We Review #Godzilla: King of the Monsters “In this film, Godzilla plays the Green New Deal. Don’t waste your money.” – MR

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Godzilla – King of the Monsters (2019) poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Dougherty
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Michael Dougherty
  • Zach Shields
Story by
Based on GodzillaKing GhidorahMothraRodan
by Toho
Starring
Music by Bear McCreary
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • May 13, 2019 (Beijing)
  • May 31, 2019 (United States)
Running time
132 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $170–200 million[2][3]

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a 2019 American monster film directed and co-written by Michael Dougherty. A sequel to Godzilla (2014), it is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise, the third film in Legendary‘s MonsterVerse, and the third Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.[Note 1] The film stars Kyle ChandlerVera FarmigaMillie Bobby BrownBradley WhitfordSally HawkinsCharles DanceThomas MiddleditchAisha HindsO’Shea Jackson Jr.David StrathairnKen Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi. It is dedicated to executive producer Yoshimitsu Banno and original Godzilla suit performer Haruo Nakajima, who both died in 2017. In the film, humans must rely on Godzilla to defeat King Ghidorah and other Titans who have awakened and are causing destruction around the world.

The sequel was green-lit during the opening weekend of Godzilla, with original director Gareth Edwards expected to return. After Edwards left the project in May 2016, Dougherty, who had been hired in October 2016 to re-write the script with Zach Shields, was announced as the director in January 2017. Principal photography began in June 2017 in AtlantaGeorgia and wrapped in September 2017.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on May 31, 2019. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the visual effects, musical score, and action sequences but criticism aimed at the underdeveloped human characters and thin storyline.[5] A sequel, Godzilla vs. Kong, is scheduled to be released on March 13, 2020.

Plot

Paleobiologist Emma Russell works for crypto-zoological organization Monarch to track down and study Titans, giant God-like monsters that once dominated the Earth. She and her daughter Madison witness the birth of a giant larva dubbed Mothra. Emma calms Mothra down through her device, the “Orca”, which is capable of emitting frequencies that only Titans can hear. Mothra becomes docile, until an organization of eco-terrorists, led by Alan Jonah, attack and kidnap both Emma and Madison. Mothra manages to escape and cocoon itself underneath a waterfall.

Monarch scientists and soldiers led by doctors Ishirō Serizawa and Vivienne Graham approach Mark, Emma’s ex-husband, to track down Emma and Madison. They follow Godzilla to Antarctica and realize Jonah intends to free a Titan encased in ice called “Monster Zero”. Jonah’s team ambushes the Monarch soldiers and Mark is unable to rescue Emma and Madison. Emma frees and awakens Monster Zero herself. The Titan begins rampaging until Godzilla emerges and the two engage in a fight that ends with Monster Zero flying away after killing Graham.

Monarch finds out that Jonah’s next target is Mexico when they are contacted by Emma, revealing her involvement with Jonah all along after being fueled to finish her research after the death of her son, Andrew, during the 2014 attack on San Francisco.[N 1]Before the evacuation is complete, Jonah orders Emma to wake up Rodan. Monarch’s jets lure Rodan to fight the approaching Monster Zero, who defeats Rodan. Godzilla emerges from the ocean and engages Monster Zero, tearing off one of its heads. In the midst of the battle, the military launches a missile known as the “Oxygen Destroyer” towards them, seemingly killing Godzilla, who sinks into the ocean. Monster Zero survives and regenerates a new head. Rodan becomes submissive to its rule as Monster Zero awakens all the dormant Titans.

Through mythological texts, Dr. Ilene Chen reveals that Monster Zero is Ghidorah, an ancient alien who serves as Godzilla’s primary rival for apex predator. Mothra emerges from her cocoon and flies to the Bermuda facility in the ocean where it is able to communicate with Godzilla, who had survived the detonation and is recuperating in a chamber inside an ancient underwater city. Monarch uses the communication frequency to locate the pair. There, Mark and a Monarch team board a submarine to revive Godzilla, as they realize the natural process could take years. They decide to detonate a nuclear weapon, allowing Godzilla to feed on the radiation, but due to earlier damages the submarine suffered from a vortex, the weapon system is offline. Serizawa volunteers and sacrifices himself to manually detonate the weapon, which revives Godzilla.

In Boston, Emma realizes that the destruction Ghidorah and the other Titans will bring is far worse than what humans could inflict, but Jonah ignores her pleas to turn back. Madison overhears this and steals the Orca. In Fenway Park, Madison broadcasts a frequency that attracts all the Titans to its location. Ghidorah arrives in Boston and attempts to destroy the Orca, with Godzilla appearing with Monarch’s assistance to engage it. Mark leads a Monarch team to rescue Madison and escape the city before Godzilla overloads and emits a thermonuclear explosion. Mothra and Rodan arrive and fight each other while Godzilla battles Ghidorah. Mothra defeats Rodan but is disintegrated by Ghidorah. Her essence descends onto Godzilla.

Mark, Emma, and Madison are reunited and attempt to restart the damaged Orca to lure Ghidorah away from an injured Godzilla. As they are evacuated, Emma drives away with the Orca to continue luring Ghidorah so Mark and Madison can escape, sacrificing herself in the process. Godzilla recovers, now glowing red, and unleashes thermonuclear blasts, bombarding Ghidorah with atomic pulses that burns it away. Rodan and the other Titans then converge on Godzilla, and bow to him.

During the credits, it is revealed that Monarch has divulged their information on the Titans to the public. News clippings indicate Mothra regenerating in a cocoon, Titans beginning to converge on Skull Island, and ancient paintings displaying Godzilla battling Kong. In a post-credit scene, a fisherman reveals one of Ghidorah’s decapitated heads to Jonah, who purchases it.

