Monthly Archives: December 2014

We Review, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES “A fantasy lover’s dream movie” – MR

We review The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hobbit:
The Battle of the Five Armies
The Hobbit - The Battle of the Five Armies.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Starring
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Edited by Jabez Olssen
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • 1 December 2014(London premiere)
  • 11 December 2014(New Zealand)
  • 17 December 2014(United States)
Running time 144 minutes[1]
Country New Zealand[2]
United States[2]United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $250 million[3]
Box office $122.2 million[4]

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (previously known as The Hobbit: There and Back Again) is a 2014 epic fantasy adventure film, directed by Peter Jackson and written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro. It is the final installment in the three-part film adaptation based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, following An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013). Produced by New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and WingNut Films, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, The Battle of the Five Armies was released in New Zealand on 11 December 2014, 12 December 2014 in the United Kingdom and on 17 December 2014 in the United States. It stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans,Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott and James Nesbitt. It also features Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Orlando Bloom.

Plot

Bilbo and the Dwarves watch from the Lonely Mountain as the dragon Smaug incinerates Laketown. Bard breaks out of imprisonment and kills Smaug; the dragon’s falling corpse crushes the fleeing Master of Laketown. The survivors of Laketown choose Bard to be their new leader. Kili confesses his love for Tauriel and he and the other Dwarves reunite with their company at the Lonely Mountain; it is revealed that Thorin has been inflicted with Smaug’s “dragon sickness” as he searches for the Arkenstone. Bilbo, having carried the Arkenstone in his possession all along, agrees with Balin that it should remain kept away from the maddened Thorin. Thorin proceeds to have the dwarves to build a blockade at the entrance of Erebor.

Meanwhile, Galadriel and the other White Council members rescue Gandalf from Dol Guldur. Sauron appears and tries to tempt Galadriel, but she is able to cast him and the Nazgûl away from the fortress. Saruman assures Elrond that Sauron is not a threat without the One Ring. Azog, marching on Erebor with his vast Orc army, learns from Bolg that an Elf army under Thranduil is also approaching. Azog sends Bolg to Gundabad to summon their remaining forces. Legolas and Tauriel witness the march of a second massive Orc army and hundreds of giant bats.

When Thranduil’s army arrives in Dale, he forges an alliance with Bard to claim the necklace of white gems from Thorin’s treasure. Thorin refuses to share any of the treasure. After Gandalf arrives, Bilbo sneaks out of Erebor to hand the Arkenstone over to Thranduil and Bard. The next day, Bard and Thranduil’s army gather at the gates of Erebor, offering to trade the Arkenstone to Thorin for gold. Thorin once again declines Bard’s peace offer. Just before Thranduil’s forces begin their assault on Erebor, Thorin’s cousin Dáin arrives with an army of dwarves. The Dwarf army prepares to attack the Elves when Azog’s army makes its appearance, converging on the Dwarves and the city of Dale. With the Orcs outnumbering Dain’s army, Thranduil’s forces join the battle. Thranduil, Bard, Bilbo, and Gandalf assist in the defense of Dale, but the Orcs still outnumber them.

Inside Erebor, Thorin refuses to join the battle. Thorin falls into a hallucinatory nightmare and struggles to free himself from the dragon sickness. Finally overcoming his madness, Thorin leads his friends into battle. While the other Dwarves of the company aid Dain’s forces, Thorin rides towards Ravenhill with Dwalin, Fili, and Kili to kill Azog and force the leaderless Orc army to retreat.

On Ravenhill, Azog ambushes the Dwarves and ruthlessly kills Fili. Bilbo is knocked unconscious as Thorin battles Azog. The Great Eagles suddenly appear, carrying Radagast and Beorn into battle. Legolas kills Bolg after the orc kills Kili and wounds Tauriel. Thorin is mortally wounded dispatching Azog.

In the aftermath of the battle Thorin makes his peace with Bilbo before dying from his wounds. Legolas leaves his father to meet up with one of the Dunedain and Tauriel mourns Kili. Bilbo bids farewell to the remaining members of Thorin’s company and returns to the Shire with Gandalf. As the two part, Gandalf admits to his knowledge of Bilbo having a ring of power and, although he does not know its true nature, cautions Bilbo against using it lightly. Bilbo returns to Bag End to find his belongings being auctioned off by the Sackville-Bagginses, who assumed he died, and clarifies his identity.

Sixty years later, Bilbo, while reflecting on the past journey on his 111th birthday, receives a surprise knock on the door. When the guest reveals himself to be Gandalf, Bilbo happily runs to greet his very old friend.

Our Thoughts

Of the three Hobbit movies, the third is by far the best. Maybe it is because all the story lines come to a head and we get the final ending of this part of the tale. Or maybe it is because Peter Jackson’s use of technology makes the battle scenes so realistic and awesome that I just want to grab a bat and start cracking orc skulls! Either way, I didn’t like the idea of stretching The Hobbit into nine hours of cinematic glory, but I was enthralled every minute of those nine hours, and I don’t think it was time, or film, wasted. A fantasy lover’s dream movie, complete with dragons, orcs, elves, dwarves, wizards, and Hobbits. A must see. 5 stars – MR

 

Find The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and see an extended preview here.

