We Review Tomorrowland, “Highly recommended flick for the whole family. 4.5 stars” – MR

Tomorrowland (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brad Bird
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Damon Lindelof
  • Brad Bird
Story by
  • Damon Lindelof
  • Brad Bird
  • Jeff Jensen
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Claudio Miranda
Edited by Walter Murch
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • May 8, 2015(Disneyland premiere)
  • May 22, 2015(United States)
Running time
130 minutes[1][2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $180–190 million[3][4]
Box office $9.7 million[5]

Tomorrowland (titled Disney Tomorrowland: A World Beyond in the United Kingdom)[6]is a 2015 American science fictionmysteryadventure film[7]directed by Brad Bird, and co-written and produced by Bird andDamon Lindelof.[8][9] The film stars George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Thomas Robinson, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, and Keegan-Michael Key.[7]

Walt Disney Pictures originally announced the film under the working title1952, and later retitled it to Tomorrowland, after the futuristic themed land found at Disney theme parks.[9][10] Bird and Lindelof’s screenplay was heavily influenced by Walt Disney‘s optimistic philosophy of innovation and utopia, such as his conceptual vision for the planned community known as EPCOT.[11][12] The film was released in conventional and IMAXformats on May 22, 2015.[13]Tomorrowland was the first theatrical film to be released in Dolby Vision.[14]

Plot

The story then shifts to optimist and science enthusiast Casey Newton, who sneaks into a former NASA launch site in Cape Canaveral. She sabotages a machine that is being used to replace certain workers, including her dad Eddie, who is an engineer. Casey returns home, unbeknownst to Athena following her. Athena sneaks into the Newtons’ garage and leaves another “T” pin that is programmed to Casey’s DNA. The next night, Casey fails to break into the compound, and is arrested. At the police station, she discovers the pin among them her personal items. Casey discovers that upon contact, the pin instantly transports her to another world with a futuristic cityscape in the distance, and that she is the only one able to experience it. Retrieving the pin from her disgruntled father, Casey successfully returns to Tomorrowland and explores the advanced utopian city, brimming with technological innovation. However, a timer on the pin expires, and a frustrated Casey is returned back to her world.Frank Walker and Casey Newton are addressing an audience, about the future and describe their beginnings. In 1964, a young Frank attends the New York World’s Fair, where he meets renowned inventor David Nix. Frank shows him his jet pack that he built himself. Then Frank meets a young girl named Athena, who is taken with Frank’s enthusiasm for inspiration. Nix, however rejects Frank’s submission out. Athena approaches Frank and presents him with a pin embroidered with a “T” symbol, and instructs him to follow her aboard the fair’s “It’s a Small World” attraction. Frank sneaks onto a boat, where during the ride, a laser scans the pin on his shirt, and it takes him through an underground passageway, leading him into a pod that transports him to a mysterious place. Frank falls of a ledge onto another platform where he encounters a large robot that fixes his jetpack. During a mishap, Frank falls over again and soars over the futuristic city, much to the astonishment of its residents. He lands before Nix and Athena, with the former still unimpressed. Athena smiles and guides him through what is known as Tomorrowland.

Casey and Nate find an address to a Houston science-fiction memorabilia retailer that supposedly sells that same pins as Casey’s. Casey leaves though Nate ends ups revealing her destination to Athena when she appears asking for her whereabouts. Arriving at the shop, Casey meets the two shop owners, Hugo and Ursula. When Casey shows them the pin, they ask her if she saw something and where she found it. Casey says she got it after she was arrested, prompting Ursula to push a button. They start to ask her menacingly if she saw a girl. They then take out two plasma guns and aim them at Casey. Athena then bursts in and fights Hugo and Ursula. She fires a time sphere that traps the two in a bubble before they can kill Casey. Athena convinces Casey to follow her as she pulls her out of trouble. She then gets Ursula to impale Hugo, and then she rips off Ursula’s head, revealing both of them to be robots. Athena grabs Casey and runs as the robots self-destruct and destroy the shop. Athena breaks into a car and uses a special key to take it.

Casey learns that Athena is an Audio-Animatronic and that she knows of what Casey has seen. She admits that she planted the pin in her helmet. Casey makes Athena stop the car and leaves. Athena follows after her and gets hit by a truck. The driver runs out, giving Casey a chance to swipe the truck. Athena gets up and runs after her before catching up and hijacking the truck herself.

