Monthly Archives: January 2015

We review the FireTV version of: Predestination “Surprisingly good sci-fi flick. 4 Stars” MR

Predestination (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Predestination
Predestination poster.jpg

Australian poster
Directed by Michael Spierig
Peter Spierig
Produced by Paddy McDonald
Tim McGahan
Michael Spierig
Written by Michael Spierig
Peter Spierig
Based on “—All You Zombies—”
by Robert A. Heinlein
Starring Ethan Hawke
Sarah Snook
Noah Taylor
Music by Peter Spierig
Cinematography Ben Nott
Edited by Matt Villa
Production
company
Blacklab Entertainment
Screen Australia
Wolfhound Pictures
Distributed by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions
Release dates
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Country Australia
Language English
Box office $2.6 million[2]

Predestination is a 2014 Australian science fiction film, directed and written by Michael and Peter Spierig. The film is based on the Robert A. Heinlein short story ‘“—All You Zombies—”, and stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor.

Plot

A time-traveling agent goes back in time in order to catch an infamous terrorist known as the “Fizzle Bomber”. The agent stops the bomb but is severely injured. The Fizzle Bomber escapes and the agent travels into the future, to 1992, using a Coordinate Transformer Field Kit—a time machine disguised as a violin case—with the help of an unknown person. The agent’s face was burned and needs to be repaired using plastic surgery.

It is revealed that the agent works for a mysterious organization known as the Temporal Bureau, that sends so-called “temporal agents” through time to prevent major crimes. The Fizzle Bomber is the only criminal to elude them thus far. In March 1975, the Fizzle Bomber kills 11,000 people in New York City.

After the agent heals, he is sent on a final mission before his mandatory retirement. He travels to the 1970s to work as a bartender in New York City. A male customer, whose “Unmarried Mother” pen name is used for writing magazine confessional testimonials, enters the bar to drink alcohol.

Cajoled by the bartender, the Unmarried Mother proceeds to tell a story that he considers remarkable: He was born in 1945, abandoned at birth, and placed in an orphanage. Identified as a female, he is raised as “Jane”. As a young woman, Jane later tries to join the Space Corps and excels in the recruitment tests; but, Jane is disqualified when Space Corps doctors discover something about her physiology.

After being expelled from Space Corps, Jane attends night classes in Cleveland, OH, where she meets and falls pregnant to an older man who eventually disappears. After finding out that she is pregnant to the older man, Jane brings the pregnancy to full term and, during the delivery of her child, the doctors discover the condition that led to her expulsion: Jane was born intersex, with both female and male reproductive organs, allowing Jane to give birth to a baby with her female reproductive organs. However, her baby is kidnapped by an unknown man while still in hospital. At the advice of her physician, Jane then undergoes further procedures to remove her female sexual organs—irreparable after birth complications—thereby becoming a man named John.

Unmarried Mother concludes the story, and the bartender suddenly reveals that he knows the identity of the older male who left Jane, and offers John the chance to kill him. They both travel back in time to Cleveland and the bartender gives John a gun to enact the killing. However, John instead meets Jane, his younger female self, while the bartender/temporal agent uses his time machine to travel into the future—in his final opportunity to catch the Fizzle Bomber. However, the agent is knocked out by the bomber.

The bartender is later shown to be the kidnapper of Jane’s baby, before he meets back up with John, who has had sexual intercourse with his earlier self, Jane, by this time. The bartender convinces John to abandon Jane and start working as a Temporal Agent at the Temporal Bureau.

Having completed his final mission, the bartender is instructed to choose his time and place of retirement—upon his arrival at that location, his field kit will be automatically decommissioned. He chooses to retire in a New York City apartment, around the time of the Fizzle Bomber’s March 1975 bombing, after receiving an envelope from his supervisor, Robertson. Upon his arrival, the field kit displays an error message after it is decommissioned; however, the retired agent does not report the error and opens the envelope which contains an instruction related to the March 1975 bombing.

The agent eventually discovers that the Fizzle Bomber is an older version of himself. After arguing with his older self, he kills him with a handgun in a laundromat. A flashback scene then reveals that the agent is in fact Jane/John—completely changed after the reconstructive surgery at the beginning of the film where he was injured in the blast—and finishes with John seated in the New York City apartment that he had requested for retirement.

Cast

Our Thoughts

This movie is sort of like 12 Monkeys (w/Pitt and Willis) and Looper (again w/ Bruce Willis,) in that a character goes back and forth in time, trying to prevent a certain catastrophe. If you liked either of those films, you will like this one. Predestination comes with a serious twist that sort of threw me at first, but kept me thinking long after it was over. Turns out it made perfect sense, and I can’t explain that without being a spoiler. This movie was unexpectedly good sci-fi. 4 Stars – MR

 

Find Predestination and see the new trailer here.

 

 


We review the FireTV version of: Maleficent “Does not disappoint. 5 Stars” – MR

Maleficent (2014 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maleficent
Maleficent poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Stromberg
Produced by Joe Roth
Screenplay by Linda Woolverton
Based on
Starring
Narrated by Janet McTeer
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Dean Semler
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • May 28, 2014(United Kingdom)
  • May 30, 2014 (United States)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $180 million[2]
Box office $757.8 million[2]

Maleficent (/məˈlɛfɪsənt/ or /məˈlɪfɪsənt/) is a 2014 American dark fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton. Starring Angelina Jolie as the eponymous Disney villainess character, the film is a live-action re-imagining of Walt Disney‘s 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, and portrays the story from the perspective of the antagonist, Maleficent.[3]

Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, with Angelina Jolie as an executive producer, principal photography took place between June and October 2012. Maleficent premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on May 28, 2014, and was released in the United Kingdom that same day. The film was released in the U.S. on May 30, 2014 in the Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats, as well as in conventional theaters. The film was met with mixed reviews from critics, but was a commercial success, having grossed over $757 million worldwide and is the fourth highest-grossing film of 2014.

