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About twittersfantasyebookguide

We watch and review fantasy and Sci-Fi movies. (Both new releases and classics via - Amazon Streaming) We also tweet about fantasy genre news from across the blogosphere. Follow us @WizardWyrm on twitter.

Welcome to the world of Fantastica

LocusWEBtop

A Brand New Four Book Series by

M. R. Mathias

The series is finished! Rave reviews are coming in. Just click one of the covers to see what people are saying.  All four books are available in hardcover, standard paperback, and large print paperback at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. Ebook readers can find all four books on Kindle, but book one is also currently available for Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. Books two through four will follow to those stores by mid-February.

“If you love Lord Of The Rings, you will thoroughly enjoy this adventurous tale from the Master of Epic Fantasy… M. R.  Mathias”
— Kindle Nation Daily

“Mathias knows exactly how to weave a spell that entraps us from book to book. And now he magically steps into a new series FANTASTICA… The writing is ever more polished and sophisticated.”
— Vine Voice Hall of Fame Book Reviewer, Grady Harp

Taerak’s Void – Book One

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 from him.

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.

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.

Pharark, the Demon of Destruction, isn’t very pleased with the way Braxton Bray, and his companions thwarted his plan to use the Sapphire of Souls. With the might of his troll horde tearing through the Kingdom of Narvoza on their way to take the capital city of Camberly, our heroes find themselves scattered and without any sort of plan to stop his reign of terror.

Braxton, Chureal, and a few others are left searching for a way out of the Wilderkind Forest, while Nixy sneaks off to rescue the orphans she holds dear with only timid Suclair help her. The two women get caught in a race against time, for Lord Ulrich and his giant gothican warriors are bearing down on Antole and ravaging the city around the terrified children, and the Necromancer Reaton-Stav still wants Nixy’s head, and Suclair’s father’s spell book bad enough to do anything neccesary to get them.

A bloody war has over taken the kingdom, and now the dwarves and elves have no choice but to get involved. Will Braxton be able to find a way to use the power of the Void to stop the demon’s brutal rampage? Will Nixy and Suclair get trapped in a city overtaken by Pharark’s huge ruthless destroyers? Or willl the twisted necromancer get them before they even get that far? Will innocent, young Chureal, and the hatchling dragon she’s befriended be able to survive amid such violence?

With plot twists so intense they might give you whiplash, and clever heroes, bold enough to face impossible odds, just to have a chance at winning the day, this is one series you don’t want to miss.

Braxton, Cryelos, Chureal, and her young dragon Cobalt have suddenly appeared in an unfamiliar land. Only it isn’t so strange to Chureal. Not far from where Braxton found the young girl wandering alone in a battlefield, the group ends up in the middle of a war between kingdoms with wizards more powerful than they could imagine. To make matters worse, a group of Darkons, flesh eaters that used to be men, are on the verge of setting loose a terrible creature called the Drar that will destroy them all. Evil Darkanna witches, who can can knock a dragon from the sky with a simple clap of their hands are using their mannish creations, as well as ogres, true mountain giants, and creatures beyond the imagination to break this evil free.

Braxton can no longer seek Taerak’s wisdom because the ancient Void Warrior’s journal is on the other side of the world in Narvoza, with the dwarves. Left with nothing but a vague legend found woven in a tapestry, and bits of elven lore Cryelos can barely remember, our heroes must find the Staff of Aevelon, and then reach the altar at the summit of Mount Preal before the Blood Moon reaches its apex. Even if they manage it, they will still have to figure out how to use the staff to stop the Darkanna and their ferocious minions from setting loose their evil monstrosity.

Warrior of the Void, the finale of the four book Fantastica series, is nothing less than a blood-tingling, heart-pounding race against time with terrible forces trying to stop our heroes at every turn.

Also Available, in Ebook format, Fantastica: The Complete Four Book Collection, this too is currently only available for Kindle, but will make its way to Nook, iBooks, and Kobo next month with the rest of the series books.

“Fantastica” on Goodreads

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We Review, Star Wars: The Last Jedi “Highly Recommended, and great, but only 4 stars” -MR

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars The Last Jedi.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rian Johnson
Produced by
Written by Rian Johnson
Based on Characters
by George Lucas
Starring
Music by John Williams[1]
Cinematography Steve Yedlin[2]
Edited by Bob Ducsay[2]
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • December 9, 2017(Los Angeles)
  • December 15, 2017(United States)
Running time
152 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $105.8 million[4][5]

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi[6]) is a 2017 American epicspace opera film written and directed by Rian Johnson. It is the second film in the Star Warssequel trilogy, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The film is produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It stars Mark HamillCarrie FisherAdam DriverDaisy RidleyJohn BoyegaOscar IsaacAndy SerkisLupita Nyong’oDomhnall GleesonAnthony Daniels, and Gwendoline Christie in returning roles, with Kelly Marie TranLaura Dern, and Benicio del Toro joining the cast. It also marks the final performance of Fisher, who died in December 2016, with the film being dedicated in her memory.

