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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.

We Review: #MortalEngines #IMAX 3D version, “Action and adventure packed from start to finish. Very cool.” – MR

Mortal Engines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mortal Engines
Mortal Engines teaser poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Christian Rivers
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Mortal Engines
by Philip Reeve
Starring
Music by Junkie XL[1]
Cinematography Simon Raby
Edited by Jonno Woodford-Robinson
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • November 27, 2018(London)
  • December 7, 2018 (New Zealand)
  • December 14, 2018(United States)
Running time
128 minutes[5]
Country
  • New Zealand
  • United States
Language English
Budget $100–150 million[6]
Box office $22.5 million[7]

Mortal Engines is a 2018 post-apocalyptic adventure film directed by Christian Rivers and with a screenplay by Fran WalshPhilippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, based on the novel of the same name by Philip Reeve, and starring Hugo WeavingHera HilmarRobert SheehanJihaeRonan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. An American-New Zealand co-production, the film is set in a post-apocalyptic world where entire cities have been mounted on wheels and motorised, and prey on one another.

Jackson purchased the rights to the book in 2009, but the film languished for several years before being officially announced in 2016. Jackson picked Rivers, who won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on Jackson’s King Kong, to make his directorial debut with the project, and also brought on several members of his production teams from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film series. Filming took place from April to July 2017 in New Zealand.

Mortal Engines had its world premiere on November 27, 2018 in London, was theatrically released in Australia and New Zealand on December 6, 2018 and in the United States on December 14, 2018.[8] The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the visual effects but criticized the direction and “lack of personality”

Plot

Following a cataclysmic conflict known as the Sixty Minute War, the remnants of humanity regroup and form mobile “predator” cities. Under a philosophy known as “Municipal Darwinism”, larger cities hunt and absorb smaller settlements in the “Great Hunting Ground”, which includes Great Britain and Continental Europe. In opposition, settlements of the “Anti-Traction League” have developed an alternative civilization consisting of “static settlements” (traditional, non-mobile cities) in Asia led by Shan Guo (formerly China), protected by the “Shield Wall”. Relics of modern technology such as toasters, computers, and iPhones are valued as “Old-Tech.”

The city of London captures a small mining town called Salzhaken, absorbing its population and resources, under orders of Lord Mayor Magnus Crome. A masked woman among the Salzhakens is Hester Shaw, who seeks to assassinate Thaddeus Valentine, Head of the Guild of Historians. Tom Natsworthy, a teenage Apprentice Historian, is sent to London’s “Gut” to collect Old-Tech for London’s Museum, accompanied by Valentine’s good-natured daughter Katherine. Hester attempts to kill Valentine but Tom intervenes, pursuing Hester to a waste chute. Hester escapes, but not before telling him that Valentine murdered her mother and scarred her face. When Tom informs Valentine of this, he pushes Tom down the chute.

Tom and Hester are forced to work together to traverse the Great Hunting Ground, finding refuge in a town called Scuttlebug, but the owners lock them in a cell and intend to sell them as slaves. Hester confides that Valentine killed her archaeologist mother Pandora after stealing a piece of Old-Tech she found in a dig in the Dead Continent of America, whilst young Hester escaped with a necklace her mother gave her. Meanwhile, Valentine frees Shrike, a reanimated cyborg known as a “Stalker”, from an offshore prison to hunt down and kill Hester. At the slave market of Rustwater, Tom and Hester are rescued by Anti-Traction League agent Anna Fang. During the chaos, Tom and Hester are pursued by Shrike, whom Hester reveals she knows. Hester explains that Shrike had found and raised her, and Hester promised to allow him to turn her into a Stalker like himself, but she left after discovering that London was in the Great Hunting Ground. On London, Katherine grows estranged from her father, especially after learning from the Apprentice Engineer Bevis Pod that Valentine pushed Tom down the chute, and learns that Valentine’s energy project in the re-purposed St Paul’s Cathedral is more than it seems.

Hester and Tom travel on Anna’s airship the Jenny Haniver to the airborne city Airhaven, meeting with other members of the Anti-Traction League. Tom figures out what Pandora discovered is MEDUSA, a superweapon that can destroy cities in an instant. Shrike catches up with them and Airhaven is destroyed in the ensuing fire. Following a fierce skirmish, Shrike is mortally wounded, realizing that Hester is in love with Tom. Before perishing, he makes peace with Hester and frees her of her promise. Hester, Tom, and Anna then travel to the Shield Wall with the surviving Anti-Tractionists. On London, Valentine kills Crome in a coup and drums up support from Londoners by vowing to destroy the Shield Wall with MEDUSA and lead them to a new Hunting Ground in Asia. Anna convinces Governor Kwan to launch the Anti-Tractionist fleet against London, but MEDUSA destroys the fleet and blasts a hole through the Shield Wall. Hester discovers that her mother’s necklace hides a “crash drive” with a kill switch for MEDUSA. Hester, Tom, Anna, and the remaining Anti-Tractionists lead a raid against London, braving the city’s anti-aircraft defences.

Our Thoughts

Having never read the book, I went into this movie not knowing what to expect at all. I was urprised that such an outlandish premise had garnered so much attention, but the immediacy the main characters created, made it all fall nicely into place, as the backdrop world for a basic, yet extrememly exciting thrillride. The effects and imagery were spot on and I have to say, I recomend this for the whole family for a night out. 4.5 stars and easily worth the price of a premium ticket.

 

Find Mortal Engines and see the new trailer, here.

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We Review, #FantasticBeasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald “4.5 stars and Highly Recommended” – MR

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald Poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Yates
Produced by
Written by J. K. Rowling
Based on Characters
by J. K. Rowling
Starring
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Edited by Mark Day
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 8 November 2018 (Paris)
  • 16 November 2018 (United Kingdom and United States)
Running time
134 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[2]
Box office $31 million[1]

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a 2018 fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J. K. Rowling. A joint British and American production, it is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them(2016). It is the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, which began with the Harry Potter film series. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Eddie RedmayneKatherine WaterstonDan FoglerAlison SudolEzra MillerZoë KravitzCallum TurnerClaudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin GuthrieJude Law, and Johnny Depp. The plot follows Newt Scamanderand Albus Dumbledore as they attempt to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, while facing new threats in a more divided wizarding world.