Cast

  • Kyle Chandler as Dr. Mark Russell:
    Emma’s ex-husband, Madison’s father, an animal behavior and communication specialist who formerly worked for Monarch, and co-inventor of “the Orca”, a machine that enables communication with the Titans but can also “potentially control them using their bioacoustics on a sonar level.”[6]. After suffering a loss, Mark has an unfavorable opinion of the Titans, Godzilla in particular. Despite this, he joins a rescue mission along with Dr. Serizawa and Dr. Graham to save Emma and Madison from nefarious forces.[7][8] Chandler spoke of the film’s themes being about “healing the planet”.[9]
  • Vera Farmiga as Dr. Emma Russell:
    Mark’s ex-wife, Madison’s mother, a paleobiologist working for Monarch with a history of environmental activism, and co-inventor of the Orca. Unlike Mark, Emma believes that humans and Titans can co-exist peacefully.[10] She and Madison are kidnapped by a mysterious organization interested in her technology, with their own plans for the creatures.[7] Farmiga has described her character as being a “DJ for the monsters”, stating, “She has figured out a way to communicate with the creatures…” She also described the film being about “saving the environment.”[6] Farmiga noted that while the previous film focused on a father/son relationship, King of the Monsters focuses on a mother/daughter relationship. Due to this, Farmiga believes the film may pass the Bechdel test.[11]
  • Millie Bobby Brown as Madison Russell:
    Emma and Mark’s 12-year-old daughter. Like her parents, Madison is academically gifted in science but she’d rather live a normal life. She has a distant relationship with her father since her parents divorced but she remains in contact with him. She is kidnapped alongside her mother.[7][12] Lexi Rabe plays a young Madison under her credited name of “Alexandra Rachael Rabe.”
  • Bradley Whitford as Dr. Rick Stanton:
    A crypto-sonographer working for Monarch. Dougherty verified that Dr. Stanton is loosely modeled after Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty. Dougherty had the character “drink a lot” to keep the character in line with the spirit of Rick Sanchez.[9]
  • Sally Hawkins as Dr. Vivienne Graham:
    paleozoologist working for Monarch as Serizawa’s right-hand woman. Hawkins reprises her role from Godzilla (2014).
  • Charles Dance as Colonel Alan Jonah:
    A former British Army colonel and MI-6 agent who defected after becoming disillusioned by humanity during his time in the service. Obsessed with “leveling the global playing field” and restoring the natural order, he became the mercenary leader of an anarchist eco-terrorist group funded through the trafficking of Titan DNA. In 2005, he was jailed in a Pakistani prison after encountering Monarch agents when attempting to breach the walls of an underground MUTO dig site with a band of accomplice mercenaries.[13] After previously stalking Emma and attempting to raid some of her labs around the world, he takes her and Madison hostage to gain control of the Orca and further his agenda.[9][14] Dougherty described Jonah as a mysterious character with conflicting ideas about the Titans’ role in the world, believing that mankind has damaged the planet and bringing back the Titans will potentially set things right.[15]
  • Thomas Middleditch as Dr. Sam Coleman:
    Monarch’s Director of Technology, leader on the development of the Monarch Sciences network, and communications liaison with the U.S. government.[16]
  • Aisha Hinds as Colonel Diane Foster:
    A decorated colonel who formerly served as an instructor in the 75th U.S. Army Ranger Regiment and is now the leader of the G-Team, the special military forces group run by Monarch specializing in battles involving Titans.
  • O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Jackson Barnes:
    chief warrant officer who is a member of the G-Team.
  • David Strathairn as Admiral William Stenz:
    An Admiral in the 7th Fleet of the United States Navy. He is the commander of the U.S. Navy task force and was previously in charge of tracking down the MUTOs. Strathairn reprises his role from Godzilla (2014).
  • Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ishirō Serizawa:
    A high-ranking scientist working for Monarch. His father Eiji Serizawa was one of Monarch’s founding fathers, so he’s seen by many as the agency’s de facto leader. Watanabe reprises his role from Godzilla (2014). Watanabe noted the film’s themes, stating, “In the 21st century we need to do think about natural disasters. This creature is symbolic of that natural disaster. We cannot control them, but we must live on this planet.”[17]
  • Zhang Ziyi as Dr. Ilene Chen and Dr. Ling Chen:
    mythologist working for Monarch, specializing in deciphering the mythological backgrounds of the Titans in connection with tales and legends throughout history.[18] With her twin sister Dr. Ling, Ilene is a third generation Monarch operative in her family, having joined the agency like their grandmother and mother before them.

Joe Morton appears as an older Dr. Houston Brooks, a character that originally appeared in Kong: Skull Island and was previously portrayed by Corey Hawkins. Additionally, CCH Pounder portrays Senator Williams, Anthony Ramos portrays Staff Sergeant Anthony Martinez, Elizabeth Ludlow portrays First LieutenantLauren Griffin, and Jonathan Howard portrays Asher Jonah, while Randy Havens portrays Dr. Tim Mancini. Tyler Crumley portrays Mark and Emma’s son Andrew who was killed during Godzilla’s fight with the MUTOs in San Francisco. Kevin Shinick cameos as a weatherman. Through motion captureT.J. Stormreprises his role as Godzilla,[19] while Jason Liles, Alan Maxson, and Richard Dorton portray the heads of King Ghidorah. Liles also portrays Rodan via mo-cap.[20] Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah were credited as themselves.

Production

Production credits[21][22]

  • Michael Dougherty – director, co-writer
  • Zach Shields – co-writer, executive producer
  • Barry H. Waldman – executive producer
  • Dan Lin – executive producer
  • Roy Lee – executive producer
  • Yoshimitsu Banno – executive producer (posthumous)
  • Kenji Okuhira – executive producer

Our Thoughts

Godzilla has always represented the terror of the deep, and the idea that this destructive creature feeds on the radiation left by US bombs in Japan helped the creature grow dear in the hearts of original fans.  In this movie, they turn politico, and make it into an eco-awareness flick I like Godzilla, and I like him in this movie, but I go to movies like this to get away from reality. Not be beaten with it. I didn’t like the acting, the plot, the story, or the directing. The special effects are very cool and tight, if a little different than, say, Jurassic Park, or Starwars. If you like this franchise, see it. Otherwise, save your money. This one will have an extended cable movie channel run, I’m sure. – 2 stars is a gift. – MR

Find Godzilla: Kind of the Monsters and see the new trailer, here.

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We Review: #JohnWick Ch.3 #Parabellum “An entertaining series, but just more of the same from part 1 and 2. 3.5 stars” – MR

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chad Stahelski
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by Derek Kolstad
Based on Characters
by Derek Kolstad
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Dan Laustsen
Edited by Evan Schiff
Production
company
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date
  • May 9, 2019 (Brooklyn)
  • May 17, 2019 (United States)
Running time
131 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million[2][3]
Box office $187.7 million[4]

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (also known as John Wick: Chapter 3 or simply John Wick 3) is a 2019 American neo-noir action thriller film starring Keanu Reeves as the titular character. It is the third installment in the John Wick film series, following John Wick (2014) and John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017). The film is directed by Chad Stahelski[5] and written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams, based on a story by Kolstad. It also stars Halle BerryLaurence FishburneMark DacascosAsia Kate DillonLance ReddickAnjelica Huston, and Ian McShane. In the film, ex-hitman John Wick finds himself on the run from legions of assassins after a $14 million contract is put on his head.

The first film was always meant to begin a series, and a third installment was announced in June 2017. Much of the returning cast and crew was confirmed in February 2018, with new members joining that May. Filming began that month and lasted through November, taking place in New York CityMontreal, and Morocco.

John Wick: Chapter 3 was theatrically released in the United States on May 17, 2019, by Summit Entertainment. It has grossed $187 million worldwide, surpassing the entire gross of the second film in just 10 days, and received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the fight choreography, visual style, and Reeves’ performance.

Plot

Less than an hour after the conclusion of the previous film, former hitman John Wick is now a marked man and on the run in Manhattan. After the unsanctioned killing of crime lord and new member of the High Table Santino D’Antonio in the New York City Continental, John is declared “excommunicado” by his handlers at the High Table and placed under a $14 million bounty. On the run from assassins, John reaches the New York Public Libraryand recovers a crucifix necklace and a “marker” medallion from a secret cache in a book. He fights his way through numerous assassins populating New York City until he reaches The Director, a woman from his past, who accepts the crucifix as a “ticket” for safe passage to CasablancaMorocco. The Director also brands Wick to signify that he has used up all his favors with her.

Meanwhile, an adjudicator with the High Table meets with Winston, the manager of the New York City Continental, and the Bowery King, the leader of a network of vagrant assassins. The adjudicator admonishes both for helping John Wick kill Santino D’Antonio, and both are given seven days to give up their offices or face serious consequences.

In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, a former friend and the manager of the Casablanca Continental. He presents his marker and asks Sofia to honor it by directing him to The Elder, a high-ranking member of the High Table, so that he can ask to have his bounty waived. Sofia takes him to an assassin named Berrada, who tells John that he may find the Elder by wandering through the desert until he cannot walk any longer. In exchange for this information, he asks for one of Sofia’s dogs; when Sofia refuses, he shoots the dog. In a bout of rage, Sofia shoots Berrada, and the duo fight their way out of the kasbah and flee into the desert.

Having fulfilled her marker, Sofia leaves John in the desert. He roams until he collapses from exhaustion but is found by The Elder’s men. John explains his actions, saying he is desperate to live on to “earn” the memory of the love he once had with his wife. The Elder agrees to forgive John but only if he assassinates Winston and continues to work for the High Table until his death. To show his commitment, John severs his ring finger and gives his wedding ring to The Elder.