The film was announced after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in October 2012. It is produced by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, with Force Awakens director J. J. Abrams as an executive producer. John Williams, composer for the previous seven films, returns to compose the score. Scenes that required shooting at Skellig Michael in Ireland were filmed during pre-production in September 2015, with principal photography beginning at Pinewood Studios in England in February 2016 and ending in July 2016. Post-production wrapped up in September 2017.[7]

The Last Jedi had its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 9, 2017, and was released in the United States on December 15, 2017. The film received highly positive reviews, with praise for its plot, ensemble cast, action scenes, visual effects, musical score and emotional weight. Some critics considered it the best film of the franchise since The Empire Strikes Back.[8][9][10][11][12] A sequel, provisionally titled Star Wars: Episode IX, is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.

Plot

Resistance fighters led by General Leia Organa evacuate their main base when a First Order fleet reaches the Resistance base on D’Qar. Poe Dameron‘s X-wings and bombers lead a preemptive attack, neutralizing their enemies’ offensive power. The Resistance vessels regroup and jump into hyperspace to escape, but the First Order gives pursuit using a tracking device. During an attack, Leia’s son, Kylo Ren, hesitates to fire at the lead Resistance ship after sensing his mother’s presence on board, but TIE fighters destroy the bridge of the ship, killing many Resistance leaders. Leia saves herself using the Force but is incapacitated, leaving Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in command. Disapproving of her passive strategy, Poe, FinnBB-8, and mechanic Rose Tico embark on a secret plan to disable the tracking device.

Meanwhile, having arrived on Ahch-To with Chewbacca and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium FalconRey meets Luke Skywalker. Luke refuses to initiate her in the ways of the Force because of his past failure with teaching Kylo, even after learning of Han Solo‘s death. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey and Kylo begin communicating with each other through visions. Prompted by R2-D2, Luke eventually agrees to teach Rey. Luke and Kylo give Rey differing accounts of the incident that swayed Kylo toward the dark side of the Force, with Luke confessing that he contemplated killing Kylo upon discovering his corruption at the hands of Supreme Leader Snoke. Unable to convince Luke to join the Resistance, Rey leaves Ahch-To without him to confront Kylo. Luke sees the ghost of Yoda, who destroys the Ahch-To Jedi temple for him and tells him that failure is the greatest teacher.

Holdo reveals her plan to discreetly evacuate the remaining Resistance members using small transports. Believing her actions to be cowardly and risky, Poe instigates a mutiny.

Our Thoughts

This was a great action and adventure sci-fi film, as all of the Star Wars movies are. There is a lot going on in this one, and I was excited for most of the film. Then toward the end, something happened that made me say, “Ughhh really?” One of the most glaring plot holes in all of movie history. This did not ruin the movie for me, because, well, just because, but it sort of ruined the premise and plot of several past movies, because: SPOILER ALERT: To destroy a fleet of massive and powerful pursuing enemy ships all they ever had to do was put a droid in a personnel carrier and jump it into light speed into the lead ship. The way it happened in this movie, it was no droid, but a dying rebel leader trying to help her friends escape. They could have made this same move long before most of the rebel ships ran out of fuel and their passengers died, but they didn’t. They waited until the very last moment, when most of the ships and people they were trying to save were dead, and then a human made the move instead of a droid. The amount of destruction she caused by jumping into light speed into the enemy ship was enough that they could have probably ordered C3PO to do the same thing right into the Death Star at the beginning of episode IV and killed Darth Vader while he was sleeping. No need for flying down the canyon to put two in the vent shaft was ever needed. To destroy any of the intimidating vessels that have plagued them in the past, all that was ever needed was just a small personnel carrier and a light speed jump. END OF SPOILER

Glaring plot hole aside, I did like Luke Skywalker’s return and the new characters are great. The rest of the story was fun and exciting for all ages. I highly recommend The Last Jedi, but I can only give it 4 stars. My reason is stated above. -MR

 

Find The Last Jedi and see the new trailer here.