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WeReview: Horrible Bosses 2 “Better than the first one, which is saying a lot!” – MR

Horrible Bosses 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Horrible Bosses 2
Horrible Bosses 2.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sean Anders
Produced by Brett Ratner
Jay Stern
John Morris
Screenplay by Sean Anders
John Morris
Story by John Francis Daley
Jonathan Goldstein
Sean Anders
John Morris
Starring Jason Bateman
Charlie Day
Jason Sudeikis
Jennifer Aniston
Jamie Foxx
Chris Pine
Christoph Waltz
Music by Christopher Lennertz[1]
Cinematography Julio Macat
Edited by Eric Kissack
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • November 26, 2014
Running time 108 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $42 million[3]
Box office $35.6 million[3]

Horrible Bosses 2 is a 2014 American comedy film directed by Sean Anders and a sequel to 2011’s Horrible Bosses. Produced by New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Bros., the film was released on November 26, 2014.

Plot

Nick Hendricks, Dale Arbus, and Kurt Buckman decide to start their own business after tiring of working for ungrateful bosses. Their idea is a car-wash-inspired shower head called the “Shower Buddy”. They have trouble finding investors until they are approached by Burt Hanson and his son Rex. Burt admires their commitment to manufacturing the product themselves, while Rex prefers to outsource to China, and agrees to invest if they can make 100,000 units. Taking out a business loan, the three rent a warehouse, hire employees, and manage to produce their output, but Burt backs out of their deal at the last minute, claiming that he never signed an agreement, and he plans on taking their inventory in foreclosure and selling them (renamed the “Shower Pal”) himself, while leaving the three in $500,000 debt with their outstanding loan.

Seeking financial advice, Nick, Dale, and Kurt visit Nick’s old boss Dave Harken in prison, who says the three have no feasible legal options to recover their losses. The three then resolve to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. They seek the help of “Motherfucker” Jones, who says the best way to pull off kidnapping someone who knows them is to keep him unconscious for the duration of the kidnapping. The three create a ransom note of $500,000 and go to the office of Dale’s old boss Dr. Julia Harris to steal a tank of nitrous oxide. While there, Kurt and Dale are almost caught by Julia’s sex addiction group meeting; after the group leaves, Nick has sex with Julia, providing the distraction that allows Dale and Kurt to escape the building. The trio goes to Rex’s house, but while they hide in the closet, they accidentally turn on the tank and pass out. When they wake up in the morning, they find Rex gone.

When they arrive back at the warehouse, they find Rex tied up in the trunk of their car. Rex gets out and reveals he found them hiding in his closet, but decides to stage his own kidnapping with them due to his strained relationship with his dad. Rex sent the ransom note to his dad and increased the ransom to $5,000,000. The three are uncertain of Rex’s plan, but Rex threatens to go to the police if they back out. They call Burt to inform him of Rex’s kidnapping, after which Rex is confident that Burt will not involve the cops; however, the police, led by Detective Hatcher, subsequently arrive at their warehouse to question Nick, Dale, and Kurt due to their involvement with Burt. When the police leave, Rex breaks down knowing Burt cares more about his money than his son. Now sympathetic to Rex, the trio agrees to work with him in the fake kidnapping, and all four devise a plan to outsmart the police and take the ransom money, utilizing untraceable phones, a basement garage to block out any tracking signal, and Kurt disguising himself as Burt.

While the plan is in motion, Nick, Dale, and Kurt find that Kurt left Burt his own phone instead of the untraceable one. They nevertheless call Burt on Kurt’s phone to give him the instructions. Before they leave, Julia arrives at their hotel room and demands to sleep with Dale or else she’ll report them for breaking into her office. Unfortunately, Dale’s wife Stacy then arrives via “Find My Phone” app and, believing Dale is cheating on her with Julia, storms off. Dale angrily locks Julia in the bathroom so the three can leave. In the basement garage, Nick, Dale, and Kurt, wearing masks, tell Burt to give back the cell phone. Burt is then shot dead by Rex, who reveals that, after seeing that his father did not care about him, he decided to kill Burt and frame Nick, Dale, and Kurt so Rex can inherit the family business. Rex forces Kurt to switch pants as Rex’s pants have Burt’s blood on them.

As the trio are about to be cornered by the police, Jones arrives, as he anticipated that the three would be betrayed and killed and was seeking to claim the ransom money for himself. He attempts to help them get back to the warehouse where Rex is supposed to be tied up, with the police chasing them, before Rex does so they can prove their innocence. When they get back to the warehouse, Jones escapes with the money and the police arrive to find Rex tied up. Before the police arrest Nick, Dale, and Kurt, Kurt’s phone rings in Rex’s pocket, and the police recognize the ringtone as the same phone that was left to Burt by the kidnappers. Rex tries to claim the phone is his, but when Hatcher asks why Rex didn’t bother to call the police if he had a phone, Rex takes Hatcher hostage. Dale attempts to attack Rex, but Rex shoots him, which distracts Rex long enough for Hatcher to subdue him.

A few days later, Dale wakes up to find out that the three did get in trouble, but because Dale helped save Hatcher’s life, the police dropped the charges. He also finds out that Julia helped make amends with Stacy. In the aftermath, their business goes into foreclosure, but is subsequently purchased by Harken in prison, who allows the three of them to stay employed. Jones, meanwhile, uses the ransom money to invest in Pinkberry.

Cast

Our Thoughts:

I really liked the first movie, and loved the way it reminded me of 9 to 5. In this one, they acknowledge that similarity of plotting and pay homage. This movie is funnier than the first one and that is saying a lot. There are plot twists, unexpected angles, and hilarious antics at every turn. I laughed as hard as I have in a while. Don’t miss the credit clips either. They are as funny as the movie.  This is top notch comedy. 5 stars – MR

Find Horrible Bosses 2 and see a new trailer here.