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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: #GeminiMan – Will Smith is a great actor. I’ll give it 4 stars – Action packed fun – MR

Gemini Man

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gemini Man
GeminiManPoster.jpeg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ang Lee
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Darren Lemke
  • David Benioff
Starring
Music by Lorne Balfe
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Edited by Tim Squyres
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 1, 2019 (ZFF)
  • October 11, 2019 (United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $138 million[2]
Box office $149.3 million[2]

Gemini Man is a 2019 American action thriller film[3] directed by Ang Lee and written by David BenioffBilly Ray, and Darren Lemke. Starring Will SmithMary Elizabeth WinsteadClive Owen, and Benedict Wong, the film follows a hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself while on the run from the government.

Originally conceived in 1997, the film went through development hell for nearly 20 years. Several directors, including Tony ScottCurtis Hanson, and Joe Carnahan, were all attached at some point and numerous actors, including Harrison FordMel Gibson, and Sean Connery, were set to star. In 2016, Skydance Media purchased the rights to the screenplay (which had been through several rewrites) from Disney and in October 2017, Ang Lee signed on to direct for Skydance with Paramount handling the distribution rights. Filming took place from February through May 2018.

Gemini Man premiered at the Zurich Film Festival on October 1, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on October 11, 2019, in standard 2D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX as well as in HFR (high frame rate) “3D+” on select screens (including 16 Dolby Cinema[4] and 47 IMAX with Laser screens worldwide).[5] The film received generally negative reviews from critics, who complimented the performances but lamented the script and plot. The de-aging of Smith and the high frame-rate of 120 FPS also drew a mixed response, with some critics praising them as technical achievements, while others felt they were unconvincing.[6][7] It has grossed $149 million against an estimated budget of $138 million, becoming a box-office bomb, with projected losses as high as $75 million.

Plot

Henry Brogan, an aging government assassin, is sent on a mission to assassinate an anonymous terrorist aboard a bullet train. During the mission, Henry’s spotter warns him of a young girl approaching the target, causing Henry to delay his shot until the last second, shooting the man in the neck despite aiming for his head. Disillusioned with killing, Henry retires from government service.

While adjusting to retirement, Henry meets boat rental manager Dani and reconnects with an old friend, Jack, who reveals that an informant named Yuri told him that the man Henry killed was innocent; demanding proof, Henry has Jack arrange a meeting with Yuri. In retaliation for Henry knowing their deception, agency director Lassiter plans to kill him; Clay Varris, head of a top-secret black ops unit codenamed “GEMINI”, requests permission to eliminate him but is denied.

Realizing Dani is a fellow agent sent to monitor him, Henry befriends her. After his home is broken into by government agents, Henry calls his spotter, who is killed along with Jack and his mistress. Henry warns Dani about the attack and they manage to kill the assassins sent after them, learning the agency wants them both dead.

Escaping to Colombia, Henry and Dani go to the home of Henry’s former colleague Baron, and plan to meet with Yuri for further options. Meanwhile, Clay dispatches his top assassin to kill Henry. Fighting him off, Henry realizes the assassin bears an uncanny resemblance to himself as a young man, with a similar skill set. When the injured assassin arrives at a safehouse, he is revealed to be Clay’s adopted “son” Junior. Although he is curious about his similarities to Henry, Junior is ordered to finish the job.

Henry is also troubled by his similarities to the assassin, whom Dani suggests might be his child despite Henry’s denials. Testing DNA samples recovered from Junior, Dani discovers that his and Henry’s DNA are identical – Junior is Henry’s younger clone. Desperate for answers, Henry meets Yuri in Hungary, and learns of the cloning project and that the man he killed was one of the project’s scientists. Having designed a method to produce clones devoid of pain or emotion, the scientist tried to leave the project and was killed upon being discovered.

To try and get Junior to turn away from Clay’s intentions, Henry calls Lassiter, who agrees to send Junior to bring Dani safely back to the United States. Collecting Dani, Junior sets up a trap for Henry, but she warns him via a covert listening device hidden in her tooth. Ambushing the younger assassin, Henry explains to Junior that he is a clone, convincing him by revealing their similar traits that no one else could know. Escaping back to GEMINI, a heartbroken Junior confronts Clay, who claims that he must defeat Henry in order to surpass him.

Finding Henry after sneaking out of GEMINI, Junior allies with him to bring down Clay, while he urges Junior to quit in order to become someone better. Baron is killed in an ambush ordered by Clay, with Junior knocking Clay unconscious after a brief hand-to-hand fight.

After defeating a wave of GEMINI operatives, Henry, Dani, and Junior face another clone with special body armor who feels no pain or emotions. After shooting the clone repeatedly and along with several secondary explosions, they manage to kill it. A defeated Clay tries to justify his actions towards Junior, who almost shoots him. Henry persuades Junior otherwise and kills Clay himself, having already lived with the heavy burden.

Ensuring that there are no more clones that were produced and that they are finally free from harm’s way, Henry later meets with Junior, who has enrolled into college under the assumed identity of “Jackson Brogan” after Henry’s surname. Together, Henry and Dani plan Jackson’s future.

Cast

  • Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an aging government assassin with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Ex-Marine corps, regarded as the best killer of his generation.
    • Smith also portrays Jackson Brogan (codenamed “Junior”), a cloned assassin of Henry sent after him, and “Senior”, another cloned assassin sent after him. Smith was “digitally de-aged” through the use of motion capture and computer generated imagery.[8]
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Dani Zakarweski, a Navy veteran and DIA agent who helps Henry after he saves her from being assassinated.
  • Clive Owen as Clayton “Clay” Varris, the ruthless director of GEMINI who creates Junior to “retire” Henry and take his place.
  • Benedict Wong as Baron, an old friend of Henry’s who works as a tour operator.
  • Ralph Brown as Del Patterson, Henry’s handler at the DIA.
  • Linda Emond as Janet Lassiter, the director of the DIA.
  • Theodora Miranne as Kitty, Jack’s mistress.
  • Douglas Hodge as Jack Willis, an old Marine Corps colleague of Henry’s.
  • Ilia Volok as Yuri Kovacs, a Russian operative who has been secretly monitoring GEMINI’s history.
  • E. J. Bonilla as Marino, a DIA agent killed for his association with Henry.
  • Björn Freiberg as Keller

Our Thoughts

This was a good flick. I have a few gripes about the effects, but those are only about the few places where the climbing and fighting was so cartoon-ish as to seem “B rate.” Other than that it was well made and pretty much family friendly save for a bit of violence and language. The age effects are cool, and Will Smith is a great actor. I’ll give it 4 stars for Action packed fun – MR

Find Gemini Man and see the new trailer here.