We Review, Thor: Ragnarok “A rip-roaring blast of a movie. 5 stars” -MR

Thor: Ragnarok

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Thor: Ragnarok
Thor Ragnarok poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Taika Waititi
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by
Based on
Starring
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
Running time
130 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $180 million[2][3]
Box office $818.5 million[2]
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Thor: Ragnarok is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, and is the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Taika Waititi from a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, and stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor alongside Tom HiddlestonCate BlanchettIdris ElbaJeff GoldblumTessa ThompsonKarl UrbanMark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins. In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor must escape the alien planet Sakaar in time to save Asgard from Hela and the impending Ragnarök.

A third Thor film was confirmed in January 2014, with Kyle and Yost beginning work on the screenplay. The involvement of Hemsworth and Hiddleston was announced that October. Waititi joined the film as director a year later, after The Dark World director Alan Taylor chose not to return. Ruffalo joined the cast reprising the role of Hulk from previous MCU films, which allowed elements of the 2006 comic storyline “Planet Hulk” to be adapted for Ragnarok. The rest of the cast, including Blanchett as Hela, was confirmed in May 2016, with Pearson’s involvement revealed at the start of filming in July 2016. Principal photography took place in Brisbane and SydneyAustralia, with the film also having exclusive use of Village Roadshow Studios in Oxenford, concluding in October 2016.

Thor: Ragnarok premiered in Los Angeles on October 10, 2017, and was released in the United States on November 3, 2017, in 3D, IMAX, and IMAX 3D. The film received largely positive reviews, with many critics declaring it the best film of the Thor trilogy and praising Waititi’s direction, the cast, action sequences, soundtrack, and humor. It has grossed more than $818 million, making it the highest-grossing film of the Thor series and eighth highest-grossing film of 2017.

Plot

Two years after the battle at Sokovia,[N 1] Thor has been unsuccessfully searching for information regarding the Infinity Stones, and is now imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur in Muspelheim. Surtur reveals that Thor’s father Odin is no longer on Asgard, and that the realm will soon be destroyed in the prophesied Ragnarök, once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin’s vault. Thor defeats Surtur and claims his crown, believing he has prevented Ragnarök.

Thor returns to Asgard to find his brother Loki posing as Odin. Thor forces Loki to help him find their father, and with directions from Stephen Strange on Earth, they locate Odin in Norway. Odin explains that he is dying, and that his passing will allow his firstborn child, Hela, to escape from a prison she was sealed in long ago. Hela had been the leader of Asgard’s armies, and had conquered the Nine Realms with Odin, but had been imprisoned and written out of history after Odin feared that she had become too ambitious. Odin subsequently dies, and Hela, released from her imprisonment, appears. She destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and when Thor and Loki attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge, she pursues them and forces them out into space to die. Hela arrives in Asgard, destroying its army and killing the Warriors Three; resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, including her giant wolf Fenris; and appoints the Asgardian Skurge as her executioner. She plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard’s empire, but Heimdall covertly steals the sword that controls the Bridge, and hides away with the rest of Asgard’s citizens.

Thor crash-lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes. He is captured by a bounty hunter named Scrapper 142, and taken to serve as a gladiator for the planet’s ruler, the Grandmaster, with whom Loki has already become ingratiated. Thor recognizes 142 as one of the Valkyrior, a legendary force of female warriors who were killed defending Asgard from Hela long ago. Thor is forced to compete in the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, facing his old friend Hulk. Summoning lightning, Thor almost defeats Hulk but the Grandmaster sabotages the fight to ensure Hulk’s victory. Still enslaved, Thor attempts to convince Hulk and 142 to help him save Asgard, but neither is willing. He soon manages to escape the palace and finds the Quinjet that brought Hulk to Sakaar. Hulk follows Thor to the Quinjet, where a recording of Natasha Romanoff makes him transform back into Bruce Banner for the first time since Sokovia.

The Grandmaster orders 142 and Loki to find Thor and Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her fellow Valkyrie at the hands of Hela. Deciding to help Thor, she takes Loki captive to prove her goodwill. Unwilling to be left behind, Loki provides the group with the means to steal one of the Grandmaster’s ships. They then liberate the other gladiators who, led by Korg and Miek, stage a rebellion. Loki attempts to betray his brother to gain a reward from the Grandmaster, but Thor anticipates this and leaves him behind, where Korg and the gladiators soon find him. Thor, Banner, and 142 escape through a wormhole to Asgard, where Hela’s forces are attacking Heimdall and Asgard’s citizens. Banner becomes Hulk again, fighting Fenris, while Thor and 142 battle Skurge and the resurrected warriors.