Meanwhile, the adjudicator recruits the assassin Zero and his “students” to enforce the will of the High Table. With Zero’s help, the adjudicator accosts the Director and the Bowery King. As penance, both are maimed, the Bowery King almost fatally. John arrives back in New York City and is pursued by Zero’s men, but he escapes to the Continental and takes sanctuary. He meets with Winston, who encourages John not to die as a killer but as a man who loved and was loved by his wife.

Then the adjudicator arrives…

Our Thoughts

Though my wife says this is the best of the John Wick films, I disagree. From start to finish there was absolutely nothing surprising here. If you have seen part 1 or 2, you know exactly what to expect. There is not enough new, or intriguing plot to give it a higher rating. JW is great movie night fun, and an entertaining series, but part 3 is just more of the same from part 1 and 2.   3.5 stars – MR

Find John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and see the new trailer here.


We Review #Avengers: #Endgame “They saved the best for last! 5 Stars” – MR

Avengers: Endgame

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Avengers: Endgame
Avengers Endgame poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Anthony Russo
  • Joe Russo
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by
  • Christopher Markus
  • Stephen McFeely
Based on
Starring
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Trent Opaloch
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
Running time
181 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $350–400 million[2]
Box office $305 million[3]

Avengers: Endgame is a 2019 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, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, and the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr.Chris EvansMark RuffaloChris HemsworthScarlett JohanssonJeremy RennerDon CheadlePaul RuddBrie LarsonKaren GillanDanai GuriraBradley Cooper, and Josh Brolin. In the film, the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies work to reverse the damage caused by Thanos in Infinity War.

The film was announced in October 2014 as Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2. The Russo brothers came on board to direct in April 2015, and by May, Markus and McFeely signed on to script the film. In July 2016, Marvel removed the title, referring to it simply as Untitled Avengers film. Filming began in August 2017 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, shooting back-to-back with Infinity War, and ended in January 2018. Additional filming took place in the Metro and Downtown Atlanta areas and New York. The official title was revealed in December 2018.

Avengers: Endgame was widely anticipated, and Disney backed the film with extensive marketing campaigns. It premiered in Los Angeles on April 22, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on April 26, 2019, in IMAX and 3D. The film received praise for its direction, acting, entertainment value and emotional weight, with critics lauding its culmination of the 22-film story. It also broke numerous box office records, and has grossed $305 million worldwide.

Plot

**SPOILERS** ALERT ** SPOILERS **

Three weeks after Thanos uses the Infinity Stones to eliminate half of all life across the Universe,[N 1] Carol Danvers rescues Nebula and Tony Stark from deep space and returns them to Earth. They rejoin the remaining AvengersNatasha RomanoffBruce BannerSteve RogersRocketThor, and James Rhodes. The team track Thanos to an uninhabited planet he has fled to. Thanos reveals he destroyed the Infinity Stones to prevent the culling from being reversed and is decapitated by Thor.

Five years later, Scott Lang escapes the quantum realm[N 2] and finds Romanoff and Rogers at the Avengers’ compound. He suggests traveling back in time via the quantum realm to thwart Thanos in the past. The trio turns to Stark to develop a time machine for them; Stark, now raising a young daughter, only agrees after reflecting on the loss of Peter Parker. Stark assists Banner, who has learned to become the Hulk without losing his intelligence, in completing the project. Romanoff recruits Clint Barton, who has become a vigilante after his family was disintegrated. Banner and Rocket find Thor in Norway where he has become a drunken recluse.

The Avengers split into groups to retrieve the Infinity Stones from the past. Banner, Lang, Rogers, and Stark travel to New York City in 2012.[N 3] Banner visits the Sanctum Sanctorum and convinces the Ancient One to give him the Time Stone, promising to return it afterwards to prevent the Universe from breaking down. Meanwhile, Rogers manages to steal the Mind Stone, but Lang and Stark’s attempt to steal the Space Stone fails and Loki escapes with it. Rogers and Stark use the last of their size-altering Pym Particles to travel to S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s secret base under Camp Lehigh in 1970. They steal the Space Stone and some vials of Pym Particles to return to the present.

Rocket and Thor travel to Asgard in 2013 to retrieve the Reality Stone from Jane Foster,[N 4] where Thor obtains his former hammer, Mjolnir. Barton and Romanoff travel to Vormir in 2014 and learn from the Soul Stone’s keeper, the Red Skull, that it can only be acquired by sacrificing someone they love. After a fight between the pair, Romanoff sacrifices herself. On Morag, in the same year, Nebula and Rhodes steal the Power Stone before Peter Quill can.[N 5] Rhodes returns to the present with the Stone, but Nebula is left behind when her cybernetic implants overload when her mind connects to her past self. Thanos uses this connection to access future-Nebula’s memories and thereby learns of his future fate and the Avengers’ plans. He captures future-Nebula and sends past-Nebula forward to the present as a spy.

 

Cast

Our Thoughts

I loved it. This was a great ending to an epic collection of films. While a tad too political for my taste, the finale delivers a little something for everyone, including romance, more action than you can imagine, and tears. There were lots of tears around me in the theater, but I won’t say why.  Marvel definitely saved the best for last. 5 stars and highly recommended. – MR

 

Find Avengers: Endgame and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #CaptainMarvel “Nothing new here. Not bad, but not awesome. 3 Stars.” – MR

Captain Marvel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Anna Boden
Ryan Fleck
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by Pinar Toprak
Cinematography Ben Davis
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • February 27, 2019(London)
  • March 8, 2019 (United States)
Running time
124 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $152–175 million[2][3]
Box office $994.3 million[4]

Captain Marvel is a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the twenty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, with Geneva Robertson-Dworet also contributing to the screenplay. Brie Larson stars as Danvers, alongside Samuel L. JacksonBen MendelsohnDjimon HounsouLee PaceLashana LynchGemma ChanAnnette BeningClark Gregg, and Jude Law. Set in 1995, the story follows Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after Earth is caught in the center of a galactic conflict between two alien civilizations.

Development of the film began as early as May 2013, and was officially announced in October 2014, making it Marvel Studios’ first female-led superhero film. Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve were hired as a writing team the following April after submitting separate takes on the character. The story borrows elements from Roy Thomas‘s 1971 “Kree–Skrull War” comic book storyline. Larson was announced as Danvers at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, with Boden and Fleck brought on board to direct in April 2017. Robertson-Dworet soon took over scripting duties, with the remainder of the cast added by the start of filming. Location shooting began in January 2018, with principal photography beginning that March in California before concluding in July 2018 in Louisiana. Jackson and Gregg—who, among others, reprise their roles from previous MCU films—were digitally de-aged in post-production to reflect the film’s 1990s setting.

Captain Marvel premiered in London on February 27, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on March 8, 2019, in IMAX and 3D. The film has grossed over $994 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2019 and the 11th highest-grossing superhero film of all time. Critics described it as “entertaining”, “enjoyable”, and “savvy”, and praised the performances of Larson, Jackson, and Mendelsohn.

Plot (–SPOILERS–)

In 1995, on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala, Starforce member Vers suffers from amnesia and recurring nightmares involving an older woman. Yon-Rogg, her mentor and commander, trains her to control her abilities while the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence that rules the Kree, urges her to keep her emotions in check.

During a mission to rescue an undercover operative infiltrating a group of Skrulls, alien shapeshifters with whom the Kree are at war, Skrull commander Talos captures Vers, subjects her to a memory probe, and heads to Earth. Vers escapes and crashlands in Los Angeles. Her presence attracts S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, whose investigation is interrupted by a Skrull attack. In the ensuing chase, Vers recovers a crystal containing her extracted memories while Fury kills a Skrull impersonating Coulson. Talos, disguised as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Keller, orders Fury to work with Vers and keep tabs on her.