The girls ride to find Frank’s house. Athena takes Casey far enough to leave her right in front of Frank’s house. A wild dog runs out to Casey, which turns out to be a hologram. She goes up to the door and calls Frank out. She holds the pin to the camera and then gets thrown back by a powerful blast. Frank tells Casey to go away, and that he won’t tell her anything about the pin, and that he couldn’t even take her to the place she saw because he’s been banished from there. A team of robots disguised as United States Secret Service agents goes to the burnt-down shop. The police pull out Ursula’s burnt robot head, revealing her nature to the cops on the scene, so the fake Secret Service agents vaporize them with their plasma guns to stop the truth getting out.

At night, Casey sets Frank’s tractor on fire, distracting him long enough for her to sneak into his house. She finds a few of Frank’s inventions, including a recording device showing him as a child with Athena. He apparently tried to make her laugh but did not succeed. He still didn’t seem to know that she was a robot. Frank gets back inside as Casey goes to his room where he has a bunch of monitors linked around the world, along with a countdown clock. Frank has apparently built something that is about to go off in 58 days time, bringing about the end of the world. Frank has lost all hope, but Casey hasn’t, and the 100% probability meter on Frank’s screen goes down a few point. The robots then show up and threaten to attack Frank if he doesn’t give Casey up. They break in and attack, forcing Frank to use whatever inventions he prepared against them. Casey finds a portal machine and uses it on one robot, while Frank uses a laser trap to kill a few others. They go into the bathroom and hop in a tub where Frank ejects the tub and blows up his house. He and Casey land in the lake and run into Athena, and Frank is not very happy to see her.

Knowing that they’ll be hunted, Frank brings Casey and Athena to a teleportation machine of his invention. Frank makes Casey cover her eyes with padding and then braces her for blood sugar loss. When they arrive at their destination, Casey falls to the floor. Athena fetches her a bottle of Coke, which she chugs instantly. They walk outside to see themselves in the Eiffel Tower. They go into a room with mannequins of Gustave Eiffel, Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison. They were the founder of Plus Ultra, a group of inventors dedicated to finding other dreamers and inventors with the hope of shaping the future for the better. Together, their experiments uncovered a new dimension that would become Tomorrowland. Frank brings the girls to a rocket in the tower. Three robots then come in to attack. The rocket launches into the sky, with many people watching. The pod with the three inside breaks off and blasts into the next dimension.

The three crash-land into Tomorrowland, which looks broken down and desolate. Nix, now the governor of the city, arrives, not surprised to see Frank and Athena. He takes them and Casey to his building where they stand on a platform that shows them a few seconds into the future using tachyons. They come across a monitor that shows certain events in time, in this case, Casey with Nate and Eddie a few days ago. Casey is given the chance to see into the future. She looks into Cape Canaveral at the NASA platform. As she goes through the time passing, the platform becomes practically destroyed. She looks all over the rest of the world and sees riots, natural disasters, and utter catastrophe. This is all because of Frank’s device, and because he gave up when he said he wouldn’t. Casey still refuses to believe this will be what happens to the world, offering another glimpse of hope.

Our Thoughts

I would have liked this movie a lot better if I didn’t know that it was more-or-less just an advertisment for Tomorrowland “The Real Disney Theme Park.”  The plot was cool, interesting, original, and the fact that there was no romantic crud made it even better. Well okay, there was a little romantic crud, but it was robot, human, relations …if that is possible.

Our 13 year old loved it. Our 18 year old (both of them boys) was like; “I wan’t to go home and buy Will Smith’s, “Focus” on PrimeTV? He said the movie was okay. Which means he liked it, but he is 18 and the movie is sort of geared for the “not-yet-driving” teenage crowd.

I have to give it 4.5 stars for being entertaining despite the fact that I could hear kids asking if they could go to the “REAL” Tomorrowland as we exited the theatre. If you like YA sci-fi you’ll like it. I’m 45 years old and I liked it quite a bit. Comercial it may be, but it is a highly recomended flick for the whole family. Seeing it in IMAX only made it better. – MR

See the new trailer and learn more about Tomorrowland here.


We Review: Mad Max: Fury Road “Exactly What I Expected, Only Better!” MR

Mad Max: Fury Road

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mad Max: Fury Road
Theatrical release poster

Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Miller
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by Junkie XL
Cinematography John Seale
Edited by Margaret Sixel
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
Running time
120 minutes[1][2]
Country
  • Australia
  • United States
Language English
Budget $150 million[3][4]
Box office $120.8 million[5]

Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 Australianpostapocalypticaction[6][7]film directed, produced, and co-written by George Miller, and the fourth film of Miller’s Mad Max franchise. The first film of the franchise in 30 years,Fury Road stars Tom Hardy as “Mad” Max Rockatansky, who replaces Mel Gibson in the title role, along with Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Hugh Keays-Byrne.

