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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.

We Review, Alien: Covenant “A fine addition to the Alien franchise!” – MR

Alien: Covenant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alien: Covenant
A black-and-white poster of a mass of people being surrounded/tortured by the aliens, not unlike the Renaissance depictions of Hell, with one alien at the center highlighted by a shaft of light from the upper-left.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Starring
Music by Jed Kurzel
Cinematography Dariusz Wolski
Edited by Pietro Scalia
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
Running time
123 minutes[2]
Country United States[3]
Language English
Budget $97 million[4]
Box office $46.7 million[4]

Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science fiction horror film[5][6] directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. The film is a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the second installment in the Alien prequel series, and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, as well as the third directed by Scott. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of a ship who land on an uncharted planet and make a terrifying discovery.

Alien: Covenant premiered in London on May 4, 2017 and was released in the United States on May 19, 2017.[7] The film received generally positive reviews, with most critics noting it as an improvement over Prometheus and a return to form for director Ridley Scott, and praising Fassbender’s performance.

Plot

In a prologue, Peter Weyland speaks with his newly-activated synthetic, who selects the name “David” after looking upon a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of the same name. Weyland tells David that one day they will search for mankind’s creator together.

In 2104, the crew of the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with some two-thousand colonists and a thousand embryos on-board, which are monitored by Walter, an upgraded synthetic resembling the earlier David. A neutrino burst hits the ship, killing some colonists; Walter orders the computer to wake the crew from stasis, but the captain dies when his pod malfunctions. As the crew repairs the damage, they intercept a human radio transmission from a nearby unknown planet. Against the objection of Daniels, who is the terraforming expert, acting captain Oram decides to investigate, as the planet appears to be even better for colonisation than Origae-6 and the crew is reluctant to return to their stasis pods, paranoid of another neutrino burst.

An expedition team descends to the surface, while Covenant remains in orbit. Karine conducts an ecological survey, while the others track the signal to the crashed Engineer ship, piloted by David and Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission. Two security team members, Ledward and Hallett, are inadvertently infected with an alien spore. Karine helps Ledward back to the landing vehicle, but Faris quarantines them both inside the med-bay. A Neomorph bursts from Ledward’s back, killing him, then mauls Karine to death. Faris tries to shoot the creature but hits various gas tanks, accidentally destroying the lander and herself. Outside the ship, another Neomorph bursts from Hallett’s throat and kills him.

As the remaining crew members attempt to radio Covenant for help, the Neomorphs attack them and kill Ankor. The crew kill a Neomorph, but Walter loses a hand saving Daniels from another. David, the sole survivor of the Prometheus mission, rescues the crew and leads them to an alien city full of corpses. In order to gain the confidence of the crew, David misinforms the crew that upon their arrival the Engineer ship accidentally released a bioweapon killing the native population. In the ensuing chaos, the ship crashed, killing Shaw. Inside the city the surviving Neomorph attacks and decapitates Rosenthal, who was separated from the main group. David attempts to communicate with the Neomorph, and is horrified when Oram kills it. At Oram’s demand, David reveals his activities on the planet: using the black liquid as a catalyst, he created the earliest Neomorphs after experimenting with a parasitic creature that laid eggs inside its prey; upon being born, the larvae ate the prey from the inside out. David shows Oram a chamber he has used to further experiment upon and develop several eggs. David tricks Oram into observing one of the eggs as it opens, from which a facehugger emerges and implants Oram with an embryo. A Xenomorph later erupts from Oram’s chest, killing him.

As the crew search for Oram and Rosenthal, Walter confronts David after learning the truth of his experiments: David had deliberately unleashed the black liquid upon the Engineers, and murdered Shaw, whose corpse is shown severely mutated and dissected.

Our Thoughts

Picking up where the story left of, sort of, this installment lets us know what happened to the characters and ship that got away at the end of Prometheus, by way of a new crew on a settlement mission finding them ten years later. What happens next is typical Ridley Scott mayhem. My only complaint is that James Franco is in the movie for less that 45 seconds, but despite that marketing ploy, this movie is a fine addition to the Alien franchise. 4 stars and recommended – MR

Find Alien: Covenant and see the new trailer here.


We Review, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 “As good as movies get! 5 Stars” – MR

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
GotG Vol2 poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Gunn
Produced by Kevin Feige
Written by James Gunn
Based on
Starring
Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography Henry Braham
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • April 10, 2017 (Tokyo)
  • May 5, 2017 (United States)
Running time
136 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[2]
Box office $431.5 million[2]

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Guardians travel throughout the cosmos as they help Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage.