A second Fantastic Beasts film was announced in October 2014, and in July 2016 Rowling confirmed she had completed the script. Depp was cast in November 2016, causing some controversy due to domestic violence allegations recently made against him, and Law signed on in April 2017. Principal photography on the film began at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden in July 2017. Filming also took place in England, including London, Switzerland, and Paris, and ended in December 2017.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premiered in Paris on 8 November 2018 and was released worldwide on 16 November 2018, in Real D 3DDolby CinemaIMAX and ScreenX[3], by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its entertainment and production value, and the performances (particularly from Law and Depp), but criticized the “needlessly complicated, low-stakes plot” while feeling that it was “overburdened” with details setting up future sequels.[4]

Plot

In 1927, the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is being held prisoner by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). When departing New York for transfer back to London, he is freed by follower and MACUSA employee, Abernathy. Grindelwald kills his guards and escapes.

Three months later, Newt Scamander is appealing to the British Ministry of Magic to restore his right to travel, after losing it during his visit to New York City. He meets with Leta Lestrange, an old friend from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who is engaged to his brother Theseus. During his appeal, Newt is offered his travel rights returned if he agrees to work for the Ministry of Magic, alongside his brother, in locating the Obscurial Credence Barebone, who has resurfaced in Paris; Credence is believed by many to be the last survivor of a long pure-blood line of wizards, and by Grindelwald to be the only person who can kill his only living equal, Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore. Newt rejects the offer, and the Auror Grimmson is dispatched in his place. After leaving the Ministry, Newt is summoned to meet with Dumbledore, who also asks him to travel to Paris to find Credence.

Newt returns home to find American friends Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski, who have followed Queenie’s sister Tina to Europe. After a fight concerning the ban on marriage between wizards and Muggles, Queenie leaves alone to find Tina. Newt and Jacob follow both to Paris.

In Paris, Tina attends a freak show at the Circus Arcanus in Paris, searching for Credence. Credence and circus attraction Nagini escape during the show, releasing many of the animals. Credence and Nagini, searching for Credence’s birth mother, find the nurse who put him up for adoption, but Grimmson arrives and kills her, working under Grindelwald’s orders. Meanwhile, Tina meets Yusuf, yet another interested party looking for Credence. Newt and Jacob follow Yusuf to Tina, and Yusuf explains that he has sworn to kill Credence, believed to be his half-brother and a member of the Lestrange family.

Newt and Tina infiltrate the French Ministry of Magic for documents to confirm Credence’s identity and are discovered by Leta and Theseus. Their search leads from the Ministry to the Lestrange family tomb, where Yusuf and Leta explain their relation and Leta reveals her brother died as an infant, and thus cannot be Credence. The trail seems to have been fabricated to lead Credence to the tomb, where Grindelwald is holding a rally for his followers, with Queenie in attendance and Jacob in search of her.

At the rally, Grindelwald preaches “freedom” for wizards from the rules that require them to remain hidden from Muggles, using future images of World War II to call for the supremacy of wizards.

Our Thoughts

While I didn’t like the idea of bringing back all of the players from the first film, it turned out pretty well. Johny Depp is always fun to watch, and the rest of the cast play their parts well. The creatures are fantastic, and the special effects were superb, but the story line is conveluted, in that there is just too time much wasted on irrelevant wizarding fancy, and prequelitis. Despite that, in the end, I found myself gripping my seat. I highly recommend this film. Great fun for the whole family, 4.5 stars and Highly Recommended” – MR

Find Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and see the new trailer here.

 


We Review: #Venom “A fun night out, but nothing worth bragging about.” – MR

Venom (2018 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Venom
Venom poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Jeff Pinkner
  • Scott Rosenberg
Based on
Starring
Music by Ludwig Göransson
Cinematography Matthew Libatique
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date
Running time
112 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100–116 million[3]
Box office $215.1 million[4]

Venom is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel.[5]Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).[a] The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott RosenbergJeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel, and stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom, alongside Michelle WilliamsRiz AhmedScott Haze, and Reid Scott. In Venom, journalist Brock gains superpowers after being bound to an alien symbiote whose species plans to invade Earth.

Sony began developing a Venom film after the character made his cinematic debut in Spider-Man 3 (2007). After various iterations, work on a new version began in March 2017, with the intention of starting a new shared universe featuring those Marvel characters to which Sony possessed film rights; Sony also intended for the film to share the world of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is set in the MCU after a deal between Sony and Marvel Studios. Rosenberg and Pinkner were set to write, with Fleischer and Hardy added in May 2017. Principal photography began in October 2017, in AtlantaNew York City, and San Francisco.

Venom premiered in Los Angeles on October 1, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018. The film has grossed over $215 million worldwide and set several box office records for the month of October, but received generally negative reviews from critics for its script and inconsistent tone, though some did praise Hardy’s performance.

Plot

While exploring space for new habitable worlds, a probe belonging to bioengineering corporation Life Foundation discovers a comet covered in symbiotic lifeforms. They bring four samples back to Earth, but one escapes and causes the ship to crash in Malaysia. The Life Foundation recovers the other three and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where CEO Carlton Drake learns that the symbiotes cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts, which often reject the symbiosis. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock reads about Drake’s human trials in a classified document in the possession of his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney involved in preparing a lawsuit defense for Life Foundation. Brock confronts Drake, leading to both Brock and Weying losing their jobs. Weying ends their relationship.

Six months later, Drake is getting closer to achieving successful symbiosis. Brock is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists who disagrees with his methods and wants to help Brock expose him. She helps Brock break into the research facility to search for evidence, and he learns that an acquaintance of his, a homeless woman named Maria, has become one of Drake’s test subjects. Brock attempts to rescue Maria, but she attacks him and the symbiote possessing her transfers from her body to his, leaving her dead. Brock escapes, but he soon begins displaying strange symptoms and reaches out to Weying for help. Her new boyfriend, Dr. Dan Lewis, examines Brock and discovers the symbiote. Meanwhile, Drake executes Skirth for her betrayal by exposing her to the remaining symbiote, which ultimately dies. This leaves the symbiote inside Brock as the only known surviving specimen.

Drake sends mercenaries to retrieve the symbiote from Brock, but it takes over Brock’s body and transforms him into a monstrous creature that fights off the attackers. Taking shelter outside the city, the symbiote communicates with Brock and introduces itself as Venom. It explains that the comet is an invasion force searching for new worlds where the symbiotes can possess and devour the inhabitants. Venom offers to spare Brock if he helps the symbiotes achieve their goal, and Brock soon comes to enjoy the superhuman attributes that the symbiote gives him. Brock breaks into his old workplace to turn in evidence of Drake’s crimes, but he is surrounded by SWAT officers on the way out and transforms once again to escape. Weying witnesses this transformation and takes Brock back to Lewis’s office, where they reveal to Brock that the symbiote is slowly rotting his internal organs. Brock also admits that the symbiote has two weaknesses: high-pitched noises and fire. Although the symbiote claims the organ damage is a fixable part of their symbiosis, Brock uses an MRI machine to weaken the symbiote long enough to separate from it.