We #Review, #Zombieland: Double Tap “Zeek blasting laughs for (most of) the whole family. I’ll give it 4 stars for fun.” – MR

Zombieland: Double Tap

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zombieland: Double Tap
Zombieland Double Tap teaser poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Produced by Gavin Polone
Written by
Starring
Narrated by Jesse Eisenberg
Music by David Sardy
Cinematography Chung Chung-hoon
Edited by Dirk Westervelt
Production
companies
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • October 18, 2019 (United States)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $42–48 million[1][2]
Box office $39.3 million[3]

Zombieland: Double Tap is a 2019 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett ReesePaul Wernick, and David Callaham. A sequel to Zombieland (2009), it stars Woody HarrelsonJesse EisenbergAbigail Breslin, and Emma Stone reprising their roles from the first film, alongside new cast members Rosario DawsonZoey Deutch, and Luke Wilson.

Talk of a Zombieland sequel began before the release of the first installment, with Reese and Wernick suggesting ideas, and the cast voicing their desire to make a second film. However, the project languished in development hell for several years before finally being confirmed in July 2018. The four main stars and Fleischer all signed on that month, while additional cast members, including Dawson and Wilson, joined in early 2019. Filming took place from January to March 2019.

Zombieland: Double Tap was released in the United States on October 18, 2019, by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label.[4] It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $39 million worldwide.

Plot ***SPOILER ALERT***

Ten years after the events of the first film, in an America overrun by zombies dubbed “Zombieland”, survivors Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock have become experts in identifying and disposing of various zombies. Living in the abandoned White House, Columbus decides to propose to Wichita using the Hope Diamond, while Tallahassee rebuffs Little Rock’s hopes of meeting a boy and starting her own family. The next morning, Tallahassee finds a note from Wichita and Little Rock, who have left due to Little Rock feeling Tallahassee still treats her like a child and Wichita’s fear she is too attached to Columbus.A month later, while exploring a mall, Columbus is startled by Madison, who has survived Zombieland alone since she was 14 inside the freezer of a Pinkberry. Madison quickly annoys Tallahassee, but Columbus invites her back to the White House, where she has sex with him. Returning and discovering Columbus has slept with Madison, Wichita explains that Little Rock has left for Graceland with a pacifist named Berkeley, and informs the group of more agile and durable “super zombies”. Fearing for Little Rock’s safety, the group head toward Graceland in a rundown minivan.

On the road, the group tries to commandeer a luxury RV, but Madison triggers the alarm, and zombies attack them. Annihilating the horde, they encounter a super zombie that takes multiple gunshots to kill, leading Columbus to nickname it the “T-800“. Madison shows signs of “zombification”, forcing Columbus to lead her into the forest to shoot her. Arriving at Graceland, the group finds “the Beast”, Tallahassee’s modified presidential limousine stolen by Little Rock, at an Elvis-themed motel run by Nevada, who reveals Little Rock took another vehicle toward Babylon, a hippie commune. Bonding over their love of Elvis, Nevada and Tallahassee spend the night together.

The group awakens to find the Beast being crushed by a monster truck driven by Albuquerque and Flagstaff, who strongly resemble Tallahassee and Columbus. Super zombies arrive, and Albuquerque explains they have turned back from their journey west due to hordes of super zombies moving east. Facing the super zombies alone, Albuquerque and Flagstaff seemingly triumph but are both bitten. Turning into super zombies, they are killed by the group with Nevada’s help.

Bidding Nevada farewell, Tallahassee is unable to drive Albuquerque’s monster truck; Columbus takes over driving duties in the minivan. The group finds Madison, alive and driving an ice cream truck. Rejoining the group, she explains that her nut allergy caused symptoms similar to zombification when Columbus spared her in the forest. At Babylon, Little Rock and Berkeley learn guns are prohibited and melted down to make peace medallions. The group arrives at Babylon, relenting to the no-guns policy, and find Little Rock. Realizing she is now grown up and no longer needs his protection, Tallahassee leaves, as the hippies celebrate the group’s arrival with fireworks. Tallahassee finds a massive horde of super zombies attracted by the fireworks and returns to warn the group. Left without guns, Tallahassee devises two plans: First, using fireworks to lure the zombies into an enclosed area, and exploding a tank of biodiesel. Second, commune members armed with barricade shields will corral the zombies off of a skyscraper, lured by Tallahassee.

The first plan proves disastrous when the zombie horde is more massive than expected, and the unarmed group is surrounded. Resigned to their fate, they thank each other for their companionship, but Nevada arrives in the monster truck, rescuing the group. The truck flips over, forcing them to journey up the skyscraper as Tallahassee delays the zombies. The survivors use shields to create a single path off the edge of the building. Pursued by the zombies, Tallahassee jumps off the building, catching the hook of a construction crane as the horde falls to their deaths. Two zombies seize Tallahassee’s leg, but Little Rock shoots them with a forgotten pistol given to her earlier by Tallahassee.

With Tallahassee saved and the zombie horde destroyed, Little Rock reconciles with Tallahassee, and Wichita accepts Colombus’ proposal of marriage. Little Rock breaks up with Berkeley, who hooks up with Madison; they stay behind as the group, joined by Nevada, leave Babylon. Columbus remarks that they have finally found their home in each other.

In a mid-credits sceneBill Murray witnesses the start of the zombie outbreak ten years earlier while promoting a third Garfield film, before partaking in killing multiple zombies. In a post-credits scene, Murray is shown earlier practicing coughing up a hairball as a joke in his interview.

Cast

In addition, Bill Murray reprises his role from the first film as a fictionalized version of himself. Entertainment reporters Al RokerGrace Randolph, Josh Horowitz and Lili Estefan cameo as fictionalized versions of themselves.

Our Thoughts

If you liked Zombieland, you’ll want to see Double-Tap.  There is no sense in reviewing the flick. You know what is going to happen. This is a typical young love gone awry comedy story, only in Zombieland. Duh.  It was worth the cost of the premium ticket. I’ll give it 4 stars, for being fun, funny, and entertaining.  – MR

 

Find Zombieland: Double Tap and see the new trailer here.


We #Review – #Maleficent: Mistress of Evil “If you can forget it’s #Disney, it’s actually a pretty good fantasy tale. 4.5 stars”- MR

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Maleficent Mistress of Evil (Official Film Poster).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joachim Rønning
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Linda Woolverton
Based on
Starring
Music by Geoff Zanelli
Cinematography Henry Braham
Edited by
Production
c
ompany
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • October 18, 2019[2]
Running time
118 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $185 million[4]
Box office $157.3 million[5]

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a 2019 American dark fantasy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Joachim Rønning, and written by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, and Noah Harpster. It is a sequel to the 2014 film Maleficent,[1] with Angelina Jolie returning to portray the title role. Elle FanningSam RileyImelda StauntonJuno Temple, and Lesley Manville also return to their previous roles, with Harris Dickinson replacing Brenton Thwaites from the first film and Chiwetel EjioforEd Skrein, and Michelle Pfeiffer joining the cast as new characters.

After the release of the first film in May 2014, Jolie stated a sequel was possible. The project was officially announced the following June and Jolie signed on in April 2016. Rønning, who co-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) for Disney, was hired to direct the film in October 2017 and the rest of the cast was added or confirmed in May 2018, with filming beginning that month at Pinewood Studios in England, lasting through August.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was released in the United States on October 18, 2019, and has grossed over $157 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances of Jolie, Fanning, Ejiofor, and Pfeiffer, but criticism aimed at the “muddled plot and overly artificial visuals”.