The film was officially announced at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International before the theatrical release of the first film, along with Gunn’s return from the first film, with the title of the sequel revealed a year later in June 2015. The film began principal photography in February 2016 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, with many crew changes from the first film due to other commitments. Filming concluded in June 2016. Gunn chose to set the sequel shortly after the first film to explore the characters’ new roles as the Guardians, and to follow the storyline of Quill’s father established throughout the first film—Russell was confirmed in that role in July 2016, portraying Ego, a departure from Quill’s comic father.

Plot

In 2014, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Baby Groot are renowned as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, has the Guardians protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster in exchange for Gamora’s estranged sister Nebula, who was caught attempting to steal the batteries. After Rocket steals some for himself, the Sovereign attacks the Guardians’ ship with a fleet of drones. The drones are destroyed by a mysterious figure, but the Guardians are forced to crash-land on a nearby planet. The figure reveals himself as Quill’s father, Ego. He invites Quill, who is accompanied by Gamora and Drax, to his home planet, while Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula.

Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his crew, who have been exiled from the greater Ravager community for child trafficking, to recapture the Guardians. They capture Rocket, but when Yondu shows reluctance to turn over Quill, his lieutenant Taserface leads a mutiny with help from Nebula. Taserface imprisons Rocket and Yondu aboard Yondu’s ship and executes his loyalists while Nebula leaves to track down and kill Gamora, whom she blames for all the torture inflicted on her by their father, Thanos. While imprisoned, Rocket and Yondu bond. Groot, together with Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, frees Rocket and Yondu and they destroy the ship and its crew as they escape, though not before Taserface tips off the Sovereign fleet.

Ego explains that he is a god-like Celestial, a millennia-old consciousness that manipulated the matter around it to form the planet with itself at the core. Ego eventually formed a human guise to travel the universe and interact with other species to escape his loneliness and discover a purpose, eventually meeting and falling in love with Quill’s mother Meredith. Ego hired Yondu to collect the young Quill after Meredith’s death, but the boy was never delivered and Ego had been searching for his son ever since. He teaches Quill to manipulate their Celestial power. Nebula arrives at Ego’s planet and tries to kill Gamora, but fails and the pair reach an uneasy alliance when they discover caverns filled with skeletal remains. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels he planted seedlings upon thousands of worlds which can terraform them into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the combined power of two Celestials. To that end, he impregnated countless women and hired Yondu to collect the children; Ego killed them all when they failed to access the Celestial power. Ego forcefully uses Quill to activate the seedlings, which begin to consume every world. Quill fights back after Ego reveals that he deliberately caused Meredith’s death as his love for her distracted him from his purpose.

Ego’s pet empath, Mantis, grows close to Drax and warns him, Gamora, and Nebula of Ego’s plan just as Rocket, Yondu, Groot, and Kraglin arrive. The reunited Guardians reach Ego’s brain at the planet’s core, and fight the Sovereign’s arriving drones.

Our Thoughts

This movie has it all. In fact, I can’t think of another movie in recent years, that I would have paid for again, and gone right back inside the theater to see it a second time. This one is definitely worth the price of a premium ticket. We saw it in 2D and I will be seeing the IMAX 3D version within the week. What more can be said? This is as good as movies get. 5 stars – MR

Find Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and see the new trailer here


We Review: The Circle “The acting is superb, and the plot is spot on. 4 stars” – MR

The Circle

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

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Ponsoldt
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on The Circle
by Dave Eggers
Starring
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Matthew Libatique
Edited by Lisa Lassek
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release date
  • April 26, 2017 (Tribeca)
  • April 28, 2017 (United States)
Running time
110 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million[2]
Box office $9.3 million[2]

The Circle is a 2017 American techno-thriller film directed by James Ponsoldtand written by Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers, based on Eggers’ 2013 novel of the same name. The film stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt, Glenne Headly, and Bill Paxton, in his final film appearance following his death in February 2017.

The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26, 2017 and was released on April 28, 2017, by STX Entertainment and EuropaCorp.

Premise

A young tech worker named Mae Holland takes a job at a powerful Internet corporation called The Circle that was co-founded by Eamon Bailey and Tom Stenton. She quickly rises up the company’s ranks and soon finds herself in a perilous situation concerning privacy, surveillance, and freedom. Mae comes to learn that her decisions and actions will determine the future of humanity.