Our Thoughts

It was okay. It was good. It was just like the last several solo Superhero flicks I’ve seen, but not as light-hearted as Antman, nor as funny as Dead Pool. Did I say I liked it? Tom Hardy plays the role well enough, but Venom’s voice is annoying. When he talks to his host, it is like having Optimus Prime, or Smaug interrupting the movie with one liners that are not that funny. All of that aside, I had a good time. There was potential for a lot more that was left untapped. Since we all know there will be a sequel or five, I can only hope the writing gets better. Having a Superhero who just eats the bad guys could be great fun. 3 stars – MR

Find Venom and see the new trailer here.


We Review: The #Predator, “Classic fun rebooted. Not a blockbuster, but an entertaining 4 stars.” – MR

The Predator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Predator
Infrared vision showing the Predator creature and the Predator logo

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Shane Black
Produced by John Davis
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music by Henry Jackman
Cinematography Larry Fong
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • September 6, 2018 (TIFF)
  • September 14, 2018(United States)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $88 million[3]
Box office $66.2 million[3]

The Predator is a 2018 American science fiction action film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Fred Dekker. It is the fourth installment in the Predator film series (the sixth counting the two Alien vs. Predator films), following Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), and Predators (2010). Black had a supporting role in the original film, while John Davis returns as producer from the first three installments. The film stars Boyd HolbrookTrevante RhodesJacob TremblayKeegan-Michael KeyOlivia MunnThomas JaneAlfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown and follows a group of PTSD-afflicted soldiers who must fight off an invading pair of Predators.

Talks of a new Predator installment began in June 2014, with Black being confirmed as writer and director; much of the cast signed on between October 2016 and January 2017. Filming took place in British Columbia from February to June 2017, with the entire climax being reshot in July 2018 following poor test screenings.

The Predator premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2018 and was released in the United States on September 14, 2018, by 20th Century Fox in IMAX and Dolby Cinema as well as standard formats.[4] The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed over $66 million worldwide.

Plot

Predator ship crash-lands on Earth. Army Ranger sniper Quinn McKenna and his team are attacked by the Predator on a hostage retrieval mission. McKenna incapacitates the Predator and has its armor mailed off before government agent Will Traeger captures him. Traeger also takes the Predator to a lab for experimentation and observation, recruiting evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket to study it. The Predator awakes, breaks out of its bonds, kills the lab workers, but spares Bracket before leaving.

McKenna is bussed off with a group of other government captives, including ex-Marine Gaylord “Nebraska” Williams, military veterans Coyle and Baxley, helicopter pilot Nettles, and Lynch, another ex-Marine. Seeing the Predator escape from the lab firsthand, they take over the bus. Taking Bracket with them, they head over to McKenna’s estranged wife, Emily, where he expects to find the Predator armor he mailed off. However, McKenna’s autistic son Rory has gone trick-or-treating while wearing this armor in hopes of avoiding detection from bullies.

McKenna and the others find his son just in time to stop a pair of Predator Dogs from ambushing the boy. The Predator chases them into a nearby school. They start to give the Predator’s armor back when another, larger Predator arrives and kills the first. They flee, and the second Predator sets out to retrieve the lost technology.

Bracket concludes that the Predators are attempting to improve themselves with the DNA of humans and, presumably, other planets’ inhabitants. The team flees to an abandoned barn, but Traeger finds them, captures them, and shares his theory that the Predators anticipate that climate change will end their ability to retrieve human DNA for further hybridization, so they are scrambling to retrieve it before it’s too late. Seeing Rory drawing a map to the spaceship, Traeger takes the boy away to go to the ship. The team escapes and goes after him with the help of a Predator Dog.

When all are at the crashed Predator ship, the second Predator arrives, kills Lynch, and explains through translation software that it will blow up the ship to keep it out of their hands and then give them all a head start before it hunts them down.

 

Cast

  • Boyd Holbrook as Quinn McKenna, Emily’s ex-husband, the father of Rory, and a former Army Ranger who discovers the existence of the fierce Predators but finds that no one believes they exist.
  • Trevante Rhodes as Nebraska Williams,[5] a former Marine who enlists in a special Predator-hunting operation headed up by Quinn.[6]
  • Jacob Tremblay as Rory McKenna, Quinn and Emily’s troubled son, who has a form of autism and is bullied in school but becomes a key player in the fight against the Predators due to his preternatural ability to learn languages.
  • Olivia Munn as Dr. Casey Bracket, a evolutionary biologist who joins the crew’s mission.
  • Sterling K. Brown as Will Traeger, an government agent and Director of the “Stargazer Project” who jails Quinn but later needs his help with fighting the Predators.[7]
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Coyle, a man who teams up with Quinn and Williams to fight the Predators.[8]
  • Thomas Jane as Baxley, a military veteran from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. His character was named after Craig R. Baxley, the stunt coordinator of the 1987 film.
  • Alfie Allen as Lynch, a former Marine who teams with several other outsiders, including Quinn, to stop the human-hunting Predators in suburbia.[9]
  • Augusto Aguilera as Nettles, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot who has suffered a traumatic brain injury from a crash.[10]
  • Yvonne Strahovski as Emily McKenna, Quinn’s ex-wife and the mother to Rory.
  • Jake Busey as Sean Keyes, a head scientist, the son of Peter Keyes (played by Busey’s father Gary Busey in Predator 2).[11]
  • Niall Matter[12] as Sapir
  • Brian A. Prince as The Predator

Our Thoughts

While I loved the original with Arnold, and even part two with Danny Glover, I didn’t love this one. I did like it enough to give it four stars. And I can recommend it as a good, entertaining night out. By no means was this any sort of blockbuster, and it is clear they are setting the scene for more films with these new characters. That may or may not be a good thing. I will give it a thin 4 stars and recommended The Predator for fans of the franchise, as well as for a fun night in or out. – MR

 

Find The Predator and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp, “Great fun for the whole family. An easy 4.5 stars” – MR #AntMan #Marvel

Ant-Man and the Wasp

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peyton Reed
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Dante Spinotti
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
Running time
118 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $162 million[3]
Box office $184.6 million[4]

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Peyton Reed and written by the writing teams of Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari. It stars Rudd as Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Van Dyne, alongside Michael PeñaWalton GogginsBobby CannavaleJudy GreerTip “T.I.” HarrisDavid DastmalchianHannah John-KamenAbby Ryder FortsonRandall ParkMichelle PfeifferLaurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the titular pair work with Hank Pym to retrieve Janet van Dyne from the quantum realm.

