Monthly Archives: June 2016

We Review: Independence Day: Resurgence “Just like the first one, only better.” – MR

Independence Day: Resurgence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Independence Day: Resurgence
Independence-Day-2-poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Roland Emmerich
  • Dean Devlin
  • Nicolas Wright
  • James A. Woods
Based on Characters
by Roland Emmerich
Dean Devlin
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Markus Förderer
Edited by Adam Wolfe
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
Running time
120 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $165 million[2]
Box office $140.5 million[3]

Independence Day: Resurgence is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt. It is the sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day and starsLiam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, Brent Spiner and William Fichtner.

It was released by 20th Century Fox in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D in the United States on June 24, 2016. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, who found the plot and action sequences to be overblown and convoluted, though some praised its overall humor and playful delivery,[4][5] and has grossed over $140 million worldwide.

Plot

Twenty years after the events of the previous film, the international community has recovered and the United Nations has created the ESD (Earth Space Defense), a united global defense program that serves as Earth’s early warning system. The main defense force uses technology salvaged from the remains of the alien forces, with military forces assembled on the Moon, Mars, and Rhea, while the Area 51 base has become the ESD Headquarters.[6][7]

In Africa, ESD Director David Levinson meets with Dr. Catherine Marceaux and warlord Dikembe Umbutu, who lead him to an intact alien destroyer. Aboard the ship, they discover that the ship was drilling a hole and that the aliens sent a distress call to its home planet before their defeat. Furthermore, Umbutu and former U.S. President Thomas Whitmore experienced recurring visions of extraterrestrial logograms ever since their personal encounters with the aliens and try to decipher them.

A spherical ship emerges from a wormhole near the ESD’s Moon defense headquarters. Levinson is convinced that it belongs to a different extraterrestrial race that is benevolent and urges the world’s governments not to attack, but they vote to shoot it down regardless. Against orders, ESD pilot Jake Morrison picks up Levinson, Marceaux, Umbutu, and Floyd Rosenberg on a space tugand they head for the crash site, where they recover a container. An alien mothership 3,000 miles wide[8] suddenly emerges and destroys Earth’s planetary defenses before approaching the planet. The space tug is caught in the mothership’s artificial gravitational pull, which also lifts structures from most of Asia. The debris falls all across Europe, where the tug manages to escape before heading on to Area 51.

The mothership lands over northern Atlantic Ocean and drills a hole in the middle of the ocean to harvest the heat of the core, which will destroy Earth’s magnetic field in the process. The aliens also raid the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, killing President Elizabeth Lanford along with most of her Cabinet. General Joshua Adams, a Cabinet official in Area 51, is named the designated survivor and immediately sworn in as the 46th President.

Upon the space tug’s arrival at Area 51, Dr. Brakish Okun awakens twenty years after his coma. He opens the container and releases a giant white sphere of artificial intelligence; its mission is evacuating survivors from worlds targeted by harvesters, and building a resistance force, one already greatly feared by aliens. Whitmore interrogates one of the aliens held in captivity since the last war. The ESD learns that the aliens, while similar to Earth’s insect kingdom, are not like locusts as they initially believed but exist in eusociality and that their queen is coming. They believe if they destroy the queen, her attendants will retreat from the planet. An ESD squadron, led by Captain Dylan Dubrow-Hiller, stages a counterattack to destroy the queen, but they are caught in a trap within the mothership which wipes out nearly the entire fleet. Dylan, along with Jake and fellow pilots Charlie Ritter and Rain Lao, manages to escape by hijacking two alien attackers.

Knowing the queen has become aware of its presence, the sphere’s A.I. wants the ESD to destroy it to prevent the aliens from learning its secrets.

Our Thoughts

While this like it is just an “in the future” remake of the first, there are a few twists and turns that come up that make this movie able to separate it from the first one. And no surprise here: the ending sets up a sequel, but the surprise is that it might get us to take the battle to the enemy’s planet, or into outer space. And I love a well produced space flick!  This film is really just like the first one, only better. – MR

Find Independence Day: Resurgence, and see the new trailer here.

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We review Central Intelligence: 4 Stars A great date/comedy movie – MR

Central Intelligence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Central Intelligence
CentralIntelligencePoster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Ike Barinholtz
  • David Stassen
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Barry Peterson
Edited by Michael L. Sale
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release dates
Running time
107 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[2]
Box office $58.1 million[3]

Central Intelligence is a 2016 American action comedy film directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and written by Thurber, Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen. The film stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as two old high school friends who team up to save the world after one of them joins the CIA.

Central Intelligence premiered in Los Angeles on June 10, 2016 and was theatrically released in the United States on June 17, 2016. The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed over $58 million worldwide.[3][4]

Plot

In 1996, Calvin Joyner is being recognized for an award at the last high school pep rally. Meanwhile, Robbie Weirdicht, an overweight kid with no friends, gets carried out of the boys’ locker room while showering by school bullies and is then thrown into the gym during the pep rally just as Calvin is receiving his award and is laughed upon his nude entrance. Calvin immediately takes off his jacket and gives it to Robbie (covering up his birthday suit) who thanks Calvin and leaves the school.