Using her extracted memories, Vers and Fury go to the Project Pegasus installation at a U.S. Air Force base, where they discover Vers was a pilot presumed to have died in 1989 while testing an experimental jet engine designed by Dr. Wendy Lawson, whom Vers recognizes as the woman from her nightmares. A S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Talos disguised as Keller tries to capture them, but they escape in a cargo jet with Lawson’s stowaway cat Goose. They fly to Louisiana to meet former pilot Maria Rambeau, the last person to see Vers and Lawson alive.

Rambeau and her daughter Monica tell Vers, who was once close to them, that her real name is Carol Danvers. Talos arrives and reveals the Skrulls are refugees searching for a new home and Lawson was Mar-Vell, a renegade Kree scientist helping them. Talos plays a recovered recording from Lawson’s jet, prompting Danvers to remember the crash: Lawson attempted to destroy the engine’s energy-core to keep it from the Kree, but was killed by Yon-Rogg before she could. Destroying the engine herself, Danvers absorbed the energy from the ensuing explosion, giving her powers but losing her memory.

Danvers, Talos, Fury, and Rambeau locate Lawson’s cloaked laboratory orbiting Earth, where Lawson hid several Skrulls, including Talos’s family, and the Tesseract, the power source of the energy-core. There, Danvers is captured by Starforce and interfaces with the Supreme Intelligence. During their conversation, Danvers removes the Kree implant that was suppressing her powers, allowing her to reach her full potential. In the subsequent battle, Fury retrieves Goose, who is revealed to be an alien Flerken. Goose swallows the Tesseract before blinding Fury’s left eye. Danvers destroys a Kree bomber, forcing Kree officer Ronan the Accuser and his squadron to retreat, before overpowering Yon-Rogg on Earth and sending him back to Hala with a warning to the Supreme Intelligence.

Danvers departs to help the Skrulls find a new homeworld, leaving Fury a modified pager to contact her in an emergency. Meanwhile, Fury drafts an initiative to locate heroes like Danvers, naming it after her Air Force call sign, “Avenger.”

Our Thoughts

Captain Marvel’s glowing hands power is getting old. The bad guys in Iron Man II had it, and the kid in Deadpool 2. Probably at least 3 X-men, as well.  I liked the Fury backstory, and how all of this ties to Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers, but COME ON MAN! Disney’s quest to make everyone feel the same, and push politics, is ruining movies.

I’ll still give it 3 stars, and I understand they are trying to give little girls a new heroine. Well, if that is the case, make them one. In the comic world Captain Marvel was just a fill story to help tie the world together. I suppose with Endgame coming up, they had to fill the gaps. It isn’t awesome, but it isn’t bad. See it before you see Avengers: Endgame (review to come Friday 4/26 in the evening) I was disappointed, more in Disney, than in the movie. 3 stars. – MR

Find Captain Marvel and see the new trailer here.


We Review #Alita: Battle Angel “One word: Badass!” – MR

Alita: Battle Angel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alita: Battle Angel
Alita Battle Angel (2019 poster).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Gunnm
by Yukito Kishiro
Starring
Music by Tom Holkenborg
Cinematography Bill Pope[1]
Edited by Stephen E. Rivkin
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox[2]
Release date
Running time
122 minutes[4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $170 million[5][6]
Box office $35.6 million[5]

Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American cyberpunk action film based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series Gunnm, also known as Battle Angel Alita. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez, written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis, and produced by Cameron and Jon LandauRosa Salazar stars as Alita, a cyborg, with supporting roles portrayed by Christoph WaltzJennifer ConnellyMahershala AliEd SkreinJackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson.

Originally announced in 2003, production on and release of the film were repeatedly delayed due to Cameron’s work on Avatar and its sequels. After years of languishing in development hell, Rodriguez was announced as the film’s director in April 2016, with Salazar being cast the following month. Principal photography began in Austin, Texas, in October 2016, lasting through February 2017.

Alita: Battle Angel premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square on January 31, 2019, and was released in the United States on February 14, 2019, by 20th Century Fox in Real D 3DDolby Cinema and IMAX 3D formats. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its visual effects, action sequences and Salazar’s performance, with some calling it one of the better manga adaptations, while criticism was directed at the “muddled” screenplay and the set-up of sequels.[7]

Plot (***SPOILERS***)

In the year 2563, a catastrophic war known as “The Fall” has left the Earth devastated. While scouting the junkyard metropolis of Iron City, cyborg scientist Dr. Dyson Ido discovers a disembodied female cyborg with a fully intact human brain. Ido rebuilds the cyborg, who does not have any recollections of her past, and names her “Alita” after his deceased daughter.

Alita befriends a teenage boy named Hugo, who dreams of moving to the wealthy sky city of Zalem. Hugo introduces her to the competitive sport of Motorball, a battle royale race wherein cyborgs fight to the death.

Alita discovers that Ido is a Hunter-Warrior when she follows him one night and they encounter three cyborg assassins led by Grewishka. When Ido is injured, Alita instinctively attacks the cyborgs, killing two of them while severely damaging Grewishka before he retreats underground. Despite Alita rediscovering her skill in the ancient martial art of “Panzer Kunst”, Ido discourages her from becoming a Hunter-Warrior. The next day, Alita finds and brings home a Berserker body from a downed ship outside the city. Ido refuses to install her in the body, fearing the consequences of her heart’s full compatibility with it.

Fed up with Ido, Alita herself registers as a Hunter-Warrior. One night, she and Hugo enter the Kansas Bar to ask other Hunter-Warriors in helping her take down Grewishka, but they refuse, as Grewishka is not on the wanted list. Suddenly, an upgraded Grewishka storms into the bar and challenges Alita to a rematch, revealing he has been sent by his boss, Nova, to destroy her. Despite her courage and martial arts skills, Alita’s body is sliced up by Grewishka’s bladed fingers before she blinds him with her left arm, and Ido, Hugo, and another Hunter-Warrior force him to retreat. Ido transplants Alita in the Berserker body, which automatically interfaces with her system.

Having fallen in love with Hugo, Alita enters a Motorball tryout race as a means to send Hugo to Zalem. Ido discovers that the other contestants are Hunter-Warriors and wanted cyborgs hired by Vector to kill her. He warns Alita and as the race begins she destroys many of the contestants with her superior skills. Meanwhile, Hugo is being hunted by Zapan after he frames Hugo for murdering a cyborg. Hugo calls Alita for help and she leaves the Motorball race to rescue him. She finds Hugo just as Zapan arrives and reveals to her that Hugo has been attacking cyborgs and stealing their body parts for Vector for use in his Motorball games. Knowing that Alita is in love with Hugo, Zapan mortally wounds him and tells Alita that Hunter-Warrior law dictates that she must either kill Hugo or let Zapan finish him off. Chiren, Ido’s ex-wife, manages to save Hugo by attaching his head to Alita’s heart. Zapan attempts to stop Alita from leaving but she slices part of his face off.

Ido transplants Hugo’s head onto a cyborg body before telling Alita that Hugo’s actions were based upon the false belief that he would be able to eventually buy his way into Zalem. Ido confides that this was only a lie fabricated by Vector, and that citizens of Iron City will never enter Zalem. Alita decides to confront Vector, who has been mind-controlled by Nova, a powerful Zalem scientist. Through Vector, Nova reveals to Alita that Chiren has been harvested for her organs and then orders Grewishka to kill her. Alita battles Grewishka again and kills him before stabbing Vector, telling Nova he made the mistake of underestimating her.

