Monthly Archives: March 2017

We Review: CHiPs “3.5 stars for the ‘laugh out loud’ moments, and decent acting.” – MR

CHiPs (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
CHiPs
Chips film poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dax Shepard
Produced by
Written by Dax Shepard
Based on CHiPs
by Rick Rosner
Starring
Music by Fil Eisler
Cinematography Mitchell Amundsen
Edited by Dan Lebental
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
101 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[2]
Box office $9.5 million[3]

CHiPs is a 2017 American actioncomedybuddy cop film written and directed by Dax Shepard,[4] based on the 1977-1983 television series of the same name created by Rick Rosner. The film stars Shepard as Officer Jon Baker and Michael Peña as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, with Rosa Salazar, Adam Brody and Vincent D’Onofrio in supporting roles.

Principal photography began on October 21, 2015 in Los Angeles. The film was released on March 24, 2017 by Warner Bros. Pictures, received negative reviews from critics and has grossed $9 million worldwide.

Plot

Two middle-aged California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers soon find themselves in a situation like none other when when they get caught up in uncovering a corrupt cop within their own department.

Cast

Our Thoughts

CHiPs is a funny movie. I think it did the TV series justice, and had that same “seat of the pants” TV show feel to it. The motorcycle stunts were pretty cool, and so were the characters. I liked it even though the plot was outlandish and there was no sense of urgency, or tension. I can recommend this one as a date flick, because my fiance’ loved it. I give it 3.5 stars for the “laugh out loud” moments, and decent acting. – MR

 

Find CHiPs and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Life “Ended up being 2 stars at best!” – MR

Life (2017 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Life
Life (2017 film).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Daniel Espinosa
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by Jon Ekstrand
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • March 18, 2017 (SXSW)
  • March 24, 2017(United States)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $58 million[2]
Box office $28.7 million[3]

Life is a 2017 American science fiction horror film directed by Daniel Espinosa, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds. The film follows a six-member crew of the International Space Station that uncovers what initially seems to be the first evidence of life on Mars; however, the crew finds their discovery might not be what it seems.

The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 18, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 24, 2017 by Columbia Pictures

Plot

A multinational six-member crew aboard the International Space Station performs a successful capture of a space probe returning from Mars with a soil sample. The crew is tasked with studying the sample, which could prove to be the first evidence of extraterrestrial life. After extracting a single cell from the sample, British biologist Hugh Derry is able to revive the dormant organism with atmospheric adjustments and glucose. It quickly grows into a multi-celled organism and reacts to stimuli. The crew discovers that each cell in the organism is a myocyte, neuron and photoreceptor, all at the same time. The Quarantine Officer Dr. Miranda North remarks that the organism is “…all muscle, all brain and all eye.”

The organism, now named Calvin by school children in America, evolves and grows quickly. After an atmospheric accident in the lab, Calvin becomes dormant. Concerned with its survival, Hugh attempts to revive Calvin with a mild electric shock. Calvin re-animates, becomes hostile and grabs hold of Hugh’s right hand, crushing it as Hugh struggles to get free. Calvin escapes the containment cube into the room with Hugh. While it devours a lab rat and immediately evolves and grows in size, American engineer Rory Adams enters the room and rescues Hugh. However, sensing his presence, Calvin latches onto Rory’s leg. Crew Doctor, David Jordan, locks Rory inside the room to keep Calvin in containment. Rory manages to remove Calvin from his leg and attacks it with a handheld incinerator. Calvin shows remarkable resilience to fire and evades Rory’s attacks. Calvin then attacks Rory and forces its way into his mouth, killing him from the inside. Emerging from Rory’s mouth, evolved and even larger, Calvin then manages to escape from the room through an emergency fire suppression vent. Hugh theorizes that the lack of breathable air on Mars is probably what kept the organism dormant until that point.