Our Thoughts

I went into this movie not thinking I would like it. Boy was I wrong. First the use of color in the city scenes, and sets is simply amazing. The story was pretty cool too. Who knew Thor and Loki had a big sister? Well, I did, but I didn’t think her story would be all that entertaining. The side characters, Korg and Meik are fantastic comedic relief, and the whole thing from start to finish, is pretty much non-stop. I highly recommend this rip-roaring blast of a movie. 5 stars. -MR

Find Thor: Ragnarok and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Justice League “I wanted to like it more, but couldn’t 3.5 stars” – MR

Justice League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                                 PLEASE DONATE TO WIKI!
                                  We Do Every Year!
Justice League
Justice League film poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Zack Snyder
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Chris Terrio
  • Zack Snyder
Based on Justice League
by Gardner Fox
Starring
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Fabian Wagner
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • October 26, 2017 (Beijing)
  • November 17, 2017(United States)
Running time
120 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $300 million[2]
Box office $570.3 million[3]


Justice League
 is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comicssuperhero team of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), the film is directed by Zack Snyder with a screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, from a story by Terrio and Snyder. It features an ensemble cast that includes Ben AffleckHenry CavillAmy AdamsGal GadotEzra MillerJason MomoaRay FisherJeremy IronsDiane LaneConnie Nielsen, and J. K. Simmons. In Justice League, the titular superhero team, consisting of BatmanWonder WomanFlashAquaman, and Cyborg, forms to honor Supermanfollowing his death and to save the planet from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

The film was announced in October 2014 with Snyder on board to direct and Terrio attached to write the script. Initially announced as Justice League Part One, with a second part to follow in 2019, the second film was indefinitely delayed to accommodate a standalone Batman film with Affleck. Principal photography commenced in April 2016 and ended in October 2016. Snyder then hired Joss Whedon to write scenes that would be filmed during reshoots; however, Snyder left the project in May 2017 following the death of his daughter. Whedon was hired to oversee the remainder of post-production, including directing additional scenes written by himself. Snyder received sole director credit for the film, with Whedon receiving a screenplay credit.

With an estimated production budget of $300 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever madeJustice League premiered in Beijing on October 26, 2017, and was released in the United States in 2D, 3D, and IMAX on November 17, 2017. It has currently grossed over $570 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics; the action sequences and performances (particularly Gadot and Miller) were praised while what was perceived as a thin plot, weak villain, and overuse of CGI were criticized. The film’s tone was met with a polarized reception, with some praising it for being lighter than previous DCEU installments, while others noted it as inconsistent.

Plot

Thousands of years ago, Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons attempt to conquer Earth through the combined energies of three Mother Boxes. They are foiled by a unified army that included the Olympian GodsAmazonsAtlanteans, Mankind, and Green Lanterns. After repelling Steppenwolf’s army, the Mother Boxes are separated and hidden in locations around the planet.

In the present, the world is in mourning after the death of Superman. This triggers the Mother Boxes to reactivate and Steppenwolf’s return to Earth in an effort to regain favor with his master, Darkseid. Steppenwolf manages to retrieve the Mother Box from Themyscira, prompting Queen Hippolyta to warn her daughter Diana Prince of Steppenwolf’s return by lighting the invasion fire. Prince joins Bruce Wayne in his attempt to unite other metahumans to their cause, with Wayne going after Arthur Curry and Barry Allen, while Prince tries to locate Victor Stone. The two of them fail to persuade Curry and Stone, but manage to recruit an enthusiastic Allen onto the team. Stone later joins the team after his father Silas is kidnapped, along with several other S.T.A.R. Labs employees, by Steppenwolf seeking to acquire the Mother Box from them.

Meanwhile, Steppenwolf attacks Atlantis to retrieve the next Mother Box, forcing Curry to take action. The team receives intel from Commissioner James Gordon leading them to Steppenwolf’s army, based in an abandoned facility under Gotham Harbor. Although the group manages to rescue the kidnapped employees, the facility is flooded during combat, which traps the team until Curry helps delay the flood so they can escape. Stone retrieves the last Mother Box, which he had hidden, for the group to analyze. Stone reveals that his father used the Mother Box to rebuild Stone’s body after an accident almost cost him his life. Wayne decides to use the Mother Box to resurrect Superman, not only to help them fight off Steppenwolf’s army, but also to restore hope to mankind. Prince and Curry are hesitant about the idea, but Wayne forms a secret contingency plan in case Superman returns as a nemesis.