Talks for a sequel to Ant-Man began shortly after that film was released. Ant-Man and the Wasp was officially announced in October 2015, with Rudd and Lilly returning to reprise their roles. A month later, Reed was officially returning from Ant-Man to direct; he was excited to develop the film from the beginning after joining the first film later in the process, and also to show the introduction of Hope van Dyne as the Wasp in this film, insisting that she and Lang are equals. Filming took place from August to November 2017, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, as well as Metro Atlanta, San Francisco, Savannah, Georgia, and Hawaii.

Ant-Man and the Wasp had its world premiere in Hollywood on June 25, 2018, and was released on July 6, 2018 in the United States in IMAX and 3D. It has grossed over $184 million worldwide, and was generally considered by critics to be fun but disposable, relying on charm, humor, and Rudd’s performance in particular to overcome its story and number of subplots.

Plot

In 1987, Janet van Dyne / Wasp shrinks between the molecules of a Soviet nuclear missile, disabling it but becoming trapped in the sub-atomic quantum realmHank Pym / Ant-Man raises their daughter Hope believing that Janet is dead. Years later, former criminal Scott Lang takes up the mantle of Ant-Man and discovers a way to both enter and return from the quantum realm. Pym and Hope begin work on repeating this feat, believing they may find Janet alive. Lang and Hope also start a romantic relationship and begin training to fight together as Ant-Man and the Wasp, until Lang secretly helps Captain America during a skirmish between the Avengers in violation of the Sokovia Accords. Lang is placed under house arrest, while Pym and Hope go into hiding and cut ties with Lang.[N 1]

Two years later, Pym and Hope briefly manage to open a tunnel to the quantum realm. Lang receives an apparent message from Janet with whom he is quantumly entangled. Despite having only days left of house arrest, Lang decides to call Pym. Hope kidnaps Lang, leaving a decoy so as not to arouse suspicion from FBI agent Jimmy Woo. Seeing the message as confirmation that Janet is alive, Pym and Hope work to create a stable tunnel so they can take a vehicle to the quantum realm and retrieve Janet. Hope arranges to buy a part needed for the tunnel from black market dealer Sonny Burch, but Burch has realized the potential profit that can be earned from Pym and Hope’s research and double-crosses them. Hope fights Burch and his men off, until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman. Lang tries to help fight off this “ghost“, but she escapes with Pym’s portable lab.

Pym reluctantly visits his estranged former partner Bill Foster who helps them locate the lab. The ghost restrains Lang, Hope, and Pym when they arrive, and reveals herself to be Ava Starr. Her father Elihas, another former partner of Pym’s, accidentally killed himself and his wife during a quantum experiment that caused Ava’s unstable state. Foster reveals that he has been helping Ava, who they plan to cure using Janet’s quantum energy. Believing that this will kill Janet, Pym refuses to help them and the trio manage to escape.

Opening a stable version of the tunnel this time, Pym and Hope are able to contact Janet, who gives them a precise location to find her, but warns that they only have two hours before the unstable nature of the realm separates them for a century. Burch learns their location from Lang’s business partners Luis, Dave, and Kurt, and informs a contact at the FBI. Luis warns Lang, who rushes home before Woo can see him breaking his house arrest. This leaves Pym and Hope to be arrested, and for their lab to be taken by Ava.

Lang is soon able to help Pym and Hope escape custody, and they find the lab.

Our Thoughts

This was more exciting and a bit less funny than the first Ant-Man movie, but all in all it was just as entertaining and well worth the price of a premium ticket. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a barrel of laughs. It picks up two years after the last movie left off, and explains Ant-Man’s involvement with the Avengers in the time that transpired between Ant-Man films. The acting is superb and the effects are amazing. Great fun for the whole family. 4.5 stars – MR

Find Ant-Man and the Wasp and see the new trailer here.
.


We Review, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom “4.5 stars and recommended, but nothing new.” – MR

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by J. A. Bayona
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters
by Michael Crichton
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Óscar Faura
Edited by Bernat Vilaplana[1]
Production
companies
Distributed by Universal Pictures[3]
Release date
  • May 21, 2018 (WiZink Center)
  • June 22, 2018 (United States)
Running time
128 minutes[4]
Country United States[5]
Language English
Budget $170–187 million[6][7]
Box office $729.8 million[6]

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fictionadventure film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy. Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow both returned as writers, with Trevorrow and original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg acting as executive producers.

Set on the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, it follows Owen Grady and Claire Dearing as they rescue the remaining dinosaurs on the island before a volcanic eruption destroys it. Chris PrattBryce Dallas HowardB. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles from previous films in the series, with Rafe SpallJustice SmithDaniella PinedaJames CromwellToby JonesTed Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplinjoining the cast.

Filming took place from February to July 2017 in the United Kingdom and Hawaii. Produced and distributed by Universal PicturesFallen Kingdom premiered in Madrid on May 21, 2018, and was released in the United States on June 22, 2018. The film has grossed over $729 million worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of 2018. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Pratt’s performance, Bayona’s direction, its visuals, and the “surprisingly dark moments”, although many criticized the screenplay and felt the film added nothing new to the franchise, with some suggesting it had run its course.[8] An untitled sequel is set to be released on June 11, 2021, with Trevorrow returning to direct.