Twenty years later, Calvin has married his high school sweetheart, Maggie, and becomes an accountant. He is highly unsatisfied with his life as he is passed over for a promotion that was given to his former assistant. Maggie, however, is a partner at her law firm and is quite happy. She suggests they see a therapist to work on their marriage issues. Calvin does not want to go to their 20 year high school reunion taking place the next day. At the same time, Calvin receives a Facebook friend request from Bob Stone (actually Robbie, who has changed his name). They meet up for some beers at a local pub. While at the pub, the pair gets into an argument with bullies who try to take Bob’s chair. Bob takes out the bullies and then leaves with Calvin. Bob suggests the pair go back to their old high school and have Calvin reminisce about his glory days. Instead, Calvin is disappointed that he peaked in high school, and that his life has been declining since.

As Bob drops Calvin off at his house, he asks Calvin to look at some accounting records, saying he is having payroll issues. Bob’s “accounting records” are actually satellite codes. Bob ends up spending the night on Calvin’s couch. The next morning, the CIA, led by Pam, comes to Calvin’s house in searching of Bob. Calvin leads them to the living room where there is no evidence of Bob’s presence. Pam informs Calvin that Bob is a dangerous rogue agent that killed his former partner, Phil, to obtain all U.S. satellite codes with the intention of selling them to the highest bidder.

As the CIA agents follow Calvin to his office, Bob successfully abducts Calvin, while explaining that he is trying to stop the “Black Badger” from selling the satellite codes, but needs Calvin’s skills as a forensic accountant to figure out the exact location where the deal will happen. The pair is then attacked by Larry (a former CIA agent turned bounty hunter). During the attack, Calvin runs away but is intercepted by Pam. Pam informs Calvin that Bob is delusional and the “Black Badger” doesn’t exist. She gives Calvin a device that will alert the CIA to his whereabouts when he is reunited with Bob. Calvin then goes to marriage counseling where Bob is posing as the marriage counselor (the real counselor he has tied up, gagged and stashed in the office closet). Bob convinces Calvin to help him and Calvin sets up a meeting with Trevor (one of Bob’s bullies) so they can obtain the account number that reveals the location of the deal. Trevor helps them, but not before bullying Bob again by pretending to apologize for the past and then calling him fat. Calvin encourages Bob to punch out Trevor just like he did to the bullies at the bar, but Bob freezes up. As they are leaving Trevor’s office, Pam calls Calvin and threatens to arrest Maggie if he doesn’t turn Bob in. Calvin betrays Bob and Bob is arrested.

As Bob is being tortured by Pam, as she believes that he has the satellite codes, Calvin decides to help Bob.

Our Thoughts

This movie was very good. I had expectations of funny, but not good action adventure AND good funny!  The Rock, plays his role perfectly, and so does Kevin Hart. I laughed out loud at least twenty times, and I think it was a great date movie. I will buy it when it comes out on Prime. 4 Stars A great date/comedy movie – MR

 

Find Central Intelligence and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Now You See Me 2 “As good as the first one, 4 stars” -MR

Now You See Me 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Now You See Me 2
Now You See Me 2 poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon M. Chu
Produced by
Screenplay by Ed Solomon
Story by
  • Peter Chiarelli
  • Ed Solomon
Based on Characters
by Boaz Yakin
and Edward Ricourt
Starring
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography Peter Deming
Edited by Stan Salfas
Production
company
Distributed by Summit Entertainment
Release dates
Running time
129 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $90 million[2][3]
Box office $48.6 million[4]

Now You See Me 2 is a 2016 American caperthriller film directed by Jon M. Chu and written by Ed Solomon. A sequel to the 2013 film Now You See Me, it stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.

Distributed by Summit Entertainment, the film was released on June 10, 2016, received mixed reviews and has grossed over $48 million.

Plot

One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their magic spectacles, the remaining members of the Four Horsemen – J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) – are in hiding, awaiting further instructions from the Eye, the secret society of magicians they’ve been recruited into. Their handler, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) ultimately assigns them a new mission, exposing corrupt businessman Owen Case (Ben Lamb), whose new software secretly steals data on its users for Case’s benefit. Illusionist Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) is added to the team to replace former member Henley Reeves.

The Horsemen infiltrate Case’s company disguised as security guards and hijack the launch party for the new software, leading the FBI to their location. The show is unexpectedly interrupted by a mysterious individual who reveals to the world that Wilder, believed to have perished, is actually alive, and that Rhodes is their mole, forcing Dylan to evade his new partner Natalie Austin (Sanaa Lathan). While attempting to escape, the Horsemen are captured by mercenaries led by Merritt’s vengeful twin brother Chase McKinney and taken to Macau, where they are brought before Chase’s employer, technology prodigy Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe), Owen Case’s former business partner who faked his death after Owen Case stole Walter’s company.