Our Thoughts

The movie was almost exactly as expected, and entertaining. BUT: The voice of the antagonist Steppenwolf sounded just like Optimus Prime, which was pretty annoying. Flash and Aqua man were cool additions to the group and the only surprise is a major spoiler so I’ll let you find out for yourself. I wanted this to be better. I wanted to like it as much as I did Wonder Woman, but the bad guys weren’t even scary, and the Russian civilian side story was simply lame. I have to give it 3.5 stars, but I do recommend it. It entertained me, but when I leave a movie disappointed, I cant give it 4 or 5 stars. I just can’t. I wanted to like it more, but couldn’t 3.5 stars – MR

Find Justice League and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Geostorm “Not worth the price of the premium ticket. 3 stars” – MR

Geostorm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Geostorm
Geostorm official teaser poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dean Devlin[1]
Produced by
Written by
  • Dean Devlin
  • Paul Guyot
Starring
Music by Lorne Balfe
Cinematography Roberto Schaefer
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures[2]
Release date
  • October 20, 2017(United States)
Running time
109 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $120 million[4]
Box office $158.7 million[4]

Geostorm is a 2017 American science fictiondisaster film[1] co-written, produced, and directed by Dean Devlin as his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Gerard ButlerJim SturgessAbbie CornishAlexandra Maria LaraRichard SchiffRobert SheehanDaniel WuEugenio DerbezEd Harris, and Andy García. The plot follows a satellite designer who tries to save the world from a storm of epic proportions caused by malfunctioning climate-controlling satellites.

Principal photography began on October 20, 2014, in New OrleansLouisiana. After poor test screenings, re-shoots took place in December 2016 under executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, writer Laeta Kalogridis and new director Danny Cannon.[5] The film is the first co-production between Skydance Media and Warner Bros. Pictures. The film was released by Warner Bros. in the United States on October 20, 2017, in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. It has grossed $158 million worldwide and received negative reviews, with critics praising the special effects but calling the film as a whole “uninspired”.[6]

Plot

Jake arrives to ICSS to examine the satellite that decimated Hong Kong with station commander Ute Fassbinder and her crew, however, a sudden malfunction causes it to become severely damaged and erase its data. Back on Earth, as a hailstorm levels Tokyo, Cheng discovers he’s lost login access and calls Max, telling him that, if the malfunction continues, the world will suffer from a chain reaction of extreme weather patterns known as “Geostorm”. Max discovers he cannot access the satellites and discovers his login access has been deliberately revoked while Cheng flies to the United States after evading a team of armed mercenaries. Jake and Ute fly outside the ICSS to retrieve a hard drive which had been ejected along with the satellite engineer. They keep the hard drive secret from the crew, suspecting a traitor. Jake and Ute look for the source of the error but are blocked. Jake reports the findings to Max. The ICSS staff attempt to neutralize malfunctioning satellites by deliberately knocking them offline via collisions with replacement satellites. After Cheng tells Max of Project Zeus, an assailant intentionally causes Cheng’s death in a traffic accident. Max and Dana discover Project Zeus simulates extreme weather patterns to create the biggest Geostorm.

Jake, Ute, and fellow crew member Dussette recover the copied log data from the dead engineer and discover a virus has systematically wiped out everyone’s login access to that satellite.

Following a series of extreme natural disasters, an international coalition commissions “Dutch Boy”, a system of satellites designed to control climate on a global scale. After Dutch Boy neutralizes a massive typhoon before it can hit Shanghai, a Senate sub-committee reprimands the system’s chief architect Jake Lawson for activating the satellites without prior approval and replaces him with his brother Max, who works under Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom. Three years later, a United Nations field team stationed in Afghanistan comes across a village that has been frozen over, with its citizens frozen in place. At the same time, an engineer working on the International Climate Space Station (ICSS) stores data from the Afghanistan satellite moments before being ejected into space. U.S. President Andrew Palma calls an emergency meeting of his Cabinet after learning about the Afghanistan incident and, after Max demands they conduct a proper investigation, agrees with Dekkom’s suggestion to send Jake. Max then travels to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where Jake has been living with his daughter Hannah, and successfully convinces him to investigate. Meanwhile, another one of the satellites causes temperatures in Hong Kong to increase, resulting in a firestorm that levels a section of the city and nearly kills Max’s college friend Cheng, who serves as head of Dutch Boy’s Hong Kong department.