Plot

Five years after the death of King Stefan,[N 1] Aurora continues to reign as Queen of the Moors while Maleficent serves as its protector. Despite her heroic actions, Maleficent is deemed a villain by the neighboring kingdom of Ulstead, home to Prince Phillip. When Philip asks Aurora to marry him and she accepts, Diaval, having overheard the proposal, relays the news to Maleficent, who warns against the union. Aurora insists she and Phillip will prove her wrong before persuading her to attend an intimate dinner with Philip and his parents, King John and Queen Ingrith.

On the night of the dinner, Ingrith attempts to provoke Maleficent by giving her iron silverware, mentioning the sleeping curse she placed on Aurora and openly accusing her of killing two men last seen near the Moors. Maleficent attempts to keep her composure but loses her temper after Ingrith dismisses her relationship with Aurora, seemingly cursing King John into an eternal slumber. She then flees without Aurora, who refuses to believe her claims of innocence, but falls into the ocean after being wounded with an iron bullet fired by Ingrith’s servant, Gerda. At the last minute, a mysterious creature with wings similar to hers saves her life.

Maleficent wakes up in a series of underground caverns where she discovers a group of winged and horned fairies of her own kind, among them Conall, their peaceful leader who saved Maleficent, and Borra, a warlike fairy who strives for an open war with humans. Maleficent discovers that she is one of the last Dark Feys, a powerful species of fairies that are almost extinct because of the human oppression. She is also told that her own bloodline ties directly to the Phoenix, an ancient and very powerful ancestor of the Dark Fey, and that is why she wields magic more powerful than the rest of her species. Both Conall and Borra believe that Maleficent is instrumental to end the conflict with humans, either by peace or war.

Meanwhile, in Ulstead, Aurora is disillusioned by her new life of a noblewoman but is happy that all of the Fair Folk from the Moors have been invited for her and Phillip’s wedding. On the wedding day, though, she discovers that Ingrith, out of her deep-seated hatred for them, has been secretly plotting to eradicate all of the fairies and woodland beings, forging iron weapons and inventing a crimson powder that can instantly kill them. It is also revealed it was Ingrith who cursed John with Maleficent’s old cursed spindle. As the Fair Folk gathers for the wedding ceremony in the castle’s chapel, they are trapped in and Gerda starts killing them with the powder, launched from the organ she plays. They are ultimately saved by Flittle’s selfless sacrifice, where ultimately, Knotgrass and Thistlewit cause Gerda to fall to her death.

At the same time, the Dark Feys launch an assault on Ulstead but are being massacred by the well-prepared soldiers until Maleficent, having channeled the power of the Phoenix, joins the battle. She nearly manages to kill Ingrith but is stopped by Aurora who appeals to her good nature, reassuring her that Maleficent is her mother. As the two reconcile, however, Maleficent saves Aurora from Ingrith’s arrow and dissolves into ashes. Ingrith proclaims herself victorious as Aurora weeps over the ashes. Maleficent is reborn in the form of the Phoenix.

Ingrith’s soldiers stand down, and the queen herself is transformed into a goat as punishment for her crimes. Phillip forges a peace pact with the fairies on the behalf of humans, Maleficent reverts back to her fairy form, gives Aurora and Phillip her blessing and breaks the curse on the spindle and spinning wheel altogether, awakening King John from his slumber. After the couple is wed, Maleficent flies away with a group of young Dark Feys, promising Philip and Aurora to come back for the christening of their child.

Cast

Our Thoughts

I’m tired of Disney films. I really am. But here, I was able to forget it was Disney and get lost in a pretty damn good fantasy tale, despite the princess and the over abundance of absurd fairies.  It is a typical forbidden love gone wrong type of thing until we are suddenly exploring Malificent’s unique race. This part was a bit too much like Avatar, but what can you do? The effects were superb, and it is well worth to cost of a premium ticket. We saw it in IMAX, which I highly recommend. 4.5 stars – MR

 

Find, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Joker “Oscar winning performance. But who really wants to see Batman as an entitled, elitist. 4 stars.” – MR

Joker (2019 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joker
Joker (2019 film) poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Todd Phillips
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters
by DC Comics
Starring Joaquin Phoenix
Music by Hildur Guðnadóttir
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Edited by Jeff Groth
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 31, 2019 (Venice)
  • October 4, 2019 (United States)
Running time
122 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55–64 million[2][3]
Box office $258.1 million[4]

Joker is a 2019 American psychological thriller film directed by Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver. The film, based on DC Comics characters, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker. An origin story set in 1981, the film follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham CityRobert De NiroZazie BeetzFrances ConroyBrett CullenGlenn FleshlerBill CampShea Whigham, and Marc Maron appear in supporting roles. Joker was produced by DC FilmsVillage Roadshow PicturesBron Creative, and Joint Effort, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Phillips conceived Joker in 2016 and wrote the script with Silver throughout 2017. The two were inspired by 1970s character studies and the films of Martin Scorsese, who was initially attached to the project as a producer. The graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988) was the basis for the premise, but Phillips and Silver otherwise did not look to specific comics for inspiration. Phoenix became attached in February 2018 and was cast that July, while the majority of the cast signed on by August. Principal photography took place in New York CityJersey City, and Newark, from September to December 2018. It is the first live-action Batman film to receive an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, due to its violent and disturbing content.

Joker premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2019, where it won the Golden Lion. It was released in the United States on October 4, 2019. The film received generally positive, albeit polarized, reviews; while Phoenix’s performance was praised, the dark tone, portrayal of mental illness, and handling of violence divided critics.[5] Joker also generated concerns of inspiring real-world violence; the movie theater where the 2012 Aurora, Colorado mass shooting occurred during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises refused to show it. The film has grossed $258.1 million worldwide and set box office records for an October release.

Plot  *** SPOILERS ***

In 1981, party clown Arthur Fleck lives with his mother, Penny, in Gotham City. Gotham is rife with crime and unemployment, leaving segments of the population disenfranchised and impoverished. Arthur suffers from a neurological disorder that causes him to laugh at inappropriate times and depends on a social services worker for medication. After a gang attacks him in an alley, Arthur’s co-worker, Randall, loans him a gun. Arthur invites his neighbor, single mother Sophie, to his stand-up comedy show, and they begin dating.

While entertaining at a children’s hospital, Arthur’s gun falls out of his pocket. Arthur is fired and Randall lies that Arthur bought the gun himself. On the subway, still in his clown makeup, Arthur is beaten by three drunken Wayne Enterprises businessmen; he shoots two in self-defense and executes the third. The murders are condemned by billionaire mayoral candidate Thomas Wayne, who labels those envious of more successful people as “clowns”. Demonstrations against Gotham’s rich begin, with protesters donning clown masks in Arthur’s image. Funding cuts shutter the social service program, leaving Arthur without medication.