The film is set in a future desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities, with Max (Hardy) joining forces with Imperator Furiosa (Theron) to run away from cult leader Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne) and his army’s pursuit. The film had its world premiere on 7 May 2015 at the TCL Chinese Theatre. It began wide theatrical release on 14 May 2015, including an out-of-competition screening at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Critics have praised the film for its acting, screenplay, action sequences, stunts, and direction.

Plot

Set in the future after a nuclear war, the world is a desert wasteland and civilization has collapsed; many people are sick, others have birth defects, and some need blood transfusions. Max (Tom Hardy), a survivor in Australia, is captured by the War Boys, the army of tyrannical cult leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Designated a universal blood donor, Max is imprisoned and used as a “blood bag” for the sick War Boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult). Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) drives her heavily-armored War Rig to collect gasoline. Furiosa begins driving off route, alerting Joe who realizes that his Five Wives – women specially selected for breeding – are gone. Joe leads his entire War Boy army in pursuit of Furiosa, calling on the aid of nearby Gas Town and the Bullet Farm.

Nux joins the army with Max strapped to the hood of his car, to continue supplying blood. A battle ensues between the Rig and Joe’s forces. Furiosa drives into an approaching sand storm evading her pursuers, except Nux, who attempts to sacrifice himself to destroy the Rig; Max escapes and restrains Nux, but the car is destroyed by the Rig. Waking up after the storm, Max sees Furiosa nearby repairing her Rig, accompanied by the Wives: Splendid, Capable, Cheedo, Toast, and the Dag. Max steals the Rig, but its kill-switch disables the truck. Max reluctantly agrees to let Furiosa and the Wives accompany him, while Nux returns to Joe.

Furiosa drives through Biker gang territory into a narrow canyon, having agreed to exchange gasoline for passage. However, Joe’s forces are close behind, and Furiosa flees while the Bikers detonate the canyon walls to block Joe’s path. Max and Furiosa fend off the pursuing Bikers but Joe’s vehicle evades the blockade and assaults the Rig. Nux boards the Rig while Joe attempts to shoot Furiosa. Splendid, Joe’s heavily pregnant wife, shields Furiosa, but falls from the Rig and is run over by Joe’s car, killing her and his child. Furiosa explains to Max that they are escaping to the “Green Place”, a location she remembers from her youth. Capable finds Nux hiding aboard the Rig, distraught that he contributed to the death of Joe’s wife; she consoles him. At night, the heavy Rig gets caught in deep mud. Furiosa and Max slow Joe’s forces with explosives, but Joe’s ally, the Bullet Farmer, pursues the Rig. Nux helps free the Rig while Furiosa shoots and blinds the Bullet Farmer. He retaliates with machine gun fire and explosives. Max wanders into the dark to confront the Bullet Farmer, returning to the Rig with guns and ammunition.

As dawn breaks, the Rig travels through swampland and desert, eventually coming across a naked woman. Max identifies it as a trap, but Furiosa leaves the Rig and states her former clan affiliation. The woman summons her group who realize that Furiosa is a member of their clan, kidnapped with her mother when she was a child. Furiosa is distraught to learn that the swamp land they passed was the Green Place, which is now uninhabitable. The group agree to ride motorbikes across the immense salt flats in the hope of finding somewhere to live. Max chooses to stay behind, but after seeing visions of his dead daughter, he convinces them to return to the Citadel, which has ample water and greenery that Joe keeps for himself, and trap Joe and his army in the Bikers’ canyon.

Our Thoughts

This is a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish, loosely based on the previous Mel Gibson cult hit.  The new actors, new effects, and new character depth add to the film. This is was exactly what I expected, only better! –  MR

See a new trailer and learn more about Mad Max: Fury Road here.


We Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron. “Great effects and camaraderie as always. Nothing new.” – MR

Avengers: Age of Ultron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 Avengers_Age_of_Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and the eleventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr.,Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers must work together to defeat Ultron, a technological enemy bent on human extinction.

The sequel was announced in May 2012, after the successful release of The Avengers. Whedon, the director of the first film, was brought back on board in August and a release date was set. By April 2013, Whedon had completed a draft of the script, and casting began in June with the re-signing of Downey. Second unit filming began in February 2014 in South Africa with principal photography taking place between March and August 2014. The film was primarily shot at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England, with additional footage filmed in Italy, South Korea, Bangladesh, New York, and various locations around England.