Finding their communication with Earth cut off, mission commander Katerina Golovkina performs a space walk to fix the antenna. Calvin has consumed ISS coolant as a source of nutrition, and now escapes through a valve on the antenna and attacks Katerina outside the ISS. The attack ruptures Katerina’s EVA suit’s coolant system, effectively drowning her inside her suit. Calvin attempts to re-enter the station through the thrusters. An attempt to stop Calvin results in the ISS entering a decaying orbit. Japanese pilot Sho Kendo informs the crew that they need to use the remaining fuel to get back into a standard orbit, but that it would allow Calvin back into the station. The crew formulate a plan to try and make Calvin dormant by sealing themselves into one module and venting the atmosphere from the rest of the station. When Hugh suddenly enters cardiac arrest, the crew manages to resuscitate him only to realize that Calvin had attached himself to Hugh’s leg (who is paraplegic) and was feeding off of him. Now having grown into a much larger tentacled creature, Calvin attacks the remainder of the crew. Sho makes a run for the sleeping cabin and seals himself inside his pod as Calvin attempts to crack the glass and get to him. Miranda and David realize that Calvin has ingested one of the vital sign trackers on Hugh’s suit and begin to track him. Using Hugh’s body and blood as bait, they lure Calvin away from Sho and trap it in a module to deprive it of oxygen.

Cast

  • Jake Gyllenhaal as Dr. David Jordan, American, senior medical officer
  • Rebecca Ferguson as Dr. Miranda North, British, Quarantine Officer
  • Ryan Reynolds as Rory “Roy” Adams, American, pilot of the International Space Station.
  • Hiroyuki Sanada as Sho Murakami, Japanese, system engineer.
  • Ariyon Bakare as Hugh Derry, British, biologist.
  • Olga Dihovichnaya as Katerina Golovkina, Russian, commander of the International Space Station crew.

    Our Thoughts

    Life was a great idea that wasn’t executed well. The effects were sci-fi channel-ish and not up to par with other modern “creature” films. The acting was only good in spurts and Ryan Reynolds should have been billed as “co-star,” not as “stealing the show,” as the TV commercial and movie theater trailer touts. All in all this could have been great, but ended up being 2 stars at best! – MR

Find “Life” and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Get Out “Even though it was billed as a Horror/Comedy, it was a pretty scary ride.” – MR

Get Out (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Get Out
Teaser poster for 2017 film Get Out.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jordan Peele
Produced by
  • Jason Blum
  • Edward H. Hamm Jr.
  • Sean McKittrick
  • Jordan Peele
Written by Jordan Peele
Starring
Music by Michael Abels
Cinematography Toby Oliver
Edited by Gregory Plotkin
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • January 24, 2017(Sundance)
  • February 24, 2017(United States)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4.5 million[2]
Box office $137.6 million[2]

Get Out is a 2017 American comedy horror film[3][4][5] written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele, in his directorial debut. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield and Catherine Keener, and follows a young interracial couple who visit the mysterious estate of the woman’s parents.

Get Out premiered at Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on February 24 by Universal Pictures.[6] The film received acclaim from critics and has grossed $137 million worldwide, against its $4.5 million budget.

Plot

A black man is abducted walking through a suburban neighborhood.  Months later, black photographer Chris Washington and white girlfriend Rose Armitage prepare meet her parents, Dean and Missy.  Rose says she has not told them that Chris is black, which worries Chris.  Rose assures him everything will be fine.

Dean gives Chris a tour of the Armitage home, showing him pictures of Dean’s father, Roman, who lost to Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics.  Dean describes how great it was that a black man won, proving Hitler wrong regarding which was the superior race, relaying that Roman never got over it.  Dean admits it “looks bad” that they have black servants (Walter and Georgina), but tries to reassure Chris, saying Obama, “the greatest president of my lifetime,” should have served a third term.

Chris shares with Rose’s parents that his mother died in a hit-and-run when he was eleven.  Missy, a psychiatrist, offers hypnosis to help Chris quit smoking.  Chris declines.  The family has dinner with Chris.  Rose’s brother, Jeremy, insists on talking about Chris’s superior genetic makeup in relation to MMA fighting and attempts to headlock Chris.

That night, Walter runs directly at Chris before diverting his course.  Chris finds Missy awake.  Stirring a cup of tea, she hypnotizes Chris, who reveals his guilt for not calling 9-1-1 the night his mother died upon noticing her lateness.  Unable to move, Chris’s consciousness enters what Missy calls “the sunken place”.  When Chris wakes, he finds thoughts of smoking disgusting and realizes he was hypnotized.