Cast

Our Thoughts

The Circle is a great hypothetical example of how modern social media can effect the lives of the innocent. Many people do not want to be filmed in any way, but it is happening, and sometimes “live.” This intense techno thriller is a very well portrayed example of what we might be headed toward.  I can’t give it 5 stars because it lacks urgency, but I will give it 4 shining stars because the acting is superb, and the plot is spot on. – MR


We Review: Ghost in the Shell “One word: Awesome. Don’t believe the haters.” – MR

Ghost in the Shell (2017 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell (2017 film).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Ghost in the Shell
byMasamune Shirow
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Jess Hall
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures[2]
Release date
  • March 16, 2017 (Shinjuku)
  • March 31, 2017(United States)
Running time
106 minutes[4]
Country United States[5]
Language English
Budget $110 million[6][7]
Box office $1.8 million[8]

Ghost in the Shell is a 2017 American science fictionaction film directed Rupertby Sanders and written by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger, based on the Japanese mangaof the same name by Masamune Shirow. The film stars Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han and Juliette Binoche. Set in the near future where the line between humans and robots is becoming blurred, the plot follows a woman who has her brain placed in a cyborg to become the perfect soldier.

The film premiered in Shinjuku on March 16, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 31, 2017, in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D.

Plot

In the near future, the vast majority of humans are augmented with cybernetics, enhancing various traits like vision, strength, and intelligence. Hanka Robotics, the world’s leading developer of augmentative technology, establishes a secret project to develop a mechanical body, or “shell”, that can integrate a human brain rather than an AI. A young woman named Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson)[10], the sole survivor of a cyberterrorist attack, is chosen as the test subject after her body is apparently destroyed beyond repair. Over the objections of her designer, Dr. Ouélet (Juliette Binoche), Hanka CEO Cutter (Peter Ferdinando) decides to train Killian as a counter-terrorism operative.

A year later, Killian has attained the rank of Major in the anti-terrorist bureauSection 9, working alongside operatives Batou (Pilou Asbæk) and Togusa (Chin Han) under Chief Daisuke Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano). The team successfully thwarts a terrorist attack on a Hanka business conference, and Killian destroys a rogue mechanical geisha (Rila Fukushima) after it murders a hostage. Killian, who has been experiencing hallucinations that Ouélet dismisses as glitches, becomes increasingly bothered by how little she remembers about her past. After learning that the geisha was hacked by an unknown entity, Killian breaks protocol and “dives” into its AI for answers. The entity attempts a counter-hack, and Batou is forced to disconnect her. Using the information she was able to gather, the two trace the hacker to a Yakuza nightclub, where they are lured into a trap. The resulting explosion destroys Batou’s eyes, and leaves Killian’s body severely damaged.

Cutter is enraged by Killian’s actions, and threatens to have Section 9 shut down unless Aramaki keeps her in line. In turn, Aramaki warns him to be careful who he threatens. The hacker tracks down Section 9’s Hanka consultant and kills her. The team links her murder to the deaths of other senior company researchers, and realize that they are being targeted. The hacker takes control of two sanitation workers and sends them to kill Ouélet. Batou kills one of them while Killian subdues the other. During interrogation, the hacker briefly speaks through the surviving worker before compelling him to commit suicide. Togusa traces the hack to a secret location, where the team discovers large numbers of humans being mentally linked together as a makeshift signal network. Killian is captured, and the hacker, calling himself Kuze (Michael Pitt), reveals that he is a failed Hanka test subject from the same project that created Killian. He urges her to question her own memories before freeing her and escaping.

Killian confronts Ouélet, who admits that Killian was, in fact, the 98th test subject, and the only one to survive the process. Cutter decides that Killian is too much of a liability, and orders Ouélet to euthanize her. Instead, Ouélet gives Killian an address to find and helps her escape. Cutter shoots her and informs Aramaki that Killian has gone rogue and will be terminated by any means necessary.

Killian follows the address to an apartment occupied by a widowed mother, who reveals that her daughter Motoko ran away from home a year ago and was arrested, before taking her own life while in custody. Unable to process her emotions, Killian leaves and contacts Aramaki, who intentionally allows Cutter to eavesdrop on their conversation. Batou, Togusa, and Aramaki each survive attempts on their lives by Cutter’s men, while Killian follows her memories to the hideaway where Motoko was last seen. There, she and Kuze meet, and recall their past lives as anti-augmentation radicals who were abducted by Hanka for use as test subjects.