Our Thoughts

Geostorm was a great concept, and Gerard Butler carries his role, and the movie out of the “B” ranks, but it just wasn’t up to par. The effects were okay, and even cool at times, and the movie is not terrible. It just isn’t good. Wait on the home version, and rent it.  This wasn’t worth the price of the premium ticket, and I left feeling a bit cheated. 3 stars – MR

 

Find Geostorm and see the trailer here. 


We Review: Blade Runner 2049 “Well done. Highly recommended.” – MR

Blade Runner 2049

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by Hampton Fancher
Based on Characters from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
byPhilip K. Dick
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Roger Deakins
Edited by Joe Walker
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • October 3, 2017(Dolby Theatre)
  • October 6, 2017(United States)
Running time
163 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $150–185 million[3][4][5][6]
Box office $158 million[6]

Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American neo-noirscience fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.[7] A sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner, the film stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, with Ana de ArmasSylvia HoeksRobin WrightMackenzie DavisCarla JuriLennie JamesDave Bautista and Jared Leto in supporting roles. Set thirty years after the original film, the story depicts a bioengineered human named K, who discovers the remains of a once-pregnant replicant. To prevent a possible war between replicants and humans, K is secretly tasked with finding the child and destroying all evidence related to it.

Principal photography took place in Budapest, Hungary between July and November 2016. Blade Runner 2049premiered in Los Angeles on October 3, 2017 and was released in the United States on October 6, 2017, in 2D, 3D and IMAX. The film received acclaim from critics, with some regarding it as one of the best sequels ever made, and has grossed $158 million worldwide.[8][9][10][11]

Plot

In 2049, bioengineered humans called replicants have been integrated into society as servants and slaves. K, a newer replicant model created to obey, works as a “blade runner” for the LAPD, hunting down and “retiring” rogue older model replicants. His home life is spent with his holographic girlfriend Joi, an artificial intelligenceproduct of Wallace Corporation.

K’s investigation into a growing replicant freedom movement leads him to a farm, where he retires rogue replicant Sapper Morton and finds a buried box. A forensic analysis reveals the box contains the remains of a female replicant who died as the result of complications from an emergency caesarean section. K finds this unsettling as pregnancy in replicants was originally thought to be impossible.

K is ordered to destroy all evidence related to the case and to retire the child by his superior, Lieutenant Joshi, who believes the knowledge that replicants are able to reproduce to be dangerous and could lead to war. K, disturbed by his orders to kill a born individual, visits the headquarters of Wallace Corporation founder Niander Wallace, who identifies the body as Rachael, an experimental replicant. In the process, he learns of her romantic ties with former veteran blade runner Rick Deckard. Believing that reproduction in replicants can expand his off-world operations, but lacking this technology himself, Wallace sends his replicant enforcer Luv to steal Rachael’s remains from LAPD headquarters and follow K to find Rachael’s child.

Returning to Morton’s farm to destroy it, K finds a hidden date that matches one of his own childhood memories about hiding a toy horse. Joi insists that this coincidence is evidence that K is, in fact, a real person. While searching birth records for that year, he discovers that twins were born on that day with identical DNA except for the sex chromosome; only the boy is listed as alive. Tracking the child to an orphanage in ruined San Diego, K discovers its records from the relevant year have been stolen. K also recognises the orphanage from his memories, and finds the hidden toy horse, suggesting that these memories — which he thought were merely implants — are real.

K seeks out Dr. Ana Stelline, a memory designer who informs him that it is illegal to program replicants with humans’ real memories, leading K to believe he might be Rachael’s son. After failing a test of his replicant behavior, K is suspended by Joshi, but he explains that he failed the test because he completed his mission in killing the child. Joshi gives him 48 hours to disappear. K transfers Joi to a mobile emitter despite knowing that if it is damaged she will be erased. Undeterred, K has the toy horse analyzed and finds traces of radiation that lead him to the ruins of Las Vegas, where he finds Deckard. Deckard reveals that he scrambled the birth records to cover his tracks and was forced to leave a pregnant Rachael with the replicant freedom movement to protect her.

Luv and her men murder Joshi, track K’s location and arrive to kidnap Deckard.

Our Thoughts

Having watched the original a few hours before BR2049, things were fresh in my mind. I liked the new film for several reasons, one of them is they didn’t venture too far from the original storyline, even though a lot of time had passed and the technology has evolved. The new Blade Runners are replicants, though, which was sort of disappointing.  The plot is semi-confusing, if you are not into sci-fi, but as things come together toward the end, it all becomes clearer. The end, is left open for another installment, and by the amount of money this film has made there will definitely be a part three to the franchise.  All in all, I give this one 5 stars. The acting is superb, the effects well done, and I highly recommend seeing this one in a premium seating or IMAX environment. – MR

Find Blade Runner 2049 and see the new trailer here.