Avengers: Age of Ultron premiered in Los Angeles on April 13, 2015, and was released on May 1, 2015 in North America, in 3D and IMAX 3D. It received positive reviews and has grossed over $630 million worldwide. Two sequels, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, are scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, and May 3, 2019, respectively.

Plot

In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the AvengersTony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton—raid a Hydra outpost led by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker’s experiments—twins Pietro, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who can manipulate minds and project energy—and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki’s scepter.

Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark’s A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Escaping with the scepter, Ultron uses the resources in Strucker’s Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Having killed Strucker, he recruits the Maximoffs, who hold Stark responsible for their parents’ deaths by his weapons. Together, they visit the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in an African shipyard to obtain vibranium. The Avengers pursue them, but Wanda subdues the heroes with haunting visions, causing the Hulk to rampage until Stark stops him with “Veronica”.2

A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears Wanda’s hallucinations incited, send the team into hiding at Barton’s safehouse. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Romanoff and Banner plan to flee together after realizing a mutual attraction. However, Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. InSeoul, Ultron forces the team’s friend Dr. Helen Cho to use her synthetic tissue technology, vibranium, and the scepter’s gem to perfect a body for him. When Ultron begins uploading himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn on Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.

The Avengers fight amongst themselves when Stark secretly uploads J.A.R.V.I.S. — who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet — into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body with lightning, explaining that the gem on its brow – one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence – was part of his vision. This “Vision” and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. As the city begins to lift, Banner rescues Romanoff, who awakens the Hulk for the battle.

Our Thoughts

First let me start by saying I am a fan. This is my office. I don’t always write from here, but I do a lot of work from this room. I love the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and almost everything Marvel, but this one was missing something.

right wallleft wall

I am giving The Age of Ultron 4 stars because there was no urgency, and there were too many instances where the non-super-human heros were given men or lesser robots to fight because they would have been destroyed by the ones the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America were battling. AND because Pepper Potts is never seen in this one. Around here we love Pepper Potts!

The movie is what you expect it to be, and worth every penny of a premium ticket. But, like I said earlier, it was missing something, and Ultron’s voice sounded just like Optomus Prime from the Transformers and he wasn’t all that threatening as a vilian. Great effects, and camaraderie, as always. Highly entertaining. Highly recommended, but nothing new.” – MR

Find Avengers: Age of Ultron and see a new trailer here.


We Review: ‘GET HARD’ – Two words: “Freaking Hillarious.” – MR

Get Hard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Get Hard
Get Hard film poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Etan Cohen
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Adam McKay
  • Jay Martel
  • Ian Roberts
Starring
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Edited by Michael L. Sale
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • March 16, 2015 (SXSW)
  • March 27, 2015(United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1][2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[3]
Box office $38.4 million[3]

Get Hard is an American comedy film directed by Etan Cohen (in his directorial debut) and written by Etan Cohen, Jay Martel and Ian Roberts.[4] The film stars Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, Edwina Findley, andCraig T. Nelson.[5] The film was released on March 27, 2015.[6]

Plot

James King (Will Ferrell) is an extremely wealthy hedge fund manager, engaged to his gorgeous gold-digging fiancee Alissa (Alison Brie). His car washer, Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) is married to his wife, Rita and is trying to put their daughter Makayla in a better school away from the bad neighborhood they live in. James meets Darnell when the latter accidentally frightens James in the parking lot because he assumed Darnell was going to rob him, when he just wanted to give him his keys. James makes a speech about how he got to his success, and to inspire Darnell to go for his. He pulls out a big wad of cash, only to pull out two singles as a “tip” for Darnell.

Alissa hosts an engagement party for herself and James. She gives him an electric guitar as a gift, and she invites John Mayer up onstage to perform. James performs alongside Mayer momentarily until the cops storm in and arrest James for fraud and embezzlement. James’s lawyer Peter Penny urges James to go for a guilty plea, but he refuses and insists that he will be exonerated. Instead, everybody that lost money in the embezzlement scheme is out for James’s head. The judge finds him guilty and sentences James to ten years at San Quentin, with only 30 days to get his affairs in order. His assets are frozen and he is placed under house arrest. He cuts off the ankle bracelet and tries to flee the country. He drives to a country club to get Alissa to go with him, but she says she has left him and decided to move on. The police then show up and arrest James, who asks his boss and Alissa’s father Martin (Craig T. Nelson) for help.

Darnell encounters James once more in the parking lot, expressing his fears over going to prison. He asks Darnell how he managed in prison, simply assuming he was incarcerated because he is black. James then begs Darnell to teach him how to toughen up if he wants to survive in prison. Darnell demands payment in the form of $30,000, which James agrees to.

