Monthly Archives: August 2017

Announcing FANTASTICA a Brand New Series by Award Winning, M. R. Mathias

The Reviews are coming in for  FANTASTICA books one and two!

Click either book’s cover image to see new reviews and find out more

Taerak’s Void
Book One of FANTASTICA a Brand New #1 Bestselling Series

After finding a strange medallion and some maps with markings that no one in his village can understand, Braxton Bray decides to take it all to the Hall of Scholars in the kingdom’s capital.

But greed is everywhere.

Braxton and a tough young female caravan guard named Nixy are forced to run for their lives, for someone else wants what Braxton found and is willing to go to great lengths to take it.

With a hefty, kingdom wide, bounty on their heads, not even the great wizards of the Sorcerious can help them. Left with nothing but each other, Braxton and Nixy have no choice but to get on a ship and go on an adventure that will take them places they would have otherwise never imagined. Elves, dwarves, giant gothicans, and trolls, treacherous forests on distant shores, love, death, terror, and magic all await anyone brave enough to go along.

Click the cover image below to see new reviews and find out more.

NEW RELEASE ALERT!

FANTASTICA, Book Two:
Sapphire of Souls

Ragged and weary from their previous ordeals, Braxton and his motley crew of elves, dwarves, and humans, set off into the Wilderkind Forest in search of the Sapphire of Souls. The problem is, the last time anyone saw the powerful gem was over a hundred years ago when a wood dragon ate the elf who was carrying it.

With the necromancer Reaton-Stav forcing his animated corpses to wreak havoc at every turn, and the demon Pharark using the giant gothicans and trolls to invade Narvoza,
the future of the realm hangs in the balance.

Can our heroes find and destroy the sapphire before Pharark can use its power to bring the kingdom to its knees? Will the necromancer who covets Braxton’s medallion find a way to stop them? Does the love Nixy and Braxton share for each other even stand a chance in the brutal world they’ve found themselves in? There is only one way to find out.

Step into the world of Fantastica.

Click the cover image below to see new reviews and find out more.

Both titles are available at Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.

You can read them FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited.

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We Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard “A laugh out loud, bullet ridden thrill ride.” -MR

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
HitmansBodyguard.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Patrick Hughes
Produced by
  • David Ellison
  • Mark Gill
  • Dana Goldberg
  • Matthew O’Toole
  • John Thompson
  • Les Weldon
Written by Tom O’Connor
Starring
Music by Atli Örvarsson
Cinematography Jules O’Loughlin
Edited by Jake Roberts
Production
company
Distributed by Lionsgate Films[1]
Release date
  • August 18, 2017
Running time
118 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million[3]

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a 2017 American actioncomedy film directed by Patrick Hughes and written by Tom O’Connor, whose script was on the 2011 Black List. The film stars Ryan ReynoldsSamuel L. JacksonGary Oldman and Salma Hayek, and follows a bodyguard who is hired to protect a hitman who has to testify at the International Court of Justice.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard was released in the United States on August 18, 2017 and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Reynolds and Jackson’s chemistry but criticized the clichéd plot and execution.[4]

Plot

Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is hired to protect a Japanese arms dealer. All apparently goes well, but the dealer is shot in the head at the last minute. Two years later, Bryce has fallen into disgrace and ekes out a living protecting drug-addicted corporate executives. Meanwhile, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), the ruthless and bloodthirsty dictator of Belarus, is put on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Court of Justice. The prosecution is unable to make headway against him, as they cannot substantiate their allegations with physical evidence and Dukhovich assassinates any witnesses who could do so. The prosecution’s last hope is notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), who agrees to testify against Dukhovich in exchange for the exoneration of his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek), who is currently incarcerated.[5]

Interpol Assistant Director Jean Foucher (Joaquim de Almeida) assigns Amelia Roussel (Élodie Yung), a greenhorn agent who is Bryce’s estranged ex-girlfriend, to lead a squad of Interpol agents tasked with escorting Kincaid to The Hague to testify. However, the convoy is ambushed and everyone except Kincaid and Roussel is killed. The two retreat to a safehouse, where they deduce someone in Interpol must have betrayed them to Dukhovich. Realizing that they need someone who is completely unaffiliated with Interpol and can remain trustworthy, Roussel contacts Bryce. Bryce is reluctant to help, as he has had multiple conflicts with Kincaid in the past and believes that Roussel was responsible for the death of his client two years ago, but ultimately agrees to aid them in exchange for the restoration of his good name. Roussel returns to Interpol to update them on the situation while Bryce and Kincaid escape an attack by Dukhovich’s men.