Arthur’s comedy show goes poorly; he laughs uncontrollably and has difficulty delivering his jokes. Talk show host Murray Franklin mocks Arthur by showing clips from the routine on his show. Arthur intercepts a letter written by Penny to Thomas, alleging that he is Thomas’s illegitimate son, and berates his mother for hiding the truth. At Wayne Manor, Arthur talks to Thomas’ young son, Bruce, but flees after a scuffle with butler Alfred Pennyworth. Following a visit from two Gotham City Police Department detectives investigating Arthur’s involvement in the train murders, Penny suffers a stroke and is hospitalized.

At a public event, Arthur confronts Thomas, who tells him that Penny is delusional. In denial, Arthur visits Arkham State Hospital and steals Penny’s case file; the file says Penny adopted Arthur as a baby and allowed her abusive boyfriend to harm them both. Penny alleged that Thomas used his influence to fabricate the adoption and commit her to the asylum to hide their affair. Distraught, Arthur goes to the hospital and kills Penny. He enters Sophie’s apartment unannounced. Frightened, Sophie tells him to leave; their previous encounters are revealed to have been Arthur’s delusions.

Arthur is invited to appear on Murray’s show due to the unexpected popularity of his routine clips. As he prepares, he is visited by his former co-workers Gary and Randall. Arthur murders Randall but leaves Gary unharmed for treating Arthur well in the past. En route to the studio, Arthur is pursued by the two detectives onto a train filled with clown protesters. One accidentally shoots a protester and incites a riot while Arthur escapes in the chaos.

Before the show goes live, Arthur requests that Murray introduce him as Joker, a reference to Murray’s previous mockery. Arthur walks out to a warm reception, but begins telling morbid jokes, admits that he killed the men on the train, and rants about how society abandons the disfranchised and how Murray mocked him. Arthur kills Murray live on television and is arrested as riots break out across Gotham; one rioter corners the Wayne family in an alley and murders Thomas and his wife Martha, sparing Bruce.[a] Rioters in an ambulance crash into the police car carrying Arthur and free him. He dances to the cheers of the crowd and uses his blood to paint a smile on his face.

In an interview room in Arkham State Hospital,[7] Arthur laughs to himself and tells his psychiatrist she would not understand the joke. Leaving, he is chased by an orderly, leaving a trail of bloodied footprints.

Cast

  • Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck / Joker:
    A mentally ill, impoverished stand-up comedian disregarded by society,[8] whose history of abuse causes him to become a nihilistic criminal.[9] Phoenix had been interested in a low-budget “character study” of a comic book character, and said the film “feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe … It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”[10] Phoenix lost 52 pounds (24 kg) in preparation,[11][12] and based his laugh on “videos of people suffering from pathological laughter.”[13] He also sought to portray a character that audiences could not identify with and did not look to previous Joker actors for inspiration; instead, he read a book about political assassinations so he could understand killers and motivations.[9] Director Todd Phillips said that he intentionally left it ambiguous as to whether Arthur becomes the actual Joker as seen in traditional Batman stories or inspires a separate character.[14]
  • Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin:[15]
    A talk show host who plays a role in Arthur’s downfall.[16] De Niro said his role in Joker pays homage to his character from The King of Comedy (1983), Rupert Pupkin, who is a comedian obsessed with a talk-show host.[15]
  • Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond:[17]
    A cynical single mother and Arthur’s purported love interest.[17][18] Beetz, a “huge fan” of Phoenix, said that it was “an honor” to co-star with him,[19] and that she learned a lot working with him on set.[20]
  • Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck: Arthur’s mentally and physically ill mother,[21] who formerly worked for Thomas Wayne.[22] Hannah Gross portrays a young Penny.

Our Thoughts

Other than its slow pace, I really liked Joker. Phoenix gives an Academy Award performance and should win this year’s Oscar, hands down. I liked the theme, and the best part, well…. It held far too much satisfaction for my own comfort. This movie will make you see how bad of a human you can be, and there is no happy, redeeming ending. Still a great a night out, and well worth the cost of a premium ticket. 4 stars, and Highly Recommended – MR

Find Joker and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Ad Astra “An interesting film. Slow. Well portrayed, with solid effects, but VERY boring. A let down. 3.5 stars” – MR

Ad Astra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ad Astra
Ad Astra - film poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Gray
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Hoyte van Hoytema
Edited by
  • John Axelrad
  • Lee Haugen
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • August 29, 2019 (Venice)
  • September 20, 2019 (United States)
Running time
124 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80–100 million[2]

Ad Astra is a 2019 American science fiction action adventure film produced, co-written and directed by James Gray. Starring Brad PittTommy Lee JonesRuth NeggaLiv Tyler and Donald Sutherland, it follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the solar system.

The project was announced in early 2016, with Gray saying he wanted to feature “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie”. Pitt signed on to star in April 2017 and the rest of the cast joined later that year. Filming began around Los Angeles that August, lasting through October.

Ad Astra had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 2019, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on September 20, 2019 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, under the 20th Century Fox banner.[3] It received mostly positive reviews from critics, with universal praise for Pitt’s performance.

Plot ***SPOILER ALERT***

In the near future, the Solar System is being struck by mysterious power surges of unknown origin, threatening the future of human life. After surviving an incident on an immense space antenna caused by one of these surges, Major Roy McBride, son of famed pioneering astronaut H. Clifford McBride is informed by U.S. Space Command (SpaceCom), the United States Armed Forces branch operating in Space, that the source of the surges has been traced to the “Lima Project” base. The Lima Project had been sent some twenty-six years prior to search for intelligent life from the farthest regions of the Solar System under Clifford McBride’s leadership, and disappeared sixteen years prior in orbit around Neptune. A SpaceCom officer informs Roy that they believe Clifford may still be alive, and he is tasked with the mission of travelling to Mars to try and establish communication with him. McBride accepts the mission, and is joined by an old associate of his father, Colonel Pruitt.

After taking a commercial flight to the Moon, McBride and Colonel Pruitt are escorted by US military personnel to the SpaceCom lunar base, taking them across no-man’s-land. En route to the base via lunar rovers, they are ambushed by scavenging pirates, who kill most of the group except for McBride and Pruitt. After reaching the base, a dying Pruitt is placed into intensive care. McBride transfers to a SpaceCom flight, crewed by four SpaceCom officers, flying to Mars.

During the journey to Mars, the ship receives a distress signal from a Norwegian biomedical research space station. Boarding the space station, McBride and the ship’s captain find it abandoned, only to be attacked by an aggressive baboon escaped from the Norwegian station. The ape kills the ship’s captain before being neutralised by McBride. Another baboon attacks McBride but he is able to escape the station with the captain’s body.

While making a routine landing on Mars, another power surge hits the ship, forcing manual intervention. The interim captain finds himself too scared to fly, leaving McBride to take the controls and land the ship safely.