At the Armitages’ annual get-together, various whites take an unusual interest in Chris and his physical capabilities.  One says being black is in-style.  Chris meets black guest Logan King, whose bizarre demeanor and familiarity unsettles him, and blind art dealer and failed photographer Jim Hudson, who complements Chris’s photography.  With a huge smile on her face as she simultaneously cries, Georgina apologizes for unplugging Chris’s phone.  Chris calls friend Rod Williams, whom he tells about his hypnosis and the unusual behavior of local blacks.  Rod suggests the blacks were hypnotized as sex slaves.

Chris tries to stealthily photograph Logan.  The flash causes Logan to freeze, suffer a nosebleed, and hysterically yell at Chris, “Get out!”  Dean claims Logan had an epileptic seizure.  Chris is unconvinced.  Logan apologizes for his outburst and thanks Missy for helping him remember himself.

Chris and Rose go walking.  He discloses his discomfort.  They agree to leave.  Meanwhile, Dean holds an auction for Chris.  Hudson wins.

Chris sends Rod Logan’s picture.  Rod recognizes Logan as Andre Hayworth, the man abducted in the suburbs.  Alarmed, Chris tells Rose they must leave immediately.  Packing, Chris finds a set of photographs showing Rose with various black people, including Walter and Georgina.  He tries to leave.  The family stops him.  Rose admits her role in the deception.  Missy hypnotizes Chris, preventing his escape.

Our Thoughts

This was a well thought out, very creative horror film. While not relying on gore, but building visceral tension, it still manages to have some very funny moments. Make no mistake, though, even though it was billed as a Horror/Comedy, it was a pretty scary ride. 4.5 stars and well worth the price of a ticket. – MR


We Review: Kong: Skull Island, IMAX 3D, “4 stars, and GREAT visual effects. Not your mother’s King Kong” -MR

Kong: Skull Island

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kong: Skull Island
Kong Skull Island poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on King Kong
by Merian C. Cooper
Edgar Wallace
Starring
Music by Henry Jackman
Cinematography Larry Fong
Edited by Richard Pearson
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
118 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $185 million[2][3]

Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, from a story by John Gatins and Gilroy. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchiseand will serve as the second film in Legendary‘s MonsterVerse, Godzillafollowing. It stars an ensemble cast consisting of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz,Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notaryand John C. Reilly.

Principal photography began on October 19, 2015, in Hawaii. Kong: Skull Islandpremiered on February 28, 2017, in London and was released in the United States on March 10, 2017, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and in Dolby Cinemas. Upon release, the film garnered massive acclaim from critics and audiences with many praising the action sequences, the visual style, effects, stunts, humor, writing, direction and Kong’s design and return to the cinema as well as the acting.

Plot

In 1973, former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is hired by government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) to guide an expedition to map out an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean known asSkull Island. Randa also recruits the Sky Devils helicopter squadron led byLieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) to escort them to the island, and the group is soon joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), who believes the scientific expedition to be a cover for a crooked military operation and plans to expose it.

Arriving in Skull Island, Packard’s men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) to determine if the ground is hollow, despite Conrad’s objections. The helicopters are suddenly attacked by a 100 foot tall ape known as “Kong“, and the team is separated in smaller groups. The survivors’ only hope for rescue is a resupply team that will meet them at the island’s northern end in 3 days’ time. Packard confronts Randa, who reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch and the expedition’s true purpose: to acquire proof of the existence of monstrous creatures that have been forgotten by humanity. Packard and his remaining men bury their dead and begin searching for the missing members of the expedition, chief among them being Packard’s right-hand man, Major Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell). While trekking through the jungle, the men are attacked by a giant spider, which slaughters several men before Packard shoots it to death.