Cutter deploys a “spider-tank” to kill them, and Kuze nearly dies before Killian is able to disable the tank, losing her left arm in the process. Mortally wounded, Kuze offers to merge his “ghost” with Killian’s before a Hanka sniper kills him. Batou and the team rescue Killian, while Aramaki executes Cutter with her permission.

The next day, Killian, now embracing her true identity as Motoko, reconnects with her mother before returning to work with Section 9.

Cast

Our Thoughts

I thought this was awesome. I know it is an old story. So old, that in its original form, this is the story that inspired The Matrix. The parallels to modern society and machines, as well as the imagery portrayed here in the 2017 version, make this a visual work of art. I’m not so keen on Scarlet Johansson, not that she didn’t play the part of Major well, she just isn’t a good Motoko. This is a movie I will buy and watch a few more times in my home theater, just to absorb more of the awesomeness. Highly recommended for a date, and/or just a good escape. Well done, 5 stars – MR

 

Find Ghost in the Shell and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Power Rangers “Fun for all ages, especially the end.” – MR

Power Rangers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Power Rangers
Power Rangers (2017 Official Theatrical Poster).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dean Israelite
Produced by
Screenplay by John Gatins
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography Matthew J. Lloyd
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by Lionsgate Films
Release date
Running time
124 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100 million[2]
Box office $69.2 million[2]

Saban’s Power Rangers[3] (or simply Power Rangers) is a 2017 Americansuperhero film based on the team of the same name, written by John Gatins and directed by Dean Israelite. It is the third film of the Power Rangers film franchise, and is a reboot that features the main characters of the original Power Rangerstelevision series, portrayed by a new cast. The film stars Dacre Montgomery,Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston andElizabeth Banks. In the film, Zordon recruits five high school students to form a team that must stop an alien threat led by the witch Rita Repulsa.

It is the first blockbuster film to feature LGBTQ and autistic superheroes.[4][5]Franchise creator Haim Saban returned to produce the film under his investment firm. The film premiered at Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on March 22, 2017 and was released in the United States on March 24, 2017. The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $69 million worldwide.

Plot

A group of warriors on prehistoric Earth, the Power Rangers, were tasked with protecting life on Earth and the Zeo Crystal. However, the Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa, betrays them. The Red Ranger, Zordon, takes the Rangers’ power source, the Power Coins, and hides them while ordering his assistant Alpha 5 to perform a meteor strike which kills Zordon, sends Rita to the bottom of the sea, and destroys the dinosaurs.

In modern Angel Grove, football star Jason Scott is thrown off the team and placed under house arrest after a failed prank. He is sent to detention, encountering Billy Cranston and Kimberly Hart. Jason and Billy head to an abandoned gold mine to explore. Billy detonates explosives to destroy some rock, attracting the attention of Kimberly and fellow students Trini Kwan andZack Taylor. The five discover the Power Coins when the police arrive to investigate. While escaping, their car is hit by a train. The five find themselves at home the next day, and discover they have been granted superhuman abilities. Elsewhere, Rita’s body is found. Upon awakening, she goes on a rampage, taking every piece of gold that she can find in order to raise her minion Goldar to find the Zeo Crystal.

The five teenagers return to the mine, discover an ancient spaceship, and meet Alpha 5, and Zordon’s consciousness. They inform the teenagers about the original Rangers and about Rita, warning them that they have 11 days until Rita has her full power and finds the Zeo Crystal and uses it to destroy all life on Earth. The five teens leave the ship with no intention of returning until Zordon pleads with Jason to convince the team to prepare for Rita’s oncoming attack.

Our Thoughts

I didn’t know what to expect when I went to see this one. There was mediocre acting, cliche High School characters, and an outrageous plot, all no surprise. The effects were fantastic, and in the end, it was two guys in high tech rubber suits battling over a miniature city, just like the old B&W Godzilla flicks. I loved this. Especially the silly Power Rangers song that I figured was licensed away with the cartoon.  All in all I have to give this one a begrudging 3 stars, as it spent enough time building up the climax, that by the end I had to see it. Fun for all ages, especially the end. – MR

Find Power Rangers and see the new trailer here


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

CHiPs (film)

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

Cast

Our Thoughts

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

 

Find CHiPs and see the new trailer here.


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

Life (2017 film)

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

Cast

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

    Our Thoughts

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

Find “Life” and see the new trailer here.


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

Get Out (film)

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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


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

Kong: Skull Island

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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


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

Logan

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

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

Our Thoughts

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