Having landed on Mars, McBride is taken to the underground SpaceCom base, where he briefly meets Helen Lantos, the facility Director, and is then tasked with recording voice messages to be sent to the Lima Project, in hopes that Clifford will respond. After going off-script, the crew apparently receive a response, but Roy is abruptly taken off the mission, as his personal connection to the mission is deemed to pose a psychological risk to himself and the mission’s success.

While being kept in a “comfort room”, he is visited by Lantos, who reveals she is a native Martian and has only been once to Earth as a child. She also reveals that she is the daughter of Lima Project crew-members. In a secret conversation, she shows Roy classified footage from the Lima Project, revealing that Clifford’s crew mutinied against him trying to return back to Earth, leading him to kill them all by turning off their life-support systems, and that her parents were among the crew killed. She also tells him that the crew that brought him to Mars are soon heading to the Lima Project base themselves, where they intend to destroy it with a nuclear payload. The two decide that Roy is the only person who should confront Clifford, and Helen sneaks Roy out of the base, leading him to an underground lake beneath the rocket launch site.

As the rocket takes off, Roy climbs aboard, and after being discovered, the crew is instructed to neutralise McBride. The ensuing altercation results, despite McBride’s best efforts, in the death of the entire crew. Now alone, Roy takes command of the ship. During the long journey to Neptune, he reflects on his relationship with his father, as well as that of his estranged wife, Eve. The isolation and stress of the mission take a toll on his mental condition, but after several weeks he arrives at the Lima Project.

While approaching the base in a small module, another surge strikes, damaging the module and forcing Roy to enter the base through a space-walk. Finding the Lima base nearly abandoned and most of its crew dead, he plants the nuclear payload and meets his father. Clifford McBride, now the sole survivor of the base, explains to his son that the cause of the surges is the ship’s malfunctioning anti-matter power source, which was damaged during a mutiny, and which he has been unable to solve. Clifford also reveals that he has continued to work on the project all these years, refusing to lose faith in the possibility of non-human intelligent life.

Despite his father’s protests, Roy arms the payload and prepares to return to his ship with Clifford, who ultimately resorts to using the thrusters on his spacesuit to launch himself into deep space, refusing to go back to Earth. Roy tries to save him, but Clifford refuses the help, leaving a distraught Roy to watch as his father drifts away in Neptune’s orbit. Alone, Roy manages to thrust himself back onto his ship, going through Neptune’s ring using a piece of the Lima Project ship’s hull to shield himself, while also bringing along with him the data retrieved from the base. Not having enough fuel to return on his own power, he uses the shock-wave from the nuclear explosion to propel the ship home.

Finding that the Lima Project data strongly suggests that humans are the only intelligent life in the universe after all, McBride finds himself imbued with a renewed desire to reconnect with those closest to him, and returns to Earth with a new-found sense of optimism. He seemingly reconnects with his wife.

Cast

Our Thoughts

Ad Astra was a long, slow moving flick about a man’s struggle with his and his father’s demons. It is set in space, in several NASA type old school, Apollo 11 style crafts and planet based stations, and not that deep into the need for effects.   Brad Pitt was great, as was Tommy Lee Jones, but the story was anticlimactic, and disappointing, really.  Not much action at all. And what action there was, was portrayed in low gravity and thus slow and not that exciting.  I was looking forward to a great space flick in IMAX, but was terribly let down. 3.5 stars – MR

 

Find Ad Astra and see the new trailer here.


We Review: It – Chapter Two “A different ending than the book, and some cool effects make it worth watching. 3.5 stars” – MR

It Chapter Two

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
It Chapter Two
ItChapterTwoTheatrical.jpeg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andy Muschietti
Produced by
Screenplay by Gary Dauberman
Based on It
by Stephen King
Starring
Music by Benjamin Wallfisch
Cinematography Checco Varese
Edited by Jason Ballantine
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
169 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60–70 million[2]

It Chapter Two is a 2019 American supernatural horror film and the sequel to the 2017 film It, both based on the 1986 novel It by Stephen King. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman. Set in 2016, 27 years after the events depicted in the first film, it stars James McAvoyJessica ChastainBill HaderIsaiah MustafaJay RyanJames Ransone, and Andy Bean as the adult versions of the Losers Club. Jaeden MartellSophia LillisFinn WolfhardChosen JacobsJeremy Ray TaylorJack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff reprise their roles as the younger Losers, while Bill Skarsgård also returns as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

Talks for an IT sequel began in February 2016. By September 2017, New Line Cinema announced the sequel would be released in September 2019, with Dauberman writing the script and Muschietti expected to direct. Principal photography began in June 2018, at Pinewood Toronto Studios and on locations in and around Port HopeOshawa, and Toronto, Ontario, and wrapped on October 31, 2018. The film was produced by New Line Cinema and Vertigo Entertainment.

It Chapter Two premiered at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on August 26, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 6, 2019. Much like its predecessor, It Chapter Two received praise from critics for its acting (particularly Hader and Skarsgård), themes, and faithfulness to the novel, though criticism was aimed at its runtime and lack of scares compared to its predecessor.

Plot  ***SPOILER ALERT***

In the late summer, in Derry, Maine, Adrian Mellon wins a stuffed toy at the local carnival. After seeing a little girl who lost to him look upset, he gives it to her before reuniting with his boyfriend, Don Hagarty. Their kiss is interrupted by a gang consisting of John “Webby” Garton, Steve Dubay, and Christopher Unwin, who shout homophobic slurs, causing Adrian and Don to walk out of the carnival. Adrian and Don are later ambushed by the gang, and are severely beaten, Adrian to near death, before he is thrown off of the bridge into the water below. While he is gasping for air, he notices Pennywise the Dancing Clown near the edge offering help. Don catches up to Adrian, but not before he witnesses Pennywise brutally murder Adrian. Mike Hanlon, the only member of the Losers’ Club to have stayed in Derry, overhears on the police scanner and rushes to the scene. Upon realizing that It has returned to their old town, he calls the members of the Club and invites them back to town.

Bill Denbrough is a successful author and screenwriter but often gets criticism for his stories’ endings. Beverly Marsh lives a glamorous life as a fashion designer but endures an abusive relationship with her husband. Ben Hanscom has become fit and is a successful architect. Richie Tozier has become a stand-up comedian and has had several failed relationships. Eddie Kaspbrak is a risk assessor and has married a woman similar to that of his mother. Stanley Uris is a partner in a large accounting firm. All find the call from Mike to bring up bad memories, but ultimately agree to come, save for Stanley, who later commits suicide.

The remaining members of the Losers’ Club meet at a local Chinese restaurant and bond over old memories, while sharing stories of their new lives. When the time comes to open fortune cookies, they reveal a cryptic phrase that reads “Guess Stanley Could Not Cut It”. Soon after, the remaining fortune cookies begin moving on their own and opening, revealing disturbing monstrosities inside including a spider with a baby’s head, a one-winged bat, and a pre-birth bird covered in blood. Richie smashes a chair on the table and, after Mike reveals the real reason why he called them back to Derry, Richie and Eddie decide to leave. Bill comes with Mike back to his house, who drugs Bill’s water with special properties that help Mike explain what he has learned about Derry over the years. He reveals that he met with a Native American tribe and showed him the Ritual of Chüd, a way of destroying It once and for all. They return to the group’s hotel, and convince Richie and Eddie to stay and finish what they started.