Darnell, who has little idea of how to act tough himself, tries to put on a facade of his own to convince James that he can show him how to prepare himself. To start his “training”, Darnell pepper-sprays James upon arriving to his home. He tries to get James ready for prison by intimidating with his “mad dog” face (James can only “sad dog” it), creating scenarios in which he must defend himself, and picking fights at the park (only for James to be beaten multiple times). James gets in touch with Martin and says he’s getting help. Martin, who is the actual crook, thinks James is onto him and orders Peter and a hired gun named Gayle to take care of business.

 

Our Thoughts:

Two words: “Freaking Hillarious.” – MR

 

Find “Get Hard” and see a new trailer here.


We review: Kingsman: The Secret Service “4 stars for being an awesome, spy, action flick…a good time! – MR

Kingsman: The Secret Service

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman The Secret Service poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Produced by
  • Adam Bohling
  • David Reid
  • Matthew Vaughn
Screenplay by
Based on The Secret Service
by Mark Millar
Dave Gibbons
Starring
Music by
Cinematography George Richmond
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 13 December 2014(Butt-Numb-A-Thon)
  • 29 January 2015(United Kingdom)
  • 13 February 2015(United States)
Running time
129 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States[2]
Language English
Budget $81 million[3]
Box office $85.8 million[3]

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2015 spy action comedy film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, and based on the comic book The Secret Service, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. The screenplay was written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. The film stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, and Michael Cain

Plot

During a mission secret agent Harry Hart is unable to prevent the death of one of his fellow agents. Feeling guilt, he personally delivers a bravery medal to the man’s widow and his young son, Eggsy, saying that if they ever need help, they should call the phone number on the back of the medal and deliver a coded message.

Seventeen years later, during a mission to find Professor Arnold, a kidnapped climate scientist, another Kingsman agent, Lancelot, is killed by Gazelle, an assassin with bladed prosthetic legs. In London, Eggsy is unemployed and living with his mother, infant sister and an abusive stepfather. Despite being intelligent and able, he left the training for the Royal Marines because his mother worried he would end up like his father. A thug threatens him in a pub, so Eggsy leaves, but steals the thug’s car. After being arrested, Eggsy calls the number on the back of the medal and is released. Harry meets him outside the station and takes him to a local pub, where he criticises Eggsy for wasting his life. When the thug shows up with his friends for retribution for Eggsy’s theft of the car, Harry advises the thugs to leave. When they rebuff him, Harry easily beats the thugs up.

Harry tells Eggsy about the secret intelligence agency that he works for and for which Eggsy’s late father worked: Kingsmen, and informs Eggsy that the Kingsmen have a vacancy for a new agent (to fill Lancelot’s spot). He takes Eggsy to training headquarters via a the tailor shop that functions as Harry’s civilian cover. Eggsy meets a group of new candidates, including a girl named Roxy. The programme is designed to weed out the unsuitable until only one candidate remains. The training is overseen by Merlin, a senior Kingsman, and each recruit is assigned a new dog to train in turn. Eggsy and Roxy emerge as the final two candidates. Encouraged, Harry has Eggsy issued a suit. When the head of the training programme, Arthur, instructs Eggsy to shoot his dog as the final challenge, Eggsy refuses and is ejected from the selection process; Roxy shoots hers and is given the job. Harry later reveals that the guns were loaded with blanks; it was a test of the candidates’ obedience.

Meanwhile, the Kingsmen are investigating Internet billionaire Richmond Valentine, who has announced a world-wide giveaway of SIM cards that allow free phone calls and internet access. The Kingsmen suspect him of being involved in a number of disappearances of VIPs, including the Swedish Princess. Harry tracks Professor Arnold to his class, where he interrogates him about Valentine’s whereabouts. A chip implanted in Arnold’s head explodes, killing him and injuring Harry. Once he recovers, Harry poses as a tycoon and has dinner with Valentine, who explains his views to Harry, stating that humanity is akin to a virus, and that global warming is the Earth’s equivalent of a fever. Later, having tracked Harry, Valentine shows up at Harry’s tailor shop, where Valentine and Harry further size each other up.

In a mid-credits scene, Eggsy appears in the same bar where Harry first invited him to join the Kingsmen. He tells his mother he has a job that comes with money and a new house that he invites his mother to come share. When his stepfather tries to prevent Eggy’s mother from leaving the pub, Eggsy knocks him unconscious, and prepares to do the same to his friends.