Cast

  • Chris Pratt as Owen Grady:
    Navy veteran and former raptor trainer for Jurassic World.[3]
  • Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing:
    Jurassic World’s former operations manager, now a dinosaur-rights activist, who has founded the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the surviving dinosaurs from Isla Nublar.[3][9]
  • Rafe Spall as Eli Mills:
    Lockwood’s ambitious assistant who recruits Owen and Claire to rescue the dinosaurs. Speaking of his character’s actions over the course of the film, Spall noted that, “Ambition is such a powerful emotion, you can get wrapped up in it and end up doing things in order to succeed. This character believes he is doing right. He has been entrusted with pushing Lockwood’s fortune into the future and making it survive after he dies. Mills feels he is simply doing what he was asked to do.”[10][11]
  • Justice Smith as Franklin Webb:
    A former IT technician for Jurassic World who is now the Dinosaur Protection Group’s systems analyst and hacker.[12][9]
  • Daniella Pineda as Dr. Zia Rodriguez:
    A former Marine who is now the Dinosaur Protection Group’s paleoveterinarian.[12][9][11]
  • James Cromwell as Sir Benjamin Lockwood:
    John Hammond‘s former partner in developing the technology to clone dinosaurs.[13][14]
  • Toby Jones as Gunnar Eversol:
    An auctioneer host at Lockwood Estate who sells the Isla Nublar dinosaurs for profit.[15][11] In an interview, Jones likened his character to that of “a rogue arms dealer; he sees profits in selling these creatures as weapons. He is totally morally neutral about whatever he is selling. He is only interested in whether or not it will make him a profit.”[11]
  • Ted Levine as Ken Wheatley:
    A seasoned mercenary who commands the rescue operation on Isla Nublar.[11]
  • B. D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu:
    The former head geneticist of both Jurassic World and the original Jurassic Park. Speaking of his character’s actions, Wong stated: “I do think he’s motivated by his love for science and his own ego, which is well supported by his massive achievements … I think he turns a blind eye to the human suffering that comes as a result because he thinks he’s looking at some bigger picture.”[16][17]
  • Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood:
    Benjamin Lockwood’s juvenile granddaughter and legal ward following her parents’ deaths.[18][19][20][21]
  • Geraldine Chaplin as Iris:
    The Lockwood Estate housekeeper, Maisie Lockwood’s nanny, and protector of the family’s secrets.[22][11]
  • Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm:
    An expert in chaos theory who once consulted for InGen‘s Jurassic Park.[23] In a podcast interview, Goldblum revealed of his role “It’s small… who knows, they may cut me out entirely! But if I stay in, I’ll be a sprig of parsley or a little garnish, hopefully with some impact!”[24][25] Director Bayona confirmed that Goldblum’s role is simply a cameo, stating, “He doesn’t have a major role in the action but it’s definitely a very meaningful one in terms of the story.”

 

Contents

Three years after the incident at Jurassic WorldIsla Nublar has been abandoned. A small team of mercenaries arrives on the island to collect DNA from the remains of the Indominus rex, which lie at the bottom of the park’s lagoon. After sending a bone fragment to the surface, the team is attacked by the park’s Mosasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. As the team barely escapes, the lagoon gate is left open, allowing the Mosasaurus to escape into the ocean.

In Washington, D.C., a U.S. Senate hearing debates whether Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs should be saved from an impending volcanic eruption. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm testifies that the dinosaurs should be allowed to perish to correct John Hammond’s mistake of cloning them long ago. Meanwhile, Jurassic World’s former operations manager, Claire Dearing, has created the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the animals. When the Senate rules against their rescue, Claire is contacted by Benjamin Lockwood, Hammond’s former partner.

Soon after, Claire meets Lockwood and his aide, Eli Mills, at his Northern California estate. They reveal a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary. Mills is concerned that locating Blue, the last living Velociraptor, will be difficult. Claire offers to recruit Owen Grady, Jurassic World’s former Velociraptor trainer, to join the mission.

The rescue group arrives on Isla Nublar and meets Ken Wheatley, the mercenary leading the rescue. Claire and former park technician, Franklin Webb, reactivate the park’s dinosaur trackers, while Owen, paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez, Wheatley and other mercenaries search for Blue. Upon finding her, the encounter escalates leading to a mercenary shooting Blue and Wheatley tranquilizing Owen. Zia works to keep Blue alive while Owen is left behind. After surviving a Baryonyx attack, Claire and Franklin reunite with Owen as the volcano erupts. They flee from the pyroclastic flow and then sneak aboard the mercenaries’ ship, where they find Zia with Blue. The ship is filled with captured dinosaurs and departs for the U.S. mainland as the island’s remaining animals die in the eruption.

At Lockwood’s estate, Lockwood’s orphaned pre-teen granddaughter Maisie overhears Mills and auctioneer Gunnar Eversol secretly planning to auction off the captured dinosaurs and to unveil the Indoraptor, a new, genetically-engineered dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu using the DNA of the Indominus rex and a Velociraptor. Wu wants Blue’s DNA to apply her ability to respond to commands to new Indoraptors. Maisie informs Lockwood about the auction, and he confronts Mills, who murders him.

The dinosaurs are transported to Lockwood’s estate and caged. Owen and Claire are discovered and confined, while Zia and Franklin evade capture. Owen and Claire escape and find Maisie, who takes them to the auction. The Indoraptor is bid on, despite Wu’s protests that it is a prototype. Owen guides a Stygimoloch to the auction to disrupt it. Wheatley attempts to extract a tooth from the Indoraptor after tranquilizing it, but it feigns sedation and escapes.

Our Thoughts

Nothing new here, but that isn’t a bad thing. This movie was exactly as expected, and I liked it. These types of series can only go on so long before they become repetitive, but the special effects and dinosaurs make it hard not to be thrilled and keep us coming back for more. 4.5 stars and recommended. – MR

Find Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Tag “Quite possibly the funniest movie ever made. I couldn’t recommend it more.” – MR

Tag (2018 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tag
Tag (2018 film).png

Teaser poster
Directed by Jeff Tomsic
Produced by Todd Garner
Mark Steilen
Screenplay by Rob McKittrick
Mark Steilen
Story by Mark Steilen
Starring Ed Helms
Jake Johnson
Annabelle Wallis
Hannibal Buress
Isla Fisher
Rashida Jones
Leslie Bibb
Jon Hamm
Jeremy Renner
Music by Germaine Franco
Cinematography Larry Blanford
Edited by Josh Crockett
Production
company
New Line Cinema
Broken Road Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 15, 2018 (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Tag is an upcoming American comedy film directed by Jeff Tomsic in his directorial debut, and written by Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen. The film is based on a story that was published in The Wall Street Journal.[1][2] It is due for release on June 15, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Premise

A group of ex-classmates meet up and organize a game of tag that finds them traveling across the country.

Cast

Production

The film is based on a real-life group of friends known for playing a month-long game of tag. The group was profiled in The Wall Street Journal in January 2013,[3] after which the group began receiving offers to adapt their story into a movie. They sold the rights to their story the next month.[3] It was initially developed with Will Ferrell and Jack Black in mind;[4] however, both would eventually leave the project.