Our Thoughts

Though I have some quips about the whole sexuality of beings with nothing but organic brains, thing… ie: why be a girl (or a boy) if you are just a brain in a robot body. But that aside, the message to youth, that the look of our bodies is not nearly as important as the quality of our minds, rings through in both triumphant and tragic ways.  Having never read the books, or seen the anime, I didn’t know what to expect. I have to say it was awesome. It seems there will be more awesome to come. I will see this one again, and I am glad we saw it in IMAX 3D. 5 shining stars, and Highly Recommended. To sum it up in one word, Alita was Badass! – MR

 

Find Alita: Battle Angel and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Glass, “4 stars. A refreshing take on the trad… hero flick.” -MR

Glass (2019 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Glass
Glass official theatrical poster.jpg

UK release poster
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Produced by
  • M. Night Shyamalan
  • Jason Blum
  • Marc Bienstock
  • Ashwin Rajan
Written by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring
Music by West Dylan Thordson
Cinematography Mike Gioulakis
Edited by
  • Luke Ciarrocchi
  • Blu Murray
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
Running time
129 minutes[4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[5]
Box office $199 million[5]

Glass is a 2019 American superhero thriller film[6] written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is a sequel to Shyamalan’s previous films Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016), serving as the final installment in the Unbreakable trilogy.[7] Bruce WillisSamuel L. JacksonSpencer Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard reprise their Unbreakable roles, while James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy return as their Splitcharacters,[8] with Sarah Paulson, Adam David Thompson, and Luke Kirby joining the cast. In the film, David Dunn becomes locked in a mental hospital alongside his archenemy Mr. Glass, as well as the multi-personality “The Horde,” and must contend with a psychiatrist who is out to prove the trio do not actually possess super-human abilities.

While there was interest in creating a sequel to Unbreakable following its release, Touchstone Pictures opted not to finance one at that time despite the film’s solid box office performance. Shyamalan set out to write Split using a character he had written for Unbreakable but pulled from its script due to balance issues. Shyamalan realized the opportunity he had to create a trilogy of works, and used the ending of Split to establish the film as within the Unbreakable narrative. This included securing the rights to use Willis’s Unbreakable character from Walt Disney Studios, with the promise of including Disney within the production and distribution of this third film alongside Universal PicturesSplit was a financial and critical success, and by April 2017, Shyamalan announced that he had started the production process for Glass.

The film was released on January 18, 2019, by Universal Pictures in the United States and by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, under the Buena Vista International label, in international territories. It has grossed over $199 million worldwide, against a $20 million production budget. It received mixed reviews from critics, with some finding it underwhelming and lamenting the climax, although the performances of McAvoy, Willis and Jackson, as well as the direction, musical score, and entertainment value of the first half of the film were praised.[9][10]

Plot **SPOILER ALERT**

Three weeks after Kevin Wendell Crumb earns the nickname “The Horde”,[N 1] vigilante David Dunn and his now-grown son Joseph, who have been working together to take down criminals, set out to save four cheerleaders Crumb has abducted. David comes across Kevin, whose alter, “Hedwig,” is in control, and discerns the cheerleaders’ location using his extrasensory perception. After freeing the cheerleaders, David confronts Kevin’s superhuman alter, “the Beast”, only for both of them to be arrested when the ensuing fight spills out into the streets.

David and Kevin are sent to a mental institution where Elijah Price, David’s sworn enemy, known as “Mr. Glass”, is being held. Dr. Ellie Staple, the head doctor of the mental institution, works with patients who claim to have special powers. Staple reveals that she has been given three days to persuade David, Kevin, and Elijah that they are “normal” people who simply believe they have super powers. Staple also knows that David’s alleged weakness is water and has a machine that forces the Horde to switch identities, effectively disarming the Beast.

Joseph, Mrs. Price, and Casey Cooke (who survived an attack from the Beast) all visit at separate times to attempt to aid their associates, but fail. As part of her final evaluation, Staple puts the three patients in one room begins to chip away at David and the Horde’s belief in their abilities being supernatural. Though Elijah has been heavily sedated throughout his stay, Staple reveals that his own MRI results show irregularities in the frontal lobe of his brain, which she believes could explain his obsession with proving the existence of super-powered humans.

The evaluation attracts Elijah, who has been surreptitiously swapping out his medication with aspirin and faking his sedated state, to the Beast. That night, Elijah breaks into the Horde’s cell to prepare them for the Beast’s awakening, but is captured and has laser surgery performed on his brain. However, it’s revealed that Elijah had anticipated this and had previously sabotaged the surgical laser, causing it to have no effect on him; he escapes captivity by killing an orderly and sets off to awaken the Beast. Elijah convinces the Beast to battle David during the public unveiling of the city’s new highest tower to revive the Horde’s faith and reveal the existence of superhumans to the world, before turning his attention to David and forcing him to accept the truth of his superhuman abilities to escape, lest Elijah destroy the tower in place of the showdown. David, Kevin and Elijah are all able to escape from the hospital. David and the Beast face off again outside of the hospital and are evenly matched until Staple intervenes. Staple orders four armed men to subdue each of the superhumans, but David and the Beast fend them off.

Elijah tells the Beast that water is David’s weakness, but Joseph intervenes and reveals to the Beast that Elijah orchestrated the train crash that killed Kevin’s father, the same train crash that Elijah caused to find David. After Kevin’s father died, his abusive mother began torturing him, thus leading to the creation of The Beast. The Beast thanks Elijah for creating him, but because his purpose is to protect Kevin, the Beast mortally wounds Elijah and then throws David into a water tank. David survives but is apparently weakened by the fight. The Beast retreats and promises to finish him off at the tower. However, Casey confronts the Beast before he can escape and summons the real Kevin to take control by speaking his full name. Without the Beast’s superhuman strength and durability to protect him, Kevin is fatally shot by one of Staple’s men and dies in Casey’s arms.

Staple’s men then overpower the weakened David and drown him in a flooded pothole. Staple lets David touch her as he dies, granting him a vision of her being part of a secret society trying to keep the existence of superhumans a secret. Staple tells him that if she had convinced him that he was normal, she would have left him alone, but that The Beast ruined that. As Elijah finally dies of his wounds, Staple reveals to him that a human Illuminati-like group have been the masterminds of the obstruction of both heroes and villains alike for over 10,000 years. With Elijah, Kevin and David dead, Staple deletes the security footage and reports her mission as a success.

Unbeknownst to Staple, the cameras around the mental institution had previously been hacked by Elijah and had been live-streaming to a private network. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Price, Joseph and Casey all receive a copy of the footage and choose to release it to the public via the Internet, bringing the existence of superhumans to the awareness of the public to avenge the death of the three extraordinary people.

Cast

  • James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb / The Horde: A former Philadelphia Zoo employee with 23 different personalities whose body chemistry changes with each personality, resulting in a 24th personality known as “The Beast.”, a savage superhuman cannibal whose abilities include superhuman strength, speed, durability, and agility. Kevin’s personalities also include Jade (a teenage girl), Orwell (a historian), Barry (an effeminate man), Patricia (a proper British woman), Hedwig (a nine-year-old boy), Ann and Mary Reynolds (Irish twin girls), Dennis (a perverted man suffering from OCD), Norma (a Southern woman), Luke (a Southern man who spoils movies), and Mr. Pritchard (a professor of Japanese cinema).[11]
  • Bruce Willis as David Dunn / The Overseer: An indestructible security guard with superhuman strength and stamina, as well as an extrasensory ability to see the crimes people have committed by touching them. In the film, Dunn goes by a new alias, “The Overseer”.[12]
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price / Mr. Glass: A superhumanly intelligent mass murderer and comic book theorist with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, who was institutionalized after Dunn discovered his crimes.
  • Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple: A psychiatrist specializing in delusions of grandeur who treats patients convinced they are superhuman beings.
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke: A teenage girl with a history of abuse who was kidnapped by one of Kevin’s personalities as a potential sacrifice to “The Beast” but managed to survive.
  • Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph Dunn: David’s son who has believed in his father’s abilities since he was a child and sees him as a real-life superhero.
  • Charlayne Woodard as Mrs. Price: Elijah’s mother, who took great care of her son, and always told him he was special no matter what others said.
  • Adam David Thompson as Daryl, an employee at the psych ward.[13]
  • Luke Kirby as Pierce, one of Mr. Glass’s caretakers at the facility.[14]

M. Night Shyamalan reprises his cameo role of Jai, the security guard from Dr. Fletcher’s apartment building in Split, who indicates to David Dunn that he was also the same man he confronted about selling drugs at the university stadium in Unbreakable.