Cast

Our Thoughts

Kingsmen was great in that it embodied the essence of these types of secret-service. British, super-agent types of films. ie: A GREAT SUPERVILLAN with an awesomely diabolical plan to destroy the world as we know it. The cast was solid, and the acting very good, but there were a few areas where the movie stopped being what it was and became a big Red Bull/McDonalds commercial. It was full of action, and the plot twist near the end got me, which rarely, if ever, happens. For that I would give it 5 stars, but it is based on the comic book called: The Secret Service and not keeping that name, and the association more public, to me, was weak. I didn’t find that out until I researched the movie. So it gets 4 stars for being a bad ass un-original movie, but the comic book gets 5+ stars for creating the characters and plot. Samuel L. Jackson also gets 5 stars. His Mike Tyson-like lisp was maintained flawlessly throughout, and I loved him as a super villan. A perfect psychopath. Part of me, the intelligent, realistic part of me, even agreed with him. But not so much with his methods. The Earth is being over populated, there is no doubt. Pay attention to the villain’s motive. 4 stars for being an awesome spy action flick. Highly recommended for a good time! – MR

 

Find Kingsmen: The Secret Service and see a new trailer here.


We Review: Jupiter Ascending – Almost as cool as Guardians of the Galaxy… Almost! – MR

Jupiter Ascending

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jupiter Ascending
'Jupiter Ascending' Theatrical Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
  • The Wachowskis
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography John Toll
Edited by Alexander Berner
Production
company
Distributed by
Release dates
Running time
127 minutes[2]
Country
  • United States
  • Australia
Language English
Budget $176 million[3]
Box office $6.4 million[3]

Jupiter Ascending is a 2015 space opera[4] film written, produced, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski. StarringChanning Tatum and Mila Kunis, the film is centered on Jupiter Jones (Kunis), a down-on-her-luck maid, and Caine Wise (Tatum), an interplanetary warrior who informs Jones that her destiny extends beyond Earth. Supporting cast memberDouglas Booth has described the film’s universe as a cross between The Matrix and Star Wars[5][6][7] while Kunis named its underlying themes as indulgence[8] and consumption.[9][10][11]

The film was co-produced by Grant Hill, who acted as executive producer on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions and as producer on V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, and Cloud Atlas, making Jupiter Ascending his seventh collaboration with the Wachowskis. Several more longstanding Wachowski collaborators since the creation of The Matrix films have contributed to the picture,[12] including production designer Hugh Bateup, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, visual effects designer John Gaeta, supervising sound editor Dane Davis and costume designerKym Barrett. Other notable past collaborators include Speed Racer‘s composer Michael Giacchino, Cloud Atlasdirector of photography John Toll along with its editor Alexander Berner and hair and make-up designer Jeremy Woodhead, who worked on both.

The film has received mixed to negative reviews, with critics praising the visuals, world-building, and originality, but criticizing the story and screenplay.

Plot

Unknown to Earth’s residents, life on Earth and countless other planets has been seeded[13] by families of alienroyalty[14] for the purpose of harvesting the evolved living creatures once they reach a “Darwinian state of perfection” to produce a type of youth serum that allows them to live forever.[15] When the matriarch of the House of Abrasax, the most powerful of the alien dynasties, dies[9] her children Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Kalique (Tuppence Middleton), and Titus (Douglas Booth) are at war over the inheritance. Eventually a new heir comes to their attention: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), an unsuspecting, Earth-living, unlucky cleaner of other people’s homes.[16] Jupiter encounters Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered interplanetary warrior, who came to Earth to reveal that her genetic signature makes Jones royalty and heir to Earth. Meanwhile, he has to protect her from Balem, who put a bounty on her head and would rather harvest Earth than lose it to Jones.[17]