Jeremy Renner fractured his right elbow and his left wrist during filming.

Our Thoughts

Tag is quite possibly the funniest movie ever made. At the very least it is the funniest movie since the original Hangover. The entire packed crowd at our pre-screening laughed from start to finish. I did too. This is a must see, but don’t go if you have stitches, because you’ll bust them for sure. Funny! Funny! Funny! I couldn’t recommend it more. – MR

Find Tag and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Solo: A #StarWars Story “Worth the price of a premium ticket and recommended.” – MR

Solo: A Star Wars Story

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Solo: A Star Wars Story
A group of people standing in a row, in the middle stands Han Solo pointing his blaster. The background is divided into blocks resembling a cockpit window.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ron Howard[a]
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters
by George Lucas
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Bradford Young
Edited by Pietro Scalia[b]
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 10, 2018 (Los Angeles)
  • May 25, 2018 (United States)
Running time
135 minutes[8]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $250 million[9][10]
Box office $271.3 million[11]

Solo: A Star Wars Story, or simply Solo, is a 2018 American space Western film based on the Star Warscharacter Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard, it was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the second Star Wars anthology film following 2016’s Rogue One. The plot takes place prior to the events of A New Hope, and explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca, as the pair are involved in a heist within the criminal underworld and meet a young Lando Calrissian. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Solo, alongside Woody HarrelsonEmilia ClarkeDonald GloverThandie NewtonPhoebe Waller-BridgeJoonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany.

George Lucas began development on the film in 2012. He commissioned Lawrence Kasdan to write the screenplay, which was completed by his son Jonathan after Kasdan was hired to write Star Wars: The Force AwakensPrincipal photography began in January 2017 at Pinewood Studios, under the direction of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The pair left the project in June 2017 after reportedly being fired over “creative differences” with Lucasfilm, and Howard took over directing.

The film had its world premiere in Los Angeles on May 10, 2018, and also screened on May 15 at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, before its United States release on May 25, 2018 in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D. It received generally favorable reviews from critics and audiences, with praise for the cast (particularly Ehrenreich and Glover), visuals and action sequences, although many criticized the pacing and noted that the film added “nothing new” to the Star Wars franchise.[12][13] The film has grossed $271 million worldwide, and will need to gross at least $500 million in order to break even.

Plot

On the shipbuilding world of Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. Han and his lover Qi’ra make an escape from the clutches of a local criminal gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with a stolen sample of coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his family name, Han says he is alone, so the recruiter gives him the surname “Solo” in his documents.

Three years later, Han has been expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination. While serving as an infantryman during a battle on the planet Mimban, he encounters a gang of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett. He tries to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast – a Wookiee named Chewbacca. Able to understand Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to work together to escape their confinement. In need of extra hands, Beckett rescues them and enlists them in the gang’s plot to steal a shipment of coaxium on the planet Vandor. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up with their leader Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife, Val, and the destruction of the coaxium.

Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’s yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and become Vos’s top lieutenant. Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on the planet Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits.

The team boards his ship, the Millennium Falcon, and heads for Kessel. After reaching the planet and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. They use the confusion to steal a consignment of coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, freshly hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship along a dangerous route through an uncharted maelstrom to elude an Imperial blockade.

 

Our Thoughts:

I liked Solo. It is a solid movie, but it wasn’t great. It could have been so much more, but I’m not a hater, and I will buy this when it is available for purchase, and I will probably watch it half a dozen more times. I can only give it 4 stars, because of the short comings, and the fact that the exciting parts are not so engaging since we know who is going to live. Despite the few negatives, Solo is worth the price of a premium ticket and recommended. – MR

Find Solo: A Star Wars story and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Deadpool 2 “5 shining stars. I can’t recommend this movie enough.” – MR

Deadpool 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Deadpool 2
Deadpool 2 poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Leitch
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography Jonathan Sela
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
Running time
119 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $110 million[2]
Box office $363.9 million[2]

Deadpool 2 is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the eleventh installment in the X-Men film series, and a sequel to the 2016 film Deadpool. The film is directed by David Leitch from a script by Rhett ReesePaul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds, with Reynolds starring in the title role alongside Josh BrolinMorena BaccarinJulian DennisonZazie BeetzT. J. MillerBrianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy. In the film, Deadpool forms the team X-Force to protect a young mutant from Cable.

Plans for a sequel to Deadpool began before that film’s release, and were confirmed in February 2016. Though the original creative team of Reynolds, Reese, Wernick, and director Tim Miller were quickly set to return for the second film, Miller left the project in October 2016 due to creative differences with Reynolds, and was soon replaced by Leitch. An extensive casting search took place to fill the role of Cable, with Brolin ultimately cast. Filming took place in British Columbia, Canada, from June to October 2017. During filming, stunt woman Joi “SJ” Harris died in a motorcycle accident; the film is dedicated to her memory.

Deadpool 2 was released in the United States on May 18, 2018 and has grossed $363 million worldwide, making it the eighth highest-grossing film of 2018. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its humor, performances (particularly Reynolds, Brolin and Beetz), and action sequences, with some calling it better than the first film, although the perceived ethnic stereotyping of supporting characters and a feeling of cynicism drew some criticism.[3][4] An extended cut of the film is in the works, and a sequel, Deadpool 3, is in development.

Plot

After successfully working as the mercenary Deadpool for two years, Wade Wilson fails to kill one of his targets on his anniversary with his girlfriend Vanessa. That night, after the pair decides to start a family together, the target tracks them down and kills Vanessa. Wilson kills the man in revenge. He blames himself for her death and attempts to commit suicide six weeks later by blowing himself up. Wilson has a vision of Vanessa in the afterlife, but the pieces of his body remain alive and are put back together by Colossus. Wilson is left with only a Skee-Ball token, an anniversary gift, as a final memento of Vanessa.

Recovering at the X-Mansion, Wilson agrees to join the X-Men as a form of healing. He, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead respond to a standoff between authorities and the unstable young mutant Russell Collins / Firefist at an orphanage, labeled a “Mutant Reeducation Center”. Wilson realizes that Collins has been abused by the orphanage staff, and kills one of the staff members. Colossus stops him from killing anyone else, and both Wilson and Collins are arrested. Restrained with collars that suppress their powers, they are taken to the “Icebox”, an isolated prison for mutant criminals. Meanwhile, a cybernetic soldier from the future, Cable, whose family an older Collins murdered, travels back in time to kill the boy before Collins ever becomes a killer.

