adventures and cast members have fully won me over. – MR

Find Star Trek Beyond and see the new trailer here.