Cast

  • Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, an unsuspecting, unlucky, Earth-born janitor whose genetic structure marks her as royalty and the heir to Earth. Kunis describes her character as unhappy with her job and life, but also lazy and with no aspirations to do anything about it, until Caine finds her.[9]
  • Channing Tatum as Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter. Caine is a defective genetic splice, half-albino and with both wolf and human DNA.[18]He has a tremendously powerful sense of smell that allows him to track a gene through the Universe.[19] Tatum had to wear a mouthpiece to change the shape of his lower jaw, which prevented him from closing his mouth and gave him trouble when he had to talk.
  • Sean Bean as Stinger Apini, a “Han Solo-type character”.[20] Stinger is spliced with bee DNA, which gives him some of their characteristics: wings, speed, special vision and a sense of loyalty. Stinger was in the military with Caine but when Caine got into trouble and Stinger stood up for him, his wings were removed and he was exiled to Earth.[9] He lives a normal life on Earth along with his daughter, who he describes as the only good thing he’s done in life, until she falls ill and in need of a special nectar.[11]
  • Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax, alien royalty whose family engages in the planetary business, trading in youth serum.[9] He is the eldest of the three Abrasax siblings and serves as the main antagonist of the film because he wants Earth for himself.
  • Douglas Booth as Titus Abrasax, Balem’s brother. Booth has described his character as “a bit of a playboy”, mentioning his spaceship, as described in the script, as a cross between a Gothic cathedral and the Playboy Mansion.[9]
  • Tuppence Middleton as Kalique Abrasax, Balem’s sister. She approaches Jupiter and befriends her, but like her brothers she has ulterior motives.[9]
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Famulus, a half-human, half-deer genetic splice.[21][22]
  • Terry Gilliam as Seal and Signet Minister[23] in a scene that is an homage to Gilliam’s Brazil.[24]
  • David Ajala as Ibis, the leader of the cyber hunters pursuing Jupiter and Caine.[25]
  • James D’Arcy as Maximilian Jones, Jupiter’s father.
  • Kick Gurry as Vladie, Jupiter’s cousin.
  • Bae Doona as Razo
  • Charlotte Beaumont as Kiza, Stinger’s daughter.[26]
  • Tim Pigott-Smith as Malidictes
  • Edward Hogg as Chicanery Night[27]
  • Nikki Amuka-Bird as Diomika Tsing
  • Vanessa Kirby as Katharine[28]
  • Maria Doyle Kennedy as Aleksa, Jupiter’s mother.
  • Christina Cole as Gemma Chatterjee

Our Thoughts:

The technical and special effect aspects of this movie are flat out amazing. The creatures, spaceships, and technology look and seem real, ALL of them. The story is the typical “un-expecting youth finds out they rule the world” type of thing. Then it becomes the “race against time to stop a wedding and save Earth from being harvested” plot line. When Channing Tatum, who plays, Caine Wise, was trying against all odds to stop his new found love’s unwanted wedding, I was reminded of Ming marrying Dale in the old Flash Gordon. I half expected Queen music to start playing, and if it would have this one would have been better.  4 stars and recommended. It was almost as cool as Guardians of the Galaxy… Almost! – MR

Find Jupiter Ascending and see a new trailer here.


We review “John Wick” “Keanu Reeves redeems himself in this AWESOME 5 star revenge flick.” MR

John Wick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Wick
John Wick TeaserPoster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chad Stahelski
David Leitch (uncredited)
Produced by
Written by Derek Kolstad
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Jonathan Sela
Edited by Elísabet Ronalds
Production
companies
  • Thunder Road Pictures
  • 87Eleven Productions
  • MJW Films
  • DefyNite Films
Distributed by Summit EntertainmentLionsgate Films (US)StudioCanal (Germany)Warner Bros. (UK)
Release dates
  • October 13, 2014(New York City premiere)
  • October 24, 2014(United States)
  • 10th April 2015 United Kingdom[1]
Running time
101 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[3]
Box office $78,739,897 [3]

John Wick is a 2014 American action thriller film[4] directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Starring Keanu Reeves,Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, andWillem Dafoe, the film stars Reeves as John Wick, a retired hitman seeking vengeance for the killing of his puppy, a gift from his recently deceased wife.[5] Stahelski and Leitch, both of 87Eleven Productions, directed the film together, though Leitch was uncredited.[6]

The film was written by Derek Kolstad, who completed the screenplay in 2012 and further developed it for Thunder Road Pictures.[7] The film was produced by Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Pictures, Leitch, Eva Longoria and Michael Witherill. It marks Stahelski and Leitch’s directorial debut as a team after multiple separate credits as second unit directors andstunt coordinators. They previously worked with Reeves as stunt doubles on The Matrix trilogy.[8]

Stahelski and Leitch’s approach to action scenes drew upon their admiration for anime[9] and martial arts films,[10] and the film’s use of fight choreographers[11] and gun fu techniques[12] from Hong Kong action cinema[13] was additionally influential in the development of the piece. As well as prominently paying homage to works such as John Woo‘s The Killer, Jean-Pierre Melville‘s Le Cercle Rouge and Le Samouraï,[14] John Boorman‘s Point Blank, and the spaghetti western subgenre of Western films.[15]

Plot

John Wick (Keanu Reeves), who just lost his wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan) to an undisclosed illness, receives a gift from her posthumously in the form of a puppy named Daisy, along with a letter from her saying she arranged for him to have Daisy to help him cope with her demise. Initially indifferent to Daisy, he eventually connects to the puppy as they spend the day driving around in his vintage ’69 Mustang. He encounters a trio of Russian gang members at a gas station and their leader Iosef (Alfie Allen) insists on buying his car, but John refuses to sell and greets Iosef’s snide remark with a retort before leaving. The three follow John to his home, break in at night, and attack John, who watches defenselessly as they kill Daisy before stealing his car.