Mike says that in order for the ritual to work, each Loser must have an artifact from their past to place in the ancient pottery. Beverly goes back to her old house and finds an old pack of cigarettes she hid, in addition to Ben’s love letter, before being attacked by a grotesque naked monster who masqueraded as Mrs. Kersh, a woman who lives there. Bill goes to the sewer where Georgie was killed and recovers his paper boat before having a run-in with a boy from the restaurant named Dean who happens to live in his old house. He tells the boy to get out of Derry and never come back, but the boy says he’s going to the carnival. Ben goes back to their high school and finds his yearbook page, which Beverly was the only person to sign. Eddie goes to the pharmacy and recovers an inhaler. Richie goes to the abandoned arcade and finds a game token, where he remembers a bad memory of him being taunted for his sexuality before being attacked by a giant Paul Bunyan statue. They use a shower cap from their clubhouse as a placement for Stan, and Mike finds the rock that started their rock fight against Henry Bowers and his gang.

Meanwhile, Henry Bowers is visited by Pennywise in the mental hospital where he has resided since the Losers’ attack nearly 30 years prior. He kills a guard and escapes, later ambushing the Losers at their hotel and stabbing Eddie in the side of the face. Eddie takes it out and stabs Henry back, but he escapes before Ben and Beverly can catch him. Bill finds a message from Pennywise alluding to the little boy from earlier, and realizes that Pennywise is going to the carnival. Bill arrives and chases Dean into the mirror maze, but is too late, as he watches Pennywise break a mirror and violently kill him. Bill, traumatized by his failure to save both Georgie and Dean, returns with a mission to murder It himself. The rest of the Losers, after killing Henry, follow Bill to the abandoned Neibolt house.

They climb into the sewers and make their way into a chasm where Mike sets up the steps necessary for the Ritual of Chüd, including burning the artifacts they gathered from their old memories. He instructs the others to chant a phrase, during which It’s “deadlights” appear and make their way into the ancient pottery. He seems to trap them, but a red balloon grows under the lid and out from the pottery, getting larger and larger in size until it pops and reveals a giant version of Pennywise with spider-like legs and blades on the ends of them. The Losers are thrust into nightmarish scenarios in which they are forced to escape from, resembling memories from old places in Derry they spent time in. Bill is forced to confront the fact that he pretended to be sick the day of Georgie’s death, inadvertently causing it, while Beverly finally realizes it was Ben who wrote her that letter years ago. Richie is caught in the deadlights, but Eddie saves him; however, Eddie is impaled and killed by Pennywise shortly after.

The Losers regroup and realize Pennywise can be killed if they make him feel smaller than he really is. They insult him and make him physically grow smaller and weaker, until they are able to tear his heart out and crush it together. Richie tearfully tries to save Eddie, but the group tells him that they have to go as the chasm crumbles around them. They return to the quarry where they once swam together, and Beverly and Ben share a kiss.

After these events, Bill is beginning to write a new book while Mike is moving out of Derry to start a new chapter of his life. Bill is told by Mike about a letter from Stan that he wrote to every member of the Losers’ Club before killing himself, explaining why he did it. Meanwhile, Ben and Beverly are in a relationship and Richie returns to the bridge where he had once carved the initials of him and another person, now revealed to be Eddie. He re-carves them before tearfully leaving.

Cast

The Losers’ Club

  • James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough:[4]
    The stuttering yet resourcefully determined former leader of the Losers’ Club who, out of revenge for the demise of his younger brother Georgie, fights his killer, Pennywise, during the summer of 1989. He promises that he and the other losers will return to Derry if It comes back. As an adult, Bill is a successful mystery novelist, and is married to a successful actress named Audra Phillips.

  • Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh:
    The only female member of the Losers’ Club, who was abused physically and sexually by her father, was bullied at school over false rumors of promiscuity, and was Bill and Ben’s love interest. As an adult, she has become a successful fashion designer in Chicago while enduring several abusive relationships that include her marriage to Tom Rogan.

  • Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom:[5]
    A member of the Losers’ Club who fought against It and was bullied as a child because of being overweight. As an adult, he is fit and a successful architect living in Nebraska.

  • Bill Hader as Richie Tozier:[4]
    Bill’s bespectacled best friend and fellow member of the Losers’ Club, whose loud mouth and foul language often get him into trouble. As an adult, Richie becomes a successful stand-up comic in Los Angeles, contrary to his occupation as a disc jockey from the novel.

  • Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon:[6]
    A member of the Losers’ Club who fought against It. As an adult, Mike is the only one to stay behind in Derry and becomes the town librarian and summons the other Losers back to Derry when It resurfaces. Mike also has a serious substance abuse problem stemming from being traumatized by the events in his childhood.

  • James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak:[7]
    A member of the Losers’ Club who is the epitome of a hypochondriac, overly exaggerated by the immense number of objects in his medicine cabinet. As an adult, Eddie is a successful risk assessor living in New York City and is married to Myra, who is very similar to his Munchausen syndrome by proxy-stricken mother Sonia.

  • Andy Bean as Stanley Uris:[7]
    A member of the Losers’ Club who fought against It. As an adult, Stan becomes a partner in a large Atlanta-based accounting firm and is married to Patty Blum, a teacher.

Our Thoughts

While I love the book, and like the first film version, I also liked this one well enough to review it.  Stephen King has his usual cameo appearance, but in this one he states he didn’t like the ending (of a character’s book) thus hinting this ending will be different, and I was glad it was. There are some cool “shock” scares, and some creepy effects, so it was worth the cost of a ticket. 3.5 stars – MR

 

Find It: Chapter Two and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Angel Has Fallen “4.5 stars and an Academy award to Nick Nolte. No, seriously!” – MR

Angel Has Fallen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Angel Has Fallen
Angel Has Fallen poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
Produced by
  • Gerard Butler
  • Alan Siegel
  • Matt O’Toole
  • John Thompson
  • Les Weldon
  • Yariv Lerner
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Creighton Rothenberger
  • Katrin Benedikt
Based on
Characters
by

  • Creighton Rothenberger
  • Katrin Benedikt
Starring
Music by David Buckley
Cinematography Jules O’Loughlin
Edited by Gabriel Fleming
Production
company
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date
  • August 23, 2019 (United States)
Running time
121 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40–80 million[2][3]
Box office $23.2 million[2]

Angel Has Fallen is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Ric Roman Waugh. It is the third installment in the Fallen film series, following Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016). The film stars Gerard ButlerMorgan FreemanJada Pinkett SmithLance ReddickTim Blake NelsonPiper PeraboNick Nolte, and Danny Huston. The plot follows United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning, who must race against time to clear his name after being framed for an attack on the US President, Allan Trumbull.

The film was officially announced in October 2016, and Roman Waugh was hired in July 2017. New members of the cast were added in early 2018 and filming began in February of that year around Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.