Get a #FREE #Kindle #ShortStory every day in October from M. R. Mathias

The whole month’s schedule of #FREE M. R. Mathias Shorts

is compiled here, by James of HBS

http://hbsauthorspotlight.blogspot.com/2017/10/mr-mathias-hbs-authors-spotlight.html

 

I am offering a free short story every day in #October.

Today’s featured #FREE short story is:

**Crimzon & Clover II – The Tricky Wizard**

Please post a #BookReview if you read it!


Get a #FREE #Kindle #ShortStory every day in October from M. R. Mathias

I am offering a free short story every day in #October.

Today’s featured #FREE short story is:

**Alpha Sint-Holo**

Please post a #BookReview if you read it!

 


We Review, American Made “Good violent fun. Worth seeing, but not as ‘great’ as advertised. 4 stars” -MR

American Made

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
American Made
American Made (film).jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Doug Liman
Produced by
Written by Gary Spinelli
Starring Tom Cruise
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography César Charlone
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • August 23, 2017 (Europe)
  • September 29, 2017(United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[2]
Box office $59.5 million[2]

American Made is a 2017 American biographical crime film directed by Doug Liman, written by Gary Spinelli and starring Tom CruiseDomhnall GleesonSarah Wright, Alejandro Edda, Mauricio Mejía, Caleb Landry Jonesand Jesse Plemons.[3] The plot focuses on Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s.[4] In order to avoid jail time, Seal approached United States government officials and served as an informant for the DEA.[4]

The film was first released in Europe on August 23, 2017, and then in the United States on September 29, 2017. It is the first film directed by Liman to be released by Universal Pictures since The Bourne Identity in 2002, and was played in 2D and IMAX in select theaters.[5] It has grossed $59 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Cruise’s performance.[6]

Plot

In the late 1970s, Barry Seal, a pilot for commercial airline TWA, is contacted by CIA agent, Monty Schafer. He asks Seal to fly clandestine reconnaissance missions for the CIA over South America using a small plane with cameras installed.

Later in the 1970s, Schafer asks Seal to start acting as a courier between the CIA and General Noriega in Panama. During a mission, the Medellín Cartel picks Seal up and asks him to fly cocaine on his return flights to the USA. Seal accepts and starts flying the cartel’s cocaine to Louisiana. The CIA turns a blind eye to the drug smuggling, but the DEA tracks Seal down. To avoid the authorities, Schafer moves Seal and his family to a remote town in Arkansas called Mena.

Later, Schafer asks Seal to run guns to the Contras. Seal soon realizes that the Contras are not serious about the war and starts trading the guns to the cartel. The CIA set up a Contra training base in Mena and Seal flies the Contras in, but most of them escape as soon as they arrive.

Lucy’s brother JB moves in, needing a job from Barry. Eventually he starts stealing money from the Seals and is caught by Sherriff Downing with a briefcase full of laundered cash and is arrested. When Barry exiles him for good, it is implied Jorge Ochoa had JB’s car rigged with explosives, killing him so that he wouldn’t snitch.

Eventually, the CIA shuts the program down and abandons Seal to be arrested by the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies. Seal escapes prosecution by making a deal with the White House, which wants evidence the Sandinistas are drug traffickers. They ask Seal to get photos that tie the Medelin Cartel to the Sandinistas. Seal manages to get the pictures but the White House releases them as propaganda against the Sandinistas, leading to Seal’s arrest and the Cartel placing a bounty on his head.

Our Thoughts

American made, is a wild, non-stop, action packed portrayal of the true tale about the trade of money, guns, and drugs. I enjoyed it, and do recommend seeing it. But it lacked something. There was no sense of urgency, no shocking surprises, and the ending was just as I expected. The acting was perfect, and all the characters were well portrayed. It was good violent fun, but not as ‘great’ as advertised. 4 stars” – MR

Find, American made, and see the new trailer here.