Plot

An elderly narrator tells the story of Maleficent, a powerful fairy living in the Moors, a magical forest realm bordering a corrupt human kingdom. As a young girl, she meets and falls in love with a human peasant boy named Stefan, whose love for Maleficent is overshadowed by his ambition to become king. As they grow older, Stefan and Maleficent grown apart, and she grows into the role of protector of the Moors. When King Henry tries to conquer the Moors, he is thwarted by a mature Maleficent, forcing him to retreat. Fatally wounded in the battle, he declares that whoever kills Maleficent would be named his successor and marry his daughter Leila. An older Stefan hears this, then goes to see Maleficent in the Moors. Stefan drugs Maleficent but cannot bring himself to kill her, so instead he cuts her wings off with iron – a lethal substance to fairies – and presents them to the king as proof of her death. Maleficent awakens to find herself wingless. She rescues a raven named Diaval, whom she gives a human form, to serve as her confidant.  Maleficent, deeply saddened by Stefan’s betrayal, declares herself Queen of the Moors, forming a dark oppressive kingdom with Diaval as her only companion..

Some time later, Diaval informs Maleficent that Stefan, who is now king, is hosting a christening for his newborn daughter, Aurora. Bent on revenge, Maleficent arrives uninvited and curses the infant princess: on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, which will cause her to fall into a deep sleep from which she will never awaken. When Stefan begs for mercy, she offers an antidote: the curse can be broken by true love’s kiss. A paranoid Stefan sends Aurora to live a trio of pixies until the day after her sixteenth birthday, while he destroys and burns all the spinning wheels in the kingdom and hides them in the deepest dungeon in the castle. He sends out his armies to find and kill Maleficent, but she surrounds the Moors with an impenetrable wall of thorns.

Despite her initial dislike for Aurora, Maleficent begins to care for the girl when the incompetent pixies fail to do so. After a brief meeting with the young Aurora, Maleficent watches over her from afar. When Aurora is 15, she meets Maleficent for the first time and she calls Maleficent her “fairy godmother”, as Aurora recalls being watched over by her all of her life. Realizing she has grown fond of the princess, Maleficent attempts to revoke the curse, but she cannot. Aurora later meets Prince Philip, and the two are smitten with each other. On the day before Aurora’s 16th birthday, Maleficent, hoping to avoid the curse, allows her to move to the Moors. When the pixies inadvertently tell Aurora of her parentage and of Maleficent’s true identity, a furious Aurora runs away to her father’s castle.

Meanwhile King Stefan, mad with paranoia, sits in his castle talking to Maleficent’s wings, and even refuses to see Queen Leila on her deathbed.

 

Cast

Angelina Jolie (left), Sharlto Copley (center) and Sam Riley (right)

Our Thoughts

This is a well portrayed movie, with superb acting and stellar effects. I was expecting more of a kids/chick flick type of story, but this was actually a great twist on the old Cinderella tale; dark enough to keep an old Conan the Barbarian fan interested from start to finish. This one does not disappoint.  – MR

 

Find Maleficent and see a free movie trailer here. 


We review: Taken 3 “3.5 stars for great action and fight sequences.”- MR

Taken 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Taken 3
Taken 3 poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Olivier Megaton
Produced by Luc Besson
Written by Luc Besson
Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Liam Neeson
Forest Whitaker
Famke Janssen
Maggie Grace
Dougray Scott
Sam Spruell
Leland Orser
Music by Nathaniel Méchaly
Cinematography Eric Kress
Edited by
  • Audrey Simonaud
  • Nicolas Trembasiewicz
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
(International)
EuropaCorp Distribution
(France)
Release dates
  • 16 December 2014(Berlin premiere)
  • 9 January 2015(United States)
  • 21 January 2015 (France)
Running time
108 minutes[1]
Country France
Language English
Budget $48 million[2]
Box office $9.5 million[3]

Taken 3 is a 2014 English-language French action thriller film directed by Olivier Megaton and written by Luc Besson andRobert Mark Kamen. It is the third and final installment in the Taken trilogy, and the sequel to the 2008 film Taken and the 2012 film Taken 2. The film stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen and Forest Whitaker.

Principal photography began on 29 March 2014, in Los Angeles. In North America, 20th Century Fox released the film on January 9, 2015.[4]

Synopsis

Bryan Mills, an ex-government operative, is accused of the murder of his wife Lenore “Lenny” Mills. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills again brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.

Cast

Our Thoughts:

Liam Neeson isn’t into the role anymore and it is clear in this film. Forest Whitaker saves the day with his clever, non-chalant acting ability.  The biggest problem with this movie, and the plot in general, is that there is no sense of urgency. The stuff Mills is doing had no reason to be rushed. There is no pending death, or doom. There is the police trying to stop him, and it was entertaining. Still, save the cost of a box office ticket and wait until it is out on Amazon Prime, or cable. 3.5 stars for great action and fight sequences. MR

 

Find Taken 3 and see the new movie trailer here.