The film was released in the United States on August 23, 2019, by Lionsgate. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $23 million.

Plot ***SPOILERS ***

Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) undergoes training at a private military facility, and is recommended for the position of Secret Service Director by the President of the United States, Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), to replace retiring Director David Gentry (Lance Reddick). Banning hides the fact that he is suffering from migraines and insomnia with regular visits to several doctors, and begins taking medication to cope with recurring back pain.

While the President is on a rural fishing trip, armed drones attack his protection detail, with only Banning surviving and saving the President; both are incapacitated, with Trumbull in a coma. FBI Agent Helen Thompson (Jada Pinkett Smith) finds substantial evidence that Banning may be responsible for the attack, with the van used to carry out the attack containing Banning’s hair and DNA. Banning is subsequently arrested.

En route to a detention facility, Banning and his transport are ambushed. He escapes after killing the assailants, revealed to be agents who took part in his training exercise. Banning calls his wife Leah (Piper Perabo), letting her know he is alive. The call alerts Thompson to Banning’s location, leading to a car chase. but Banning escapes again before heading to his father’s home in the woods.

With Trumbull still comatose, Vice President Martin Kirby (Tim Blake Nelson) is sworn in as Acting President. It is revealed that Wade Jennings (Danny Huston), Banning’s friend and former fellow Army Ranger now CEO of paramilitary company Salient Global, has framed him. Via surveillance cameras, Banning and his father Clay (Nick Nolte) observe Jennings’ men approaching the house; Clay detonates explosives around the perimeter, killing the would-be attackers as he and Banning escape, and Banning reveals to his father that he has a wife and daughter. Leah and her daughter are on the verge of being kidnapped by Jennings’ men when Clay saves them. Kirby reveals to the press that Banning is responsible for the assassination attempt with support from the Russian government.

Finding the bodies around Clay’s cabin, Thompson deduces that Banning was set up. Thompson and another agent meet Jennings, who kills them both. Trumbull awakens from his coma, and Kirby is revealed to be involved with Jennings. Kirby plans to retaliate for the President’s “attempted assassination” by attacking Russia. Banning reaches Trumball’s hospital and is captured, but Trumbull orders his release. Banning leads Trumbull to safety with help from Gentry and other loyal agents, as Jennings destroys the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit by increasing the oxygen and nitrogen supply to unstable levels, causing an explosion.

Banning hides Trumbull and Gentry as Jennings’ men pursue them. After a long gun battle, Jennings attempts to escape via helicopter, which Banning destroys. They face off hand-to-hand, and Banning mortally stabs Jennings. Banning is exonerated while Trumbull and Gentry arrest Kirby for treason due to the evidence uncovered by Thompson. Clay decides to live with Banning and his family. Feeling guilty over his failure to protect Trumbull, as well as his undisclosed ailments, Banning offers his resignation, but Trumbull forgives his mistakes and offers Banning the promotion to Director of the Secret Service, which he accepts.

Our Thoughts

A great addition to the franchise. Some of the scenes were a little weak, with the director opting to use blurred generic backgrounds, instead of high-tech, more modern military environments, but it worked because of the above average acting. I swear Nick Nolte deserves an Academy Award for his role. If you like intense, action-packed, “save-the-world,” shoot ’em ups, this one is for you! 4.5 stars and highly rated. – MR

 

Find Angel Has Fallen and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Stuber “Highly Recommended and a hilarious 5 stars” – MR #StuberMovie

Stuber (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stuber
Stuber poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Dowse
Produced by
Written by Tripper Clancy
Starring
Music by Joseph Trapanese
Cinematography Bobby Shore
Edited by Jonathan Schwartz
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • March 13, 2019 (SXSW)
  • July 12, 2019 (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million[1]
Box office $11.2 million[2]

Stuber is a 2019 American action comedy film directed by Michael Dowse and written by Tripper Clancy. It stars Kumail NanjianiDave BautistaIko UwaisNatalie MoralesBetty GilpinJimmy TatroMira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan, and follows an Uber driver who unwillingly becomes part of a police officer’s arrest operation.

The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 13, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United States on July 12, 2019 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film was produced by 20th Century Fox for that studio before the close of the March 2019 merger of that studio with Disney. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who criticized it for not taking full advantage of its potential but praised Nanjiani and Bautista’s chemistry.

Plot ***SPOILERS***

A meager Uber driver named Stu is forced by an aggressive Los Angeles Police Department detective named Vic to drive him around town to catch a notorious drug lord named Oka Teijo. For Vic, it is especially personal, as Teijo murdered Vic’s partner.

Along the way, Stu deals with Vic’s mad behavior while trying to express his feelings to his friend Becca. Stu and Vic confront each other about Stu’s inability to man up while Vic is called out for his toxic masculinity and negligence toward his daughter Nicole.

Eventually, the two face Teijo at the location of his drop, where Vic finds that Captain Angie McHenry is a dirty cop who has been working with Teijo and was planning to frame Vic for murder to get him off their trail, while Stu does admit he loves Becca, but then realizes it wouldn’t work since he knows she doesn’t feel the same way and that they shouldn’t even be friends.

Stu and Vic work together to take the villains down, but Nicole ends up in the mayhem when she finds them and is nearly shot by Teijo. Stu takes the bullet, and Vic almost kills Teijo before Nicole stops him, and the cops arrive to bring Teijo to justice.

After Stu and Vic recover, they become good friends, and Stu starts to date Nicole, although Vic isn’t sure how to feel about that.

Our Thoughts

This movie was great. Non stop fun and excitement, a great date flick or just a fun night out with friends or family. The fight scenes were not ridiculously acrobatic or portrayed by super human feats, though Batista is a hulk, if there ever was one. Good energy and pacing. A few of the laughs almost caused soda to spew. Highly Recommended and a hilarious 5 stars – MR

 

Find Stuber and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #SpiderMan – Far From Home “#Marvel continues to deliver. 5 stars – MR”

Spider-Man: Far From Home

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man Far From Home poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon Watts
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Matthew J. Lloyd
Edited by
  • Dan Lebental
  • Leigh Folsom-Boyd
Production
company
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • June 26, 2019 (Hollywood)
  • July 2, 2019 (United States)
Running time
129 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $160 million[2]
Box office $110.8 million[2]

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and the twenty-third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, alongside Samuel L. JacksonZendayaCobie SmuldersJon FavreauJ. B. SmooveJacob BatalonMartin StarrMarisa Tomei, and Jake Gyllenhaal. In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Parker is recruited by Nick Fury and Mysterio to face elemental threats from another dimension while he is on a school trip to Europe.

By October 2016, discussions had begun for a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, with a release date given to the film before the end of the year. Holland was confirmed to return in July 2017, with Watts and the writers also confirmed to return by the end of that year. In 2018, Jackson and Gyllenhaal joined the cast as Fury and Mysterio, respectively. Holland revealed the sequel’s title ahead of filming, which began in July 2018 and took place in England, the Czech Republic, Italy, and the New York metropolitan area. Production wrapped in October 2018. The film’s marketing campaign attempted to avoid revealing spoilers for Avengers: Endgame prior to its April 2019 release.