We Review, IT (2017) “Pennywise will kill you if you don’t go see it. 4.5 stars” – MR

It (2017 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It
It (2017) poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andy Muschietti
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on It
by Stephen King
Starring
Music by Benjamin Wallfisch
Cinematography Chung-hoon Chung
Edited by Jason Ballantine
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
135 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million[2][3]
Box office $500.7 million[4]

It (titled onscreen as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film[5] directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The screenplay is by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman.[6][7] The first of a planned duology, the film tells the story of seven children in Derry, Maine, who are terrorized by the eponymous being, only to face their own personal demons in the process. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries.[8][9][10]

The film stars Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Skarsgård as Bill Denbrough and Pennywise the Dancing Clown, respectively, with Jeremy Ray TaylorSophia LillisFinn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen JacobsJack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.[11][6]Principal photography began in the Riverdale neighborhood of Toronto on June 27, 2016, and ended on September 21, 2016.[12][13] Other Ontariolocations included Port Hope and Oshawa.[14][15][16]

It premiered in Los Angeles on September 5, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 8, 2017.[17][18] Upon release, the film set numerous box office records and has grossed over $500 million worldwide.[19] It received positive reviews, with critics praising the performances, direction, cinematography, and musical score, and many calling it one of the best Stephen King adaptations.[20] A sequel is set to be released on September 6, 2019.[21]

Plot

In October 1988, teenager Bill Denbrough gives his seven-year-old brother, Georgie, a paper sailboat. Georgie sails the boat along the rainy streets of small town Derry, and is disappointed when it falls down a storm drain. As he attempts to retrieve it Georgie sees a clown in the sewer, who introduces himself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown“. The clown entices Georgie to come closer, then severs his arm and drags him into the sewer.

The following summer, Bill and his friends (loudmouth Richie Tozier, hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak, and timid Stan Uris) run afoul of bully Henry Bowers and his gang. Bill, still haunted by Georgie’s disappearance and the resulting neglect from his grief-stricken parents, discovers that his brother’s body may have washed up in a marshy wasteland called the Barrens. He recruits his friends to check it out, believing his brother may still be alive.

“New kid” Ben Hanscom learns that the town has been plagued by unexplained tragedies and child disappearances for centuries. He is targeted by Bowers’ gang for being fat, after which he flees into the Barrens and meets Bill’s group. They find the sneaker of a missing girl, while a member of the pursuing Bowers Gang, Patrick Hockstetter, is killed by Pennywise.

Beverly Marsh is also incorporated into the group; both Bill and Ben develop feelings for her. Later, the group befriends African American homeschool student Mike Hanlon after defending him from Bowers. All the while each member of the group has encountered terrifying phenomena in various forms; these include a menacing clown, a headless boy, a fountain of blood, a diseased and rotting man, a creepy painting come to life, people burning alive, and a phantom Georgie.

Now calling themselves “The Losers Club”, they realize they are all being terrorized by the same entity. They determine that Pennywise (or “It”) assumes the appearance of what they fear, awakens every 27 years to feed on the children of Derry before returning to hibernation, and moves about by using sewer lines – which all lead to a well currently under the creepy, abandoned house at 29 Neibolt Street. After an attack by Pennywise, the group ventures to the house to confront him, only to be separated and terrorized. Eddie breaks his arm, while Pennywise gloats to Bill about Georgie. As they regroup Beverly impales Pennywise through the head, forcing the clown to retreat. However, after the encounter the group begins to splinter, with only Bill and Beverly resolute in fighting It.

Weeks later, after Beverly confronts and incapacitates her sexually abusive father, she is abducted by Pennywise. The Losers Club reassembles and travels back to the Neibolt house to rescue her. Henry Bowers, who has killed his father after being compelled into madness by It, attacks the group. Mike fights back and pushes Bowers down the well to his apparent death. The Losers descend into the sewers and find It’s underground lair, which contains a mountain of decayed circus props and children’s belongings, around which the bodies of missing children float in mid-air. Beverly, now catatonic after being exposed to It’s true form, is restored to consciousness as Ben kisses her. Bill encounters Georgie, but recognizes that he’s Pennywise in disguise. Pennywise attacks the group and takes Bill hostage, offering to spare the others if they let It keep Bill.

Our Thoughts

This was the first half of the book, or no, the half of the book about the gang of heroes in their youth. The adult part of the story when they come back, will be part two.  I was not disappointed that they separated the two parts of the novel. In fact it made it a lot easier to take in. I have read IT the 1400 page novel twice, and this rendition sticks to the book fairly well. I really enjoyed this film and I am looking forward to part two. It was creepy and spooky and all the things it needed to be, and I am sure the younger generation who read 140 character texts not 1400 page novels, will love it and think it is all new. King is a master, and this version is great. Well worth the price of a premium ticket. Pennywise will kill you if you don’t go see it. 4.5 stars – MR

Find IT and see the new trailer here.