Our Thoughts

James McAvoy continues his brilliant portrayal of the Horde. The distinct shifts in personality are remarkable. I saw this movie on a Friday and am reviewing it on Monday for a reason. The meat of this story is that without bad guys, we wouldn’t need good guys. Or maybe it is even deeper. This isn’t the old fashioned good verses evil superhuman ability tale, and it is a rather dark, but refreshing take on the superhero genre.

The tie back to Unbreakable is such that I am going to have to watch it today. Maybe I will review it, too. I reviewed Split, here, when it came out.

I am seeing ALITA, in IMAX 3D on Feb. 14th. That review will be up on the 15th.

As for Glass, I give it 4 stars and recommend it as a refreshing take on the traditional comic book hero flick. -MR

Find Glass, and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Aquaman “I’ll give it 4 stars and leave it at that.” – MR 

Aquaman (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: DONATE NOW! 
Aquaman
Aquaman poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Wan
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by Kirk Morri
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
143 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $160–200 million[4][5][6]
Box office $748.8 million[7]

Aquaman is a 2018 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Directed by James Wan, with a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, from a story by Geoff Johns, Wan and Beall, it stars Jason Momoa as the title character, with Amber HeardWillem DafoePatrick WilsonDolph LundgrenYahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles. It is the third live-action theatrical film featuring Aquaman, following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), and the first full-length feature film centered around the character. In Aquaman, Arthur Curry, the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, must step forward to lead his people against his half-brother, Orm, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms against the surface world.

Development of an Aquaman film began in 2004, with several plans falling through over the years. In August 2014, Beall and Kurt Johnstad were hired to write two competing scripts and the film was officially announced in October 2014. Wan signed on as director in April 2015 and in July 2016 it was announced the film would move forward with Beall’s screenplay, although Wan, Johnstad, Johns and Johnson-McGoldrick all performed various rewrites. The main cast was confirmed throughout 2016 and early 2017. Principal photography began in Australia on May 2, 2017. Most of the film was shot at Village Roadshow Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland, with production also held in CanadaItaly and Morocco. Filming wrapped on October 21, 2017.

Aquaman had its world premiere in London on November 26, 2018, and was released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures in Real D 3DDolby CinemaIMAX and IMAX 3D on December 21, 2018, and has grossed over $748 million worldwide, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 2018. The film received praise for its adventurous tone, Wan’s direction and the performances of Momoa, Heard and Kidman, although criticism was drawn to the convoluted plot and the runtime.[8][9][10]

 

Plot **Spoilers**

In 1985 Mainelighthouse keeper Thomas Curry rescues Atlanna, the princess of the underwater nation of Atlantis, during a storm. They eventually fall in love and have a son named Arthur, who is born with the power to communicate with marine lifeforms. Atlanna is forced to abandon her family and return to Atlantis, entrusting to her loyal advisor Nuidis Vulko the mission of training Arthur. Under Vulko’s guidance, Arthur becomes a skilled warrior but is rejected by the Atlanteans for being a half-breed and ultimately leaves Atlantis behind.

One year after Steppenwolf‘s invasion, Arthur confronts a group of pirates attempting to hijack a Russian Navalnuclear submarine. Their leader, Jesse Kane, dies during the confrontation while his son, David, vows revenge. David later targets Atlantis at the behest of Orm, Arthur’s younger half-brother and Atlantis’ king who uses the attack as a pretext to declare war on the surface. King Nereus of Xebel swears allegiance to Orm’s cause, but his daughter Mera, who has been betrothed to Orm, refuses to aid them and journeys to the surface to ask Arthur for help, earning his trust by saving Thomas from a tidal wave sent by Orm. Arthur reluctantly accompanies Mera to a rendezvous with Vulko, who urges Arthur to find the Trident of Atlan, a magic artifact that once belonged to Atlantis’ first ruler in order to reclaim his rightful place as king. They are ambushed by Orm’s men and Mera and Vulko escape without having been seen, while Arthur is captured.

Orm visits Arthur in captivity and announces that Atlanna was executed for the crime of having a half-breed son, blaming Arthur and the surface for her death. He offers Arthur an opportunity to leave forever, but Arthur instead challenges him to a duel in a ring of underwater lava. Orm gains the upper hand and nearly kills Arthur before Mera rescues him. Together, Arthur and Mera journey to the Sahara desert where the trident was forged and unlock a holographic message that leads them to Sicily, where they retrieve the trident’s coordinates. Meanwhile, Orm provides David with a prototype Atlantean battle suit to kill Arthur, imprisons Vulko upon learning of his betrayal, and coerces the remaining kingdoms of Atlantis to pledge their allegiance to him and his campaign against the surface.

After modifying Orm’s technology, a fully-armored David rechristens himself as Black Manta and ambushes Arthur and Mera in Sicily, injuring Arthur before being thrown off a cliff to his apparent death. Mera nurses Arthur’s wounds as they journey to the trident’s whereabouts, and encourages him to embrace his destiny as a hero. Arriving at their destination, Arthur and Mera are attacked by a legion of amphibious monsters known as The Trench, but manage to fend them off and reach a wormhole that transports them to an uncharted sea located at the center of the Earth. There, they are unexpectedly reunited with Atlanna, who was sacrificed to the Trench for her crimes but managed to escape and reach the uncharted sea, where she has been stranded ever since.

Arthur faces Karathen, the mythical leviathan that guards the trident, and voices his determination to protect both Atlantis and the surface, proving his worth and reclaiming the trident, which grants him control over the seven seas. Orm and his allies lead an army against the crustacean forces of the Kingdom of the Brine with the intent of completing Orm’s surface battle preparations. As Orm declares himself Ocean Master, Arthur and Mera, with the assistance of Karathen and the Trench, intervene and lead an army of marine creatures in battle against him. Orm’s followers renounce their obedience to him and embrace Arthur as the true king upon learning he wields the trident. Arthur defeats Orm in combat, but chooses to spare his life and Orm accepts his fate after discovering Arthur has found and rescued Atlanna. Atlanna returns to the surface to reunite with Thomas while Arthur ascends to the throne with Mera by his side.

In a mid-credits scene, David is rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin, a scientist obsessed with finding Atlantis, and agrees to lead Shin there in exchange for his help in his revenge on Arthur.

Cast

A half-Atlantean/half-human who is reluctant to be king of the undersea nation of Atlantis. He has the ability to manipulate the tides of the ocean, communicate with other aquatic life, and swim at supersonic speeds, and possesses superhuman strength. A younger Arthur Curry is portrayed by various actors including an uncredited infant, Tainu and Tamor Kirkwood at age 3, Kaan Guldur at age 9, Otis Dhanji at age 13, and Kekoa Kekumano at age 16.[11]
Arthur Curry’s love interest, a warrior and daughter of King Nereus. She was raised by Queen Atlanna and groomed to become queen. Mera possesses hydrokinetic and telepathic powers that allow her to control her aquatic environment and communicate with other Atlanteans.[12]
Atlantis’ counselor, who was a mentor of Arthur Curry when he was young. He trained him to fight as well.[13][14]
Arthur Curry’s Atlantean half-brother and ruler of Atlantis, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms to declare war on the surface world out of the belief that humanity polluted the seas.[15][16]
The king of the Atlantean tribe of Xebel and Mera’s father, who allies with Orm.[17][18]
A ruthless pirate and a high-seas mercenary with a flair for creating deadly technological innovations.[19][20]
The Queen of Atlantis, mother of Arthur Curry and Orm.[21]

Additionally, Temuera Morrison portrays Thomas Curry, a lighthouse keeper who is Arthur Curry’s father;[22] Graham McTavish portrays Atlan, the first king of Atlantis and the ancestor of Atlanna, Orm, and Arthur;[23] Ludi Lin portrays Murk, the Captain of the Men-of-War, the frontline army of Atlantis;[24] Randall Park portrays Dr. Stephen Shin, a marine biologist obsessed with finding the lost city of Atlantis;[25] and Michael Beach portrays Jesse Kane, a member of a group of pirates and David Kane’s father.[26]

Djimon Hounsou, Natalia Safran, and Sophia Forrest play the Fisherman King Nicou, the Fisherman Queen, and the Fisherman Princess respectively, whom Orm creates an alliance with as part of his plan to unite the seven kingdoms of the sea where the former provided the voice of King Nicou.[27] Leigh Whannell, Wan’s long time collaborator, appears in the film as a plane pilot,[28] while Julie Andrews provides the voice of Karathen, a mythical leviathan that allies with Aquaman.[29] While Andrew Crawford provides the motion-capture of King Nicou, he also provides the motion-capture of the Brine King, who is voiced by John Rhys-Davies.