Cable breaks into the Icebox and attacks Collins. Wilson, whose collar has broken in the melee, attempts to defend Collins. After Cable takes Vanessa’s token, Wilson forces himself and Cable out of the prison, but not before Collins overhears Wilson deny that he cares for the young mutant. Near death again, Wilson has another vision of Vanessa in which she convinces him to help Collins. Wilson organizes a team called X-Force to break Collins out of a prison-transfer convoy and defend him from Cable. The team launches its assault on the convoy by parachuting from a helicopter, but all of the members except for Wilson and the lucky Domino die in the landing. While the pair fight Cable, Collins frees fellow inmate Juggernaut, who repays Collins by agreeing to help him kill the abusive orphanage headmaster. Juggernaut destroys the truck he and Collins are in and they escape.

Cable offers to work with Wilson and Domino to stop Collins’ first murder, which will lead to more. He agrees to give Wilson a chance to talk Collins down before attempting to kill the boy again. They arrive at the orphanage and are overpowered by Juggernaut while Collins attacks the headmaster.

Cast

  • Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson / Deadpool:
    A wisecracking mercenary with accelerated healing but severe scarring over his body after undergoing an experimental regenerative mutation.[5] He forms the X-Force, a team of mutants,[6] after finding himself at his “lowest point” at the beginning of the film.[7] The film makes several references to Deadpool’s pansexuality after the first film was criticized for ignoring it.[8] As a co-writer on the film, Reynolds ad-libbed much of dialogue throughout the production process.[9] For the film’s mid-credits sequence, archive footage of Reynolds portraying Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is used, and Reynolds also portrays himself before he acted in the film Green Lantern.[10]
  • Josh Brolin as Cable:
    time-traveling cybernetic soldier, “in many ways the opposite of Deadpool”.[11] Director David Leitch called the dynamic between Cable and Deadpool “sort of classic buddy-cop fare”, and compared them to the characters portrayed by Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, respectively, in 48 Hrs. (1982).[12] Leitch added that the character as written in the script was mostly just an “action character”, and he relied on Brolin to add nuance to the role and explore the character’s internal pain to avoid it becoming a caricature.[13] Brolin signed a four-film deal to play the character,[11] and described his appearance here as just the introduction for the character, with “three more movies to reveal more.”[14]
  • Morena Baccarin as Vanessa:
    Wilson’s fiancée.[15] The character is killed at the beginning of the film in an example of “fridging“—the killing of a female character solely to forward the development of a male character. This happens to Cable’s wife and daughter as motivation for his story arc as well. Leitch and the writers admitted that they were unaware of the term “fridging”, and said they were not being “consciously sexist”. Earlier versions of the film simply had Vanessa breaking up with Wilson, but the writers wanted to use the opportunity to “engender great suffering for him by having his line of work be the thing that costs Vanessa her life”. They were also more comfortable with the deaths due to the increased number of strong female characters in the film overall, and because those deaths are all reversed by the end of the film through time travel; Reese stated, “We ran with that. And maybe that’s a sexist thing. I don’t know. And maybe some women will have an issue with that. I don’t know. I don’t think that that’ll be a large concern, but it didn’t even really occur to us.”[7] Baccarin said she trusted the storyline was necessary for the film, and emphasized the fact that Vanessa is saved at the end of the film.[16]
  • Julian Dennison as Russell Collins / Firefist:
    A young mutant with pyrokinesis who is being hunted by Cable.[17][18] Dennison was the only actor that the creative team considered for the role, with Russell “sort of a tailor-made character” for the actor,[12]with Reynolds insisting on casting Dennison after seeing him in Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016).[18] The character is considered a villain for much of the film,[19] which Leitch thought was an “interesting take on the whole angle of the villain”.[12] Sala Baker portays an older Firefist, in Cable’s future.[20]
  • Zazie Beetz as Domino:
    A mercenary with the mutant ability to manipulate luck,[21][22] who joins Deadpool’s X-Force team.[23] Leitch described the film’s version of the character as Beetz’ own “real fun interesting take”,[12] with the actress interpreting the character as an only child who forms a “sibling sort of relationship” with Deadpool, with “that back-and-forth banter where she is not dealing with his.”[24] Beetz began “working out everyday” when she got the role, which required her to shoot guns and use “full body” physicality.[25]
  • T. J. Miller as Weasel: Wilson’s best friend and the owner of a bar frequented by mercenaries.[26]
  • Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead:
    A teenage X-Man with the mutant power to detonate atomic bursts from her body,[27] she is now a “new level of X-Men” after being a trainee in the first film.[28] Hildebrand felt that “it’s cool that she’s grown and matured and she still has so much of this essence of a punk kid” from the first film, and added that the character would have a “cooler” costume in the sequel.[29] The filmmakers intended to have Hildebrand shave her head to indicate that her abilities burned off her hair, but she was unable to do so due to a television series commitment.[30] The film also reveals that Negasonic is in a same-sex relationship, which is the first openly LGBTQ relationship depicted in a Marvel film.[8] When Reynolds asked Hildebrand how she felt about the potential storyline during development, the actress—a member of the LGBTQ community herself—responded positively with the stipulation that the film not make “a big deal” about the relationship.[31] In a statement, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis praised the relationship as “a milestone in a genre that too often renders LGBTQ people invisible, and should send a message to other studios to follow this example of inclusive and smart storytelling.”[32]
  • Jack Kesy as Black Tom Cassidy:
    A mutant who is incarcerated with Deadpool and Firefist.[33] His role was reduced from being the main antagonist, who would have acted as a “devil on Firefist’s shoulder”, when the writers felt there were too many antagonists and they would rather spend the money needed to portray his abilities on a character such as Juggernaut.[34]

As well as portraying Deadpool and himself in the film, Reynolds also provides the voice for Juggernaut. The character is credited as being voiced by “himself”. Juggernaut was previously portrayed by Vinnie Jones in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand, but according to Reese the creative team on Deadpool 2 felt that appearance did not do justice to the character. Wanting an additional villain for the film to support Firefist for the final fight with X-Force, the writers considered Juggernaut because he is “a force of nature [who] was probably the coolest character never to be used as of yet in the right way.”