Foucher approaches Dukhovich, revealing himself to be the traitor, and demands his payment for selling out Kincaid; Dukhovich stabs him in the hand and informs him he will only be paid when Kincaid is dead. Dukhovich’s men track Kincaid’s location through his cellphone and ambush him and Bryce. While they are able to fight them off, their vehicle is destroyed. The two hitchhike to a ferry terminal and take a ferry to Amsterdam, where Sonia is being held. Kincaid escapes from Bryce to send flowers to Sonia, and Bryce tracks him down and kills several more hitmen. Kincaid reveals that he chanced upon the arms dealer during an unrelated contract and killed him in order to collect the bounty on his head. Enraged, Bryce abandons him.

As Bryce bemoans his failures, an army of hitmen attack. Bryce changes his mind and helps Kincaid escape, but is captured.

Cast

Our Thoughts

This is a high-octane, bullet-ridden thrill ride. I laughed so hard at one scene my drink came up through my nose. The character interaction is great, and there is edge-of-your-seat violence from start to finish. As far as action thrillers go, this is top notch, and it is as funny as most modern comedies. There is even a dual romance element, that isn’t as cheesy as you would think. I have to give it 5 stars and it is definitely worth the cost of a premium ticket. A laugh out loud, bullet ridden thrill ride. Highly Recommended -MR

 

Find The Hitman’s Bodyguard and see the new trailer here.


We Review: The Dark Tower “4.5 stars and Highly Recommended” – MR

The Dark Tower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower teaser poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on The Dark Tower
by Stephen King
Starring
Music by Tom Holkenborg
Cinematography Rasmus Videbæk
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
Running time
95 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[2]
Box office $33.4 million[3]

The Dark Tower is a 2017 American science fantasywestern film[4] directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arcel. A continuation of Stephen King‘s novel series of the same name, the film stars Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, a gunslinger on a quest to protect the Dark Tower – a mythical structure which supports all realities – and Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis, Walter o’Dim, the Man in Black.[5]

Intended to launch a film and television franchise, the first installment combines elements from several novels in the eight-volume series, and takes place in both modern-day New York City and in Mid-World, Roland’s Old West-style parallel universe. The film also serves as a canonical sequel to the novel series, which concludes with the revelation that Roland’s quest is a cyclical time loop; the presence of the Horn of Eld, which Roland carries in the film, indicates that this is the next cycle.[6][7][8]

The Dark Tower premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on July 31, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on August 4, 2017 by Columbia Pictures.[9] It has grossed $33 million worldwide against production budget of $60 million, and received generally negative reviews, with critics calling it “a dull disappointment without any set audience: incomprehensible to newbies, and wildly unfaithful and simplistic to fans of King’s books”,[10][11] though Elba’s performance received some praise.

Plot

Eleven-year-old Jake Chambers experiences visions involving a Man in Black who seeks to destroy a Tower and bring ruin to the world, and a Gunslinger who opposes him. Jake’s mother, stepfather, and psychiatrists dismiss these as dreams resulting from the trauma of his father’s death the previous year.

At his apartment home in New York City, a group of workers from an alleged psychiatric facility offer to rehabilitate Jake; recognizing them from his visions as monsters wearing human skin, he flees. Jake tracks down an abandoned house from one of his visions, discovers a high-tech portal, and travels to a post-apocalyptic world called Mid-World.

In Mid-World, Jake encounters the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain who emerged in his visions. Roland is pursuing Walter Padick, the Man in Black who had also appeared in his dreams across a desert, seeking to kill him in revenge for the murder of his father, Steven. He explains that Walter has been abducting psychic children, and is attempting to use their powers to destroy the Dark Tower, a fabled structure located at the center of the universe; this will allow monsters from the darkness outside to invade and destroy reality.

Roland takes Jake to a village to have his visions interpreted by a seer. Learning of Jake’s escape and journey to Mid-World, Walter investigates, and realizes that Jake has enough psychic potential to destroy the Tower single-handedly. He kills Jake’s stepfather, then interrogates his mother about his visions and kills her. In Mid-World, the seer explains that Roland can find Walter’s base of operations in New York.

Our Thoughts

Okay book fans, I get it. The movie is really nothing like the book. Hand(s) full of history and scenes were absent, and key injuries to Roland forgotten…  But that said –and I liked the books a lot, and recommend them– making that slow, over worded, drag along series into a movie would have been an epic mistake. What we ended up with, is a pretty cool minimalistic version of the story that captures the spirit and highlights of the tale within the books. I found it quite entertaining, action packed, and well paced, with a pretty thrilling climax.

Iris Elba, and Matthew McConaughey play their parts well, and young Tom Taylor is destined for greatness. I’m not going to give this one 5 stars, simply because of how far it meandered from the books, but it was still a bad ass movie, and well worth the price of a premium ticket. Don’t listen to the haters. 4.5 stars and Highly Recommended – MR

Find The Dark Tower and see the new trailer here.