Mabry conscripts the Horsemen into stealing the data-mining device developed by Case from a secret facility underneath a local casino, to prevent Case from using it. Atlas agrees to the plan despite the others’ reluctance and leads them to a magic shop belonging to Li (Jay Chou), who provides them the equipment needed to pull off the heist. Meanwhile, Rhodes is branded a fugitive and forced to spring his rival Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), whom Rhodes blames for the death of his father Lionel Shrike, out of jail to help him expose the mastermind behind the conspiracy. Arriving in Macau, they seek Li for information, but while there Bradley escapes Rhodes’ custody, revealing that he anticipated Rhodes would free him if exposed.

The Horseman infiltrate the facility disguised as researchers and steal the device, evading the authorities and successfully escaping the casino. Atlas is then confronted by Mabry’s men and realizes that Mabry intends to steal the device for himself.

Our Thoughts

If you liked “Now You See Me” then you will definitely like #2. I love magic, and movies about magic. This one does not disappoint, but a few minor editing flaws caused me to take a star away. I would point them out, but it might be a spoiler. Let’s just say, no cell phone went into the safe, but one was taped to the safe’s ceiling as a light source. Anyway, this is as good as part one, and continues the same story, which I found intriguing. Casting Harry Potter as the bad techno magician against the 4 Horsemen was really funny. As good as the first one, 4 stars -MR

Find Now You See Me 2 and watch the new trailer here.


We Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass “Superb. Highly Recommended.” -MR

Alice Through the Looking Glass (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Official poster

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Bobin
Produced by
Written by Linda Woolverton
Based on Characters by
byLewis Carroll
Starring
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
Edited by Andrew Weisblum
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • May 10, 2016 (London)
  • May 27, 2016(United States)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $170 million[2]
Box office $181.9 million[1]

Alice Through the Looking Glass is a 2016 American fantasyadventure film directed by James Bobin, written by Linda Woolverton and produced by Tim Burton. It is loosely based on Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, and is the sequel to the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. The film stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Matt Lucas, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, and features the voices of Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall and Alan Rickman, in his final film role.

The film tells the story about Alice coming across a magical looking glass that takes her back to Underland and finds that the Mad Hatter is acting madder than usual and wants to discover the truth about his family. Alice then travels through time and comes across friends and enemies at different point of their lives and embarks on a race to save the Hatter before time runs out.

Alice Through the Looking Glass was released by Walt Disney Pictures on May 27, 2016. It received negative reviews from critics and has grossed over $181 million against a $170 million budget.[1][3]

Plot

Alice Kingsleigh has spent the past three years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return toLondon from China, she finds out that her ex-fiancé, Hamish Ascot, has taken over his father’s company and plans to have Alice sell him over her father’s ship in exchange for her family home. Alice follows a butterfly she recognizes as Absolem and returns toUnderland through a mirror.

Alice is greeted by the White Queen, the White Rabbit, the Tweedles, the Dormouse, the March Hare, Bayard, and the Cheshire Cat. They inform her that the Mad Hatter, Tarrant Hightopp is acting madder than usual in wake that he believes that his family is still alive. Alice tries to console him, but the Mad Hatter remains sure of his family’s survival of the Attack of the Jabberwocky day.

Believing finding the Hatter’s family is the only way to stop his deteriorating health, the White Queen decides for Alice to consult Time himself, and convince him to save the Hatter’s family in the past (something that no Underland resident can do as it is said that history will be destroyed if someone sees their past/future self, while Alice has no past self in Underland for her to accidentally meet). Upon visiting Time’s palace, Alice finds the Chronosphere, an object that powers all time in Underland.

After being told by Time that altering the past cannot be done, Alice steals the Chronosphere and travels back in time, shortly after finding the exiled Red Queen, Iracebeth of Crims, is in the care of Time. The Red Queen urges Time to go after Alice. Alice accidentally flies to the day of Iracebeth’s coronation, where a younger Tarrant begins a mockery of the Red Queen when the royal crown doesn’t fit on her abnormal head. This causes Iracebeth to melt down, and her father deems her inappropriate to rule, and passes the title of queen to her younger sister Mirana, the White Queen.

Alice later learns of an event in Iracebeth and Mirana’s past that caused friction between the two, and she travels back in time again, hoping it will change Iracebeth’s ways and cease the Jabberwocky from killing the Hatter’s family.

Our Thoughts:

As with all the new remakes that are about these days, I find myself in awe of the special effects. Still, every now and then I find a book that cannot be recreated on film. I thought this would be one of them, but I was wrong. This story is old, so judging the plot is redundant. This was well worth the price of a premium ticket. The acting and creatures were in one word: Superb. Highly Recommended for the whole family. -MR