Our Thoughts

Lacking the comedic charm of Ant-Man or Dead Pool (even though they tried for it) and relying on a mostly “B-rate” cast (ie: Willem Defoe, and Dolph Lundgren) this was by no means as good as many of the other “comic book movie” upgrades. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a few hours of awesome visual effects and far fetched action and adventure. There were two distinct story lines that could have been two separate movies, and that detracted from the film. I’ll give it 4 stars and leave it at that, because I know you are going to see it, as you should. We saw it in IMAX and it was worth the extra cost of the tickets. – MR

 

Find Aquaman, and see the new trailer here. 

 

 

 


We Review: #MortalEngines #IMAX 3D version, “Action and adventure packed from start to finish. Very cool.” – MR

Mortal Engines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mortal Engines
Mortal Engines teaser poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Christian Rivers
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Mortal Engines
by Philip Reeve
Starring
Music by Junkie XL[1]
Cinematography Simon Raby
Edited by Jonno Woodford-Robinson
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • November 27, 2018(London)
  • December 7, 2018 (New Zealand)
  • December 14, 2018(United States)
Running time
128 minutes[5]
Country
  • New Zealand
  • United States
Language English
Budget $100–150 million[6]
Box office $22.5 million[7]

Mortal Engines is a 2018 post-apocalyptic adventure film directed by Christian Rivers and with a screenplay by Fran WalshPhilippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, based on the novel of the same name by Philip Reeve, and starring Hugo WeavingHera HilmarRobert SheehanJihaeRonan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. An American-New Zealand co-production, the film is set in a post-apocalyptic world where entire cities have been mounted on wheels and motorised, and prey on one another.

Jackson purchased the rights to the book in 2009, but the film languished for several years before being officially announced in 2016. Jackson picked Rivers, who won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on Jackson’s King Kong, to make his directorial debut with the project, and also brought on several members of his production teams from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film series. Filming took place from April to July 2017 in New Zealand.

Mortal Engines had its world premiere on November 27, 2018 in London, was theatrically released in Australia and New Zealand on December 6, 2018 and in the United States on December 14, 2018.[8] The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the visual effects but criticized the direction and “lack of personality”

Plot

Following a cataclysmic conflict known as the Sixty Minute War, the remnants of humanity regroup and form mobile “predator” cities. Under a philosophy known as “Municipal Darwinism”, larger cities hunt and absorb smaller settlements in the “Great Hunting Ground”, which includes Great Britain and Continental Europe. In opposition, settlements of the “Anti-Traction League” have developed an alternative civilization consisting of “static settlements” (traditional, non-mobile cities) in Asia led by Shan Guo (formerly China), protected by the “Shield Wall”. Relics of modern technology such as toasters, computers, and iPhones are valued as “Old-Tech.”

The city of London captures a small mining town called Salzhaken, absorbing its population and resources, under orders of Lord Mayor Magnus Crome. A masked woman among the Salzhakens is Hester Shaw, who seeks to assassinate Thaddeus Valentine, Head of the Guild of Historians. Tom Natsworthy, a teenage Apprentice Historian, is sent to London’s “Gut” to collect Old-Tech for London’s Museum, accompanied by Valentine’s good-natured daughter Katherine. Hester attempts to kill Valentine but Tom intervenes, pursuing Hester to a waste chute. Hester escapes, but not before telling him that Valentine murdered her mother and scarred her face. When Tom informs Valentine of this, he pushes Tom down the chute.

Tom and Hester are forced to work together to traverse the Great Hunting Ground, finding refuge in a town called Scuttlebug, but the owners lock them in a cell and intend to sell them as slaves. Hester confides that Valentine killed her archaeologist mother Pandora after stealing a piece of Old-Tech she found in a dig in the Dead Continent of America, whilst young Hester escaped with a necklace her mother gave her. Meanwhile, Valentine frees Shrike, a reanimated cyborg known as a “Stalker”, from an offshore prison to hunt down and kill Hester. At the slave market of Rustwater, Tom and Hester are rescued by Anti-Traction League agent Anna Fang. During the chaos, Tom and Hester are pursued by Shrike, whom Hester reveals she knows. Hester explains that Shrike had found and raised her, and Hester promised to allow him to turn her into a Stalker like himself, but she left after discovering that London was in the Great Hunting Ground. On London, Katherine grows estranged from her father, especially after learning from the Apprentice Engineer Bevis Pod that Valentine pushed Tom down the chute, and learns that Valentine’s energy project in the re-purposed St Paul’s Cathedral is more than it seems.

Hester and Tom travel on Anna’s airship the Jenny Haniver to the airborne city Airhaven, meeting with other members of the Anti-Traction League. Tom figures out what Pandora discovered is MEDUSA, a superweapon that can destroy cities in an instant. Shrike catches up with them and Airhaven is destroyed in the ensuing fire. Following a fierce skirmish, Shrike is mortally wounded, realizing that Hester is in love with Tom. Before perishing, he makes peace with Hester and frees her of her promise. Hester, Tom, and Anna then travel to the Shield Wall with the surviving Anti-Tractionists. On London, Valentine kills Crome in a coup and drums up support from Londoners by vowing to destroy the Shield Wall with MEDUSA and lead them to a new Hunting Ground in Asia. Anna convinces Governor Kwan to launch the Anti-Tractionist fleet against London, but MEDUSA destroys the fleet and blasts a hole through the Shield Wall. Hester discovers that her mother’s necklace hides a “crash drive” with a kill switch for MEDUSA. Hester, Tom, Anna, and the remaining Anti-Tractionists lead a raid against London, braving the city’s anti-aircraft defences.

Our Thoughts

Having never read the book, I went into this movie not knowing what to expect at all. I was urprised that such an outlandish premise had garnered so much attention, but the immediacy the main characters created, made it all fall nicely into place, as the backdrop world for a basic, yet extrememly exciting thrillride. The effects and imagery were spot on and I have to say, I recomend this for the whole family for a night out. 4.5 stars and easily worth the price of a premium ticket.

 

Find Mortal Engines and see the new trailer, here.


We Review, #FantasticBeasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald “4.5 stars and Highly Recommended” – MR

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald Poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Yates
Produced by
Written by J. K. Rowling
Based on Characters
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 date
  • 8 November 2018 (Paris)
  • 16 November 2018 (United Kingdom and United States)
Running time
134 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[2]
Box office $31 million[1]

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a 2018 fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J. K. Rowling. A joint British and American production, it is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them(2016). It is the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, which began with the Harry Potter film series. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Eddie RedmayneKatherine WaterstonDan FoglerAlison SudolEzra MillerZoë KravitzCallum TurnerClaudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin GuthrieJude Law, and Johnny Depp. The plot follows Newt Scamanderand Albus Dumbledore as they attempt to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, while facing new threats in a more divided wizarding world.