 


We Review: Atomic Blonde “An entertaining 4 star femme fatale flick” -MR

Atomic Blonde

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Leitch
Produced by
  • Charlize Theron
  • Beth Kono
  • A. J. Dix
  • Kelly McCormick
  • Eric Gitter
  • Peter Schwerin
Screenplay by Kurt Johnstad
Based on
The Coldest City
by

Starring
Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography Jonathan Sela
Edited by Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir
Production
company
Distributed by Focus Features
Release date
  • March 12, 2017 (SXSW)
  • July 28, 2017 (United States)
Running time
115 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million[2]
Box office $46.8 million[2]

Atomic Blonde is a 2017 American action spy thriller film directed by David Leitch, in his first solo directorial credit, and written by Kurt Johnstad. It is based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, published by Oni Press, which revolves around a spy who has to find a list of double agents who are being smuggled into the West, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The film stars Charlize Theron and James McAvoy, with John GoodmanTil SchweigerEddie MarsanSofia Boutella and Toby Jones in supporting roles.

Atomic Blonde had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 12, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 28, 2017, by Focus Features. It has grossed $46 million worldwide, and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its action sequences, Theron’s performance, and the musical score by Tyler Bates, although some criticized the writing and pacing; many have compared the film to John Wick.

Plot

In 1989, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin WallMI6 agent James Gasciogne is shot and killed by KGB agent Yuri Bakhtin, who steals the List, a piece of microfilm concealed in a wristwatch that contains the names of every active field agent in the Soviet Union. Ten days later, Lorraine Broughton, a top-level spy for MI6, is brought in to be interrogated by MI6 executive Eric Gray and CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld about her mission to Berlin.

The day after Gasciogne’s death, Lorraine is dispatched to Berlin to recover the List and assassinate Satchel, a double agent who has sold intelligence to the Soviets for years and who betrayed Gasciogne. When she arrives in Berlin, she is immediately ambushed by KGB agents working for arms dealer and KGB associate Aleksander Bremovych. Lorraine then meets with her main contact, agent David Percival. After failing to find any immediate leads, Lorraine investigates Gasciogne’s apartment and discovers a picture of him and Percival, and is then ambushed by the Volkspolizei. She realizes only Percival knew she was going to the apartment, and begins to suspect him of being Satchel. Lorraine also encounters Delphine Lasalle, a naive French agent, and enters into a relationship with her.

Bakhtin declares his intention to sell the List to the highest bidder. Percival, having been tipped off, kills him and takes the List for himself. He then meets with Bremovych to arrange the transfer of the List to him, which Lasalle photographs. Percival offers to escort the defector who stole and memorized the List, a Stasi officer codenamed Spyglass, and his family across the border to West Berlin.

Cast

  • Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton, a top-level MI6 field agent.
  • James McAvoy as David Percival, an eccentric Berlin station chief who becomes an ally of Broughton.
  • John Goodman as Emmett Kurzfeld, a CIA agent working with MI6.
  • Til Schweiger as The Watchmaker, a mysterious ally of MI6 who creates and crafts clocks and watches.
  • Eddie Marsan as Spyglass, a Stasi defector who stole the List.
  • Sofia Boutella as Delphine Lasalle, an undercover French agent who becomes Lorraine’s lover.
  • Toby Jones as Eric Gray, Broughton’s MI6 superior.
  • Bill Skarsgård as Merkel, Broughton’s MI6 mission assistant.
  • Sam Hargrave as James Gasciogne, a deceased MI6 agent who was close to Lorraine.
  • James Faulkner as Chief C, head of MI6.
  • Roland Møller[5] as Aleksander Bremovych, a ruthless Russian-German billionaire arms dealer who leads an espionage ring.

Our Thoughts

Atomic Blonde was a pretty solid movie. It has been compared to James Bond, and John Wick. To me those comparisons are a stretch, not saying that it wasn’t as entertaining as an old Bond flick, or John Wick, but this movie had noticeable lags in the flow, and no great super villain. It takes place before (or as) the Berlin Wall is coming down, and that in itself costs the movie some of its intensity. There is no “end of the world” impending doom to drive the plot. If our girl fails, the wall is still going to fall, and the agents who were working around it would be obsolete to the world anyway. That being said, the action sequences were pretty good, save for the fact that the goons our girl was kicking around out weighed her by three times or more, and the physics just wasn’t realistic. The plot twist, or should I say double plot twist at the end was brilliant, and after the movie half the people in the theater were scratching their heads, but I got it, and I can see a sequel or two coming. All in all I’d say this movie is worth the price of a premium ticket. An entertaining 4 star femme fatale flick. -MR

Find Atomic Blonde and see the new trailer here