Our Thoughts

This is one of the few movies where the second in the series is just as good, if not better, than the first. I laughed and laughed at the antics in this film. There are not many movies that blend action, special effects, and comedy this well, and I applaud the audacity of the people who created this film, for their ability to pull it off. I have no choice but to give Deadpool 2, 5 shining stars. I highly recommend this one. – MR

Find Deadpool 2 and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Avengers #InfinityWar “4.5 stars. If you like the Avengers franchise this is a must see.” – MR

Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers Infinity War poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Anthony Russo
Joe Russo
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by Christopher Markus
Stephen McFeely
Based on
Starring
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Trent Opaloch
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • April 23, 2018 (Dolby Theatre)
  • April 27, 2018 (United States)
Running time
149 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $316–400 million[3][4][5]
Box office $1.843 billion[6]

Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr.Chris HemsworthMark RuffaloChris EvansScarlett JohanssonBenedict CumberbatchDon CheadleTom HollandChadwick BosemanPaul BettanyElizabeth OlsenAnthony MackieSebastian StanDanai GuriraLetitia WrightDave BautistaZoe SaldanaJosh Brolin, and Chris Pratt. In Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy attempt to stop Thanos from amassing the all-powerful Infinity Stones.

The film was announced in October 2014 as Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1. The Russo brothers came on board to direct in April 2015 and by May, Markus and McFeely had signed on to write the script for the film, which drew inspiration from Jim Starlin‘s 1991 The Infinity Gauntlet comic and Jonathan Hickman‘s 2013 Infinity comic. In 2016, Marvel shortened the title to Avengers: Infinity War. Filming began in January 2017 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and lasted until July 2017, shooting back-to-back with a direct sequel. Additional filming took place in Scotland, England, the Downtown Atlanta area, and New York City. With an estimated budget in the range of $316–400 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.

Avengers: Infinity War held its world premiere on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles and was released in the United States on April 27, 2018, in IMAX and 3D. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the cast, visual effects, emotional weight of the story, and action scenes. It has grossed over $1.8 billion worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the highest-grossing film of 2018, the highest-grossing superhero film, and the eighth highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada. In its opening weekend, it grossed $641 million worldwide and $258 million domestically, setting the records for the highest-grossing openings for both. It also became the fastest film in history to reach a worldwide gross of $1 billion, doing so in 11 days. The untitled sequel is set to be released on May 3, 2019.

Plot (Spoiler Alert!)

Having acquired the Power Stone from the planet XandarThanos and his lieutenants—Ebony MawCull ObsidianProxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive—intercept the spaceship carrying the survivors of Asgard‘s destruction.[N 1] As they extract the Space Stone from the Tesseract, Thanos subdues Thor, overpowers Hulk, and kills LokiHeimdall sends Hulk to Earth using the Bifröst before being killed. Thanos departs with his lieutenants and obliterates the spaceship.

Hulk crash-lands at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, reverting to Bruce Banner. He warns Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos’ plan to kill half of all life in the universe; in response, Strange recruits Tony Stark. Maw and Obsidian arrive to retrieve the Time Stone from Strange, drawing the attention of Peter Parker. Maw captures Strange, but fails to take the Time Stone due to an enchantment. Stark and Parker pursue Maw’s spaceship, Banner contacts Steve Rogers, and Wong stays behind to guard the Sanctum.

In Scotland, Midnight and Glaive ambush Wanda Maximoff and Vision in order to retrieve the Mind Stone in Vision’s forehead. Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Sam Wilson rescue them and take shelter with James Rhodes and Banner at the Avengers Compound. Vision offers to sacrifice himself by having Maximoff destroy the Mind Stone to keep Thanos from retrieving it. Rogers suggests they travel to Wakanda, which he believes has the resources to remove the stone without destroying Vision.

The Guardians of the Galaxy respond to a distress call from the Asgardian ship and rescue Thor, who surmises Thanos seeks the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector on KnowhereRocket and Groot accompany Thor to Nidavellir, where they and Eitri create a battle-axe capable of killing Thanos. On Knowhere, Peter QuillGamoraDrax, and Mantis find Thanos with the Reality Stone already in his possession. Thanos kidnaps Gamora, his adoptive daughter, who reveals the location of the Soul Stone to save her captive adoptive sister Nebula from torture. Thanos and Gamora travel to Vormir, where Red Skull, keeper of the Soul Stone, informs him the stone can only be retrieved by sacrificing someone he loves. Thanos reluctantly kills Gamora, earning the stone.

Nebula escapes captivity and asks the remaining Guardians to meet her on Thanos’ destroyed homeworld, Titan. Stark and Parker kill Maw and rescue Strange. Landing on Titan, they meet Quill, Drax, and Mantis. The group forms a plan to remove Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet after Strange uses the Time Stone to view millions of possible futures, seeing only one in which Thanos loses. Thanos arrives, justifying his plans as necessary to ensure the survival of a universe threatened by overpopulation. The group subdues him until Nebula deduces that Thanos has killed Gamora. Enraged, Quill attacks him, allowing Thanos to break the group’s hold and overpower them. Stark is seriously wounded by Thanos, but is spared after Strange surrenders the Time Stone to Thanos.

In Wakanda, Rogers reunites with Bucky Barnes before Thanos’ army invades. The Avengers, alongside T’Challa and the Wakandan forces, mount a defense while Shuri works to extract the Mind Stone from Vision. Banner, unable to transform into the Hulk, fights in Stark’s Hulkbuster armor. Thor, Rocket, and Groot arrive to reinforce the Avengers; Midnight, Obsidian, and Glaive are killed and their army is routed. Thanos arrives and despite Maximoff’s attempt to destroy the Mind Stone, removes it from Vision, killing him.

Thor severely wounds Thanos, but Thanos activates the completed Infinity Gauntlet and teleports away. Half of all life across the universe disintegrates, including Barnes, T’Challa, Groot, Maximoff, Wilson, Mantis, Drax, Quill, Strange, and Parker. Stark and Nebula remain on Titan while Banner, M’BakuOkoye, Rhodes, Rocket, Rogers, Romanoff, and Thor are left on the Wakandan battlefield. Meanwhile, Thanos recovers on another planet.

In a post-credits sceneNick Fury transmits a signal as he, Maria Hill, and others disintegrate. The transmitter displays a starburst insignia on a red-and-blue background.

Our Thoughts

I liked most of this film but the ending left me very disappointed.  It is very entertaining, and I can’t give it less than 4.5 stars despite my gripes about the conclusion, (or maybe cliffhanger ending.) It is definitely worth the price of a premium ticket. If you like the Avengers movies this one is a must see. – MR

Find Avengers: Infinity Wars and see the new trailer here.