A second Fantastic Beasts film was announced in October 2014, and in July 2016 Rowling confirmed she had completed the script. Depp was cast in November 2016, causing some controversy due to domestic violence allegations recently made against him, and Law signed on in April 2017. Principal photography on the film began at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden in July 2017. Filming also took place in England, including London, Switzerland, and Paris, and ended in December 2017.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premiered in Paris on 8 November 2018 and was released worldwide on 16 November 2018, in Real D 3DDolby CinemaIMAX and ScreenX[3], by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its entertainment and production value, and the performances (particularly from Law and Depp), but criticized the “needlessly complicated, low-stakes plot” while feeling that it was “overburdened” with details setting up future sequels.[4]

Plot

In 1927, the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is being held prisoner by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). When departing New York for transfer back to London, he is freed by follower and MACUSA employee, Abernathy. Grindelwald kills his guards and escapes.

Three months later, Newt Scamander is appealing to the British Ministry of Magic to restore his right to travel, after losing it during his visit to New York City. He meets with Leta Lestrange, an old friend from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who is engaged to his brother Theseus. During his appeal, Newt is offered his travel rights returned if he agrees to work for the Ministry of Magic, alongside his brother, in locating the Obscurial Credence Barebone, who has resurfaced in Paris; Credence is believed by many to be the last survivor of a long pure-blood line of wizards, and by Grindelwald to be the only person who can kill his only living equal, Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore. Newt rejects the offer, and the Auror Grimmson is dispatched in his place. After leaving the Ministry, Newt is summoned to meet with Dumbledore, who also asks him to travel to Paris to find Credence.

Newt returns home to find American friends Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski, who have followed Queenie’s sister Tina to Europe. After a fight concerning the ban on marriage between wizards and Muggles, Queenie leaves alone to find Tina. Newt and Jacob follow both to Paris.

In Paris, Tina attends a freak show at the Circus Arcanus in Paris, searching for Credence. Credence and circus attraction Nagini escape during the show, releasing many of the animals. Credence and Nagini, searching for Credence’s birth mother, find the nurse who put him up for adoption, but Grimmson arrives and kills her, working under Grindelwald’s orders. Meanwhile, Tina meets Yusuf, yet another interested party looking for Credence. Newt and Jacob follow Yusuf to Tina, and Yusuf explains that he has sworn to kill Credence, believed to be his half-brother and a member of the Lestrange family.

Newt and Tina infiltrate the French Ministry of Magic for documents to confirm Credence’s identity and are discovered by Leta and Theseus. Their search leads from the Ministry to the Lestrange family tomb, where Yusuf and Leta explain their relation and Leta reveals her brother died as an infant, and thus cannot be Credence. The trail seems to have been fabricated to lead Credence to the tomb, where Grindelwald is holding a rally for his followers, with Queenie in attendance and Jacob in search of her.

At the rally, Grindelwald preaches “freedom” for wizards from the rules that require them to remain hidden from Muggles, using future images of World War II to call for the supremacy of wizards.

Our Thoughts

While I didn’t like the idea of bringing back all of the players from the first film, it turned out pretty well. Johny Depp is always fun to watch, and the rest of the cast play their parts well. The creatures are fantastic, and the special effects were superb, but the story line is conveluted, in that there is just too time much wasted on irrelevant wizarding fancy, and prequelitis. Despite that, in the end, I found myself gripping my seat. I highly recommend this film. Great fun for the whole family, 4.5 stars and Highly Recommended” – MR

Find Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and see the new trailer here.

 


We Review: #Venom “A fun night out, but nothing worth bragging about.” – MR

Venom (2018 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Venom
Venom poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Jeff Pinkner
  • Scott Rosenberg
Based on
Starring
Music by Ludwig Göransson
Cinematography Matthew Libatique
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date
Running time
112 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100–116 million[3]
Box office $215.1 million[4]

Venom is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel.[5]Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).[a] The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott RosenbergJeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel, and stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom, alongside Michelle WilliamsRiz AhmedScott Haze, and Reid Scott. In Venom, journalist Brock gains superpowers after being bound to an alien symbiote whose species plans to invade Earth.

Sony began developing a Venom film after the character made his cinematic debut in Spider-Man 3 (2007). After various iterations, work on a new version began in March 2017, with the intention of starting a new shared universe featuring those Marvel characters to which Sony possessed film rights; Sony also intended for the film to share the world of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is set in the MCU after a deal between Sony and Marvel Studios. Rosenberg and Pinkner were set to write, with Fleischer and Hardy added in May 2017. Principal photography began in October 2017, in AtlantaNew York City, and San Francisco.

Venom premiered in Los Angeles on October 1, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018. The film has grossed over $215 million worldwide and set several box office records for the month of October, but received generally negative reviews from critics for its script and inconsistent tone, though some did praise Hardy’s performance.

Plot

While exploring space for new habitable worlds, a probe belonging to bioengineering corporation Life Foundation discovers a comet covered in symbiotic lifeforms. They bring four samples back to Earth, but one escapes and causes the ship to crash in Malaysia. The Life Foundation recovers the other three and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where CEO Carlton Drake learns that the symbiotes cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts, which often reject the symbiosis. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock reads about Drake’s human trials in a classified document in the possession of his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney involved in preparing a lawsuit defense for Life Foundation. Brock confronts Drake, leading to both Brock and Weying losing their jobs. Weying ends their relationship.

Six months later, Drake is getting closer to achieving successful symbiosis. Brock is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists who disagrees with his methods and wants to help Brock expose him. She helps Brock break into the research facility to search for evidence, and he learns that an acquaintance of his, a homeless woman named Maria, has become one of Drake’s test subjects. Brock attempts to rescue Maria, but she attacks him and the symbiote possessing her transfers from her body to his, leaving her dead. Brock escapes, but he soon begins displaying strange symptoms and reaches out to Weying for help. Her new boyfriend, Dr. Dan Lewis, examines Brock and discovers the symbiote. Meanwhile, Drake executes Skirth for her betrayal by exposing her to the remaining symbiote, which ultimately dies. This leaves the symbiote inside Brock as the only known surviving specimen.

Drake sends mercenaries to retrieve the symbiote from Brock, but it takes over Brock’s body and transforms him into a monstrous creature that fights off the attackers. Taking shelter outside the city, the symbiote communicates with Brock and introduces itself as Venom. It explains that the comet is an invasion force searching for new worlds where the symbiotes can possess and devour the inhabitants. Venom offers to spare Brock if he helps the symbiotes achieve their goal, and Brock soon comes to enjoy the superhuman attributes that the symbiote gives him. Brock breaks into his old workplace to turn in evidence of Drake’s crimes, but he is surrounded by SWAT officers on the way out and transforms once again to escape. Weying witnesses this transformation and takes Brock back to Lewis’s office, where they reveal to Brock that the symbiote is slowly rotting his internal organs. Brock also admits that the symbiote has two weaknesses: high-pitched noises and fire. Although the symbiote claims the organ damage is a fixable part of their symbiosis, Brock uses an MRI machine to weaken the symbiote long enough to separate from it.

Our Thoughts

It was okay. It was good. It was just like the last several solo Superhero flicks I’ve seen, but not as light-hearted as Antman, nor as funny as Dead Pool. Did I say I liked it? Tom Hardy plays the role well enough, but Venom’s voice is annoying. When he talks to his host, it is like having Optimus Prime, or Smaug interrupting the movie with one liners that are not that funny. All of that aside, I had a good time. There was potential for a lot more that was left untapped. Since we all know there will be a sequel or five, I can only hope the writing gets better. Having a Superhero who just eats the bad guys could be great fun. 3 stars – MR

Find Venom and see the new trailer here.