Meanwhile, Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin (Jing Tian), soldier Reg Slivko (Thomas Mann) and Landsat employee Victor Nieves (John Ortiz), among others, run into the local natives and meet Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), an American pilot who has been stranded on Skull Island since World War II. Marlow explains that Kong is the island’s guardian and is worshiped as a god by the natives for protecting them from the Skullcrawlers, reptilian monsters that live underground and have slaughtered Kong’s ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. Marlow reveals Kong only attacked the helicopters to prevent the bombs from awakening “the big one”. When informed of the pending rendezvous, Marlow says there is no possible way to reach it in time on foot, but luckily for the expedition, he has cobbled together a boat from the wreckage of his plane and is able to get it working with help from Conrad’s group.

Our Thoughts

Amazing special effects have made movies like this possible. Kong is awesome to behold, as are many of the other creatures found on Skull Island. The plot wandered from the traditional King Kong, in that they never bring him to America and he never gets fixated on the damsel. We saw this one in IMAX 3D, and I have to say, it was worth the price of the premium ticket. This is not your mother’s King Kong, but it made for a great date movie. 4 stars. – MR


We Review: Logan,”4 stars and highly recommended” – MR

Logan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Logan
Logan 2017 poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Mangold
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by James Mangold
Starring
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography John Mathieson
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • February 17, 2017 (Berlin)
  • March 3, 2017 (United States)
Running time
137 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $97 million[2]
Box office $300.6 million[3]

Logan is a 2017 American superhero action thriller film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman. The film, distributed by20th Century Fox, is the tenth installment in the X-Men film series, as well as the third and final film solely focusing on Wolverine, following X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). It was directed by James Mangold, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Frank and Michael Green, from a story by Mangold, and also stars Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant,Richard E. Grant and Dafne Keen. The film follows a past-his-prime Logan embarking on a road trip across a dystopian future America for one final mission.

Development of Logan began in November 2013, when Mangold was hired to write a treatment that took inspiration from the graphic novel Old Man Logan, byMark Millar and Steve McNiven. In March 2014, Jackman signed on to star as Logan, in what was intended to be his final portrayal of the character after having played the role for 17 years. The same month, Fox set a release date and officially brought Mangold on board to direct. Green took over writing duties in April 2015, and by the following April, most of the supporting roles had been cast. Principal photography began in New Orleans on May 2, 2016, and moved to Natchez, Mississippi, before ending on August 19, 2016, in New Mexico.

Logan premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on March 3, 2017, in standard and IMAX formats. It received praise from critics and fans, with some calling it one of the best films in the X-Men series, and has grossed $300 million worldwide against its $97 million budget as of March 7, 2017.[4][3]

Plot

In the year 2029, mutants are on the brink of extinction, with no new mutants having been born in 25 years. James “Logan” Howlett, formerly known as Wolverine, spends his days working as a chauffeur and hustling for prescription drugs in Texas. He has aged greatly because the adamantium fused to his bones has started poisoning him and impeding his healing factor. Logan lives with mutant tracker Caliban in an abandoned smelting plant across the border in Mexico, where they care Professorfor Charles Xavier, who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease which causes him to lose control of his telepathicabilities to devastating effect. One day, Logan is approached by Gabriela, a nurse for biotechnology corporation Alkali-Transigen, who wants him to escort her and an 11-year-old girl named Laura to a place in North Dakota called “Eden”. Donald Pierce, Transigens cybernetically-enhanced chief of security, tracks down Logan and requests that he help him find Laura, but Logan refuses.

After reluctantly accepting the job from Gabriela, Logan discovers that she has been murdered. He, Xavier, and Laura narrowly escape from Pierce and his cybernetically-enhanced enforcers, the Reavers, but Caliban is captured and forced to use his powers to track them. Logan and Xavier learn through a video on Gabriela’s phone that Transigen was breeding mutant children using DNA samples from several mutants for the “X-23” project, but found that the children were difficult to control as they grew up. Upon completion of the “X-24” project, the children were deemed obsolete and were to be terminated. Gabriela helped several children escape from the Transigen compound before smuggling Laura, who is revealed to be Logan’s biological daughter, across the border.

Our Thoughts

While I liked this movie a lot, I found the “bladed hands against men with guns” battles to be very unrealistic. The plot was awesome, and the acting was too. I have not seen all the X-Men movies, nor do I care to, but I have become a fan of Wolverine.  A little too long, but definitely worth the price of the ticket. I give this futuristic last dance 4 stars and highly recommend it. – MR