Spider-Man: Far From Home premiered in Hollywood on June 26, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 2, 2019, in 3D and IMAX. The film was positively reviewed, with critics calling it a “fun and satisfying sequel” and praised the performances of the cast, particularly Holland and Gyllenhaal.[3] It has grossed $110 million worldwide.

Plot ***Mild Spoilers***

In Mexico, Nick Fury and Maria Hill encounter a storm, which is revealed to be the Earth Elemental. A superpowered man, Quentin Beck, arrives to fight the creature. In New York City, the Midtown School of Science and Technology restarts its academic year to accommodate the students who were among those resurrected by Bruce Banner eight months earlier.[N 1] The school organizes a two-week summer field trip to Europe. Peter Parker, while still distraught over Tony Stark‘s death,[N 1] plans to confess his growing feelings for classmate MJ. He attends a fundraiser for the homeless, coordinated by his Aunt May. There he disconnects a call from Fury and leaves after being posed questions about Stark.

In Venice, Italy, during the trip, Parker and his friends are among those attacked by the Water Elemental, which proceeds to wreak havoc on the city; Beck arrives and destroys the creature, while Parker attempts to help. Fury sabotages Parker’s trip and gives him Stark’s glasses, which were meant for his successor. The glasses are equipped with the artificial intelligence E.D.I.T.H., which has access to all databases of Stark Industries, and can launch weapons at command. Beck claims the Elementals killed his family and that he hails from a different reality, one among many in the Multiverse. Parker rejects Fury’s plea for help and rejoins his class, but Fury covertly redirects the school trip’s itinerary to Prague, where the Fire Elemental is projected to strike. It appears there at a carnival, but Beck, with Parker’s help, destroys it. Fury and Hill invite Parker and Beck to Berlin to discuss the formation of a new superhero team. Parker considers Beck worthy of being Stark’s successor and bequeaths him the E.D.I.T.H. glasses.

MJ deduces Parker is Spider-Man. They discover that a piece of detritus she retrieved during the battle is a projector that presents an image of the Air Elemental. The two realize Beck is a fraud. At a nearby pub, Beck — a former holographic-illusions specialist at Stark Industries who was fired for his unstable nature — thanks his team of fellow ex-Stark employees. Parker travels to Berlin and meets with Fury, only to realize that the version before him is an illusion created by Beck. Parker battles multiple illusions and is ultimately hit by a train….

Our Thoughts

This should have been called, Night Monkey. I enjoyed this one a lot, and recommend it highly, as a great time for all ages. They do an excellent job of keeping the scope of the film small enough for Spider-Man. The teen love angle(s), and the adult love angle are entertaining, and as with all things Marvel, it has a bucket full of belly laughs. The audience cried, the audience cheered, and they clapped at the end. Fun for all. A Summer must see! Highly recommended. 5 stars – MR

 

Find Spider-Man: Far From Home and see the new trailer here.


We #Review: #MIB: International “A fun night out. No real suprises other than Les Twins. At times, these famous dancers turned alien, steal the show. 4 stars” – MR

Men in Black: International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Men in Black: International
Men in Black International (Official Film Poster).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Art Marcum
  • Matt Holloway
Based on
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
Edited by Christian Wagner
Production
companies
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release date
  • June 11, 2019 (New York City)
  • June 14, 2019 (United States)
Running time
115 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $94–110 million[3]
Box office $129.1 million[4][5]

Men in Black: International (stylized as MIB: International in promotional material) is a 2019 American science fiction action comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. It is a spin-offof the Men in Black film series, which is loosely based on the Malibu/Marvel comics of the same name by Lowell Cunningham. The film stars Chris HemsworthTessa ThompsonKumail NanjianiRebecca FergusonRafe SpallLaurent and Larry Bourgeois, and Liam NeesonEmma Thompson also reprises her role from the third film, while Tim Blaney reprises his role as Frank the Pug from the first two films.

Talks of a fourth Men in Black film began after the release of the Men in Black 3 in 2012. In February 2018, Hemsworth signed on to lead a spin-off while Gray was hired to direct, and Thompson joined the cast the following month. Filming took place in New York CityMoroccoItaly and London from July to October 2018.

Men in Black: International was theatrically released in the United States on June 14, 2019 by Sony Pictures Releasing, under its Columbia Pictures label. The film received negative reviews from critics, who criticized the “lackluster action and forgettable plot”, although the chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson was praised.

Plot ***SOME SPOILERS***

In Brooklyn in 1996, Molly Wright witnesses her parents being neuralysed by agents of Men in Black (MiB) while she helps an alien escape, avoiding neuralysation herself as her parents assumed that she was asleep.

Twenty-three years later, having been rejected in applications to the FBI and the CIA on the grounds of her “delusions” regarding the evidence of alien life, she manages to track down an alien landing and track the MiB agents back to MiB headquarters in New York. Although she is caught upon entering the agency, Molly makes an impression on Agent O, arguing that she has proven her skills in finding out about the organization’s existence and has no life outside of her search for the agency. Convinced, she is awarded probationary agent status as “Agent M” and assigned to the London branch of the organization.

Once in London, M meets High T, the head of the London branch, and manages to arrange for herself to be assigned to assist Agent H in his meeting with Vungus the Ugly, a member of an alien royal family who is a close friend of H. During their night out with Vungus, they are accosted by mysterious alien twins who can manifest as pure energy, who fatally injure Vungus. Vungus passes a strange crystal on to M before he dies, claiming that he cannot trust H with it as H has changed since they last met. Although Agent C expresses disappointment for H’s dealing with the situation, M points out that few people knew Vungus’ location when he was attacked, which leads to the conclusion that Vungus’ location was betrayed by one of the MiB agents present when High T assigned H to guard him. Nervous over the possibilities of a traitor in MiB itself, High T assigns C and M to conduct an investigation while H is demoted to desk duty, with the investigation suggesting that the twins had DNA traces of the Hive, a parasitic race who invade other planets by merging with the DNA of the conquered species. M learns that H and High T were responsible for fighting off a Hive invasion at the Eiffel Tower in 2016, using a wormhole included in the original migration to Earth, but since that time H has fallen from grace, demonstrating an uncaring attitude towards his duties and apparently only keeping his job due to High T covering for him due to the soft-spot they have for each other.

H convinces M to join him in following up a lead in Marrakesh, where they recover “Pawny”, the last survivor of a small group of aliens who were attacked by the Twins. Pawny pledges new loyalty to M, but they are subsequently trapped by MiB agents coordinated by C, who has recovered video footage of Vungus passing the crystal on to M and believes that she is the traitor. With the aid of one of his alien contacts, H is able to acquire a rocket-powered bike and escape with M and Pawny, where they learn that the crystal Vungus gave M is actually a weapon powered by a compressed blue giant. As they repair the damaged bike, H’s alien contact manages to steal the weapon and take it to Riza Stavros, an alien arms merchant and H’s ex-girlfriend.

Traveling to