The following day, Iosef attempts to have the car modified by Aurelio (John Leguizamo), the owner of a chop shop who refuses to take it and hits Iosef when he realizes who it belongs to and what Iosef did to steal it. John subsequently visits Aurelio, who tells him Iosef is the son of Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), head of the Russian crime syndicate in New York and John’s former employer, before lending him another car. Aurelio, who works with Viggo, is forced to explain what happened to Viggo, who berates Iosef and explains who John Wick is: his best assassin, nicknamed Baba Yaga(“the Boogeyman”), who retired after falling in love with a woman and had helped Viggo gain control of his syndicate by single-handedly eliminating all competition, a task Viggo considered “impossible.”

Viggo, wanting to protect his son, attempts to talk John out of seeking retribution, which John abruptly disregards, prompting Viggo to send a hit squad to John’s house to execute him, only for John to dispatch them swiftly. Viggo puts a $2 million bounty on John and first gives the offer to Marcus (Willem Dafoe), a veteran assassin and John’s mentor, who accepts. John subsequently seeks refuge at the Continental, a hotel that exclusively caters to assassins, with the rule that no business can be conducted on premises. When Viggo learns of this, he doubles the bounty. John learns from Winston (Ian McShane), the owner of the Continental, that Viggo has Iosef protected at his nightclub, the Red Circle.

John goes to the club and kills Iosef’s friend Victor before dispatching most of the security staff, but Iosef escapes after John is subdued by Viggo’s henchman Kirill. John escapes back to the Continental to treat his wounds before being attacked by Ms. Perkins (Adrianne Palicki), an assassin and former acquaintance of John’s who had taken the contract to kill him. Her surprise attack on John is foiled when Marcus, who had been watching John sleep through a sniper rifle’s scope from a building across the street, wakes John up by shooting the pillow next to his head. John eventually subdues Perkins and forces her to reveal the location of Viggo’s cash before leaving her with a neighbor and friend, Harry (Clarke Peters), to await her punishment for breaking the hotel rules. Perkins eventually breaks free and kills Harry.

John goes to a church, which is a front for the cash, eliminates all the guards, and burns Viggo’s money, as well as various intelligence against the police and government officials that Viggo uses as leverage. When Viggo arrives at the church, John ambushes them, but is eventually subdued. Viggo taunts him for causing trouble over a dog and thinking he could leave his old life behind. He leaves John to be tortured and killed by Kirill and another henchman, but Marcus kills the other henchman, allowing John to break free and kill Kirill. John intercepts Viggo’s car and forces him to reveal Iosef’s location and pull the bounty, which Viggo reluctantly does. John goes to the safe house where Iosef is hiding, and kills all of the guards before killing Iosef.

Perkins sees that John and Marcus have been in contact and tells Viggo, who has Marcus tortured and killed in his home over his betrayal. Viggo contacts John about Marcus’ death, luring John to his home, where Perkins is waiting to ambush him. Before she can do so, she gets called to a secret meeting with Winston, who revokes her membership to the Continental for breaking the rules and has her swiftly executed by a handful of other assassins. Winston calls John to inform him of a helicopter coming to the harbor to transport Viggo away. John races to the harbor and executes Viggo’s remaining henchmen before getting into a fistfight with Viggo on the dock.

Viggo pulls out a knife on John and as they fight, John forces it into in his already wounded abdomen. Startled by this, Viggo releases his hold on the knife. Gaining the upper hand, John takes Viggo’s knife and stabs him on the side of the neck. Viggo, mortally wounded, slumps over and dies. John, wounded but still able-bodied, stops elsewhere to re-watch a video of himself and his wife on his phone. After gaining strength, John ends up at a veterinary clinic where he attempts to treat his wound. He then takes a dog out from one of the cages for a walk on the boardwalk, where he had his last date with Helen.

Our Thoughts:

 

This is one of the best revenge movies I have ever seen. I have never wanted a bad guy to meet his end more, and I have never wanted the good guy to be the one who delivered the death blow as badly as I did in this one. While I have mocked Keanu’s acting before (See our review of 47 Ronin) This type of role is perfect for him. The ALLSTAR cast doesn’t hurt either. Keanu Reeves redeems himself in this AWESOME 5 star revenge flick. – MR   HIGHLY RECOMENDED

 

Find John Wick and see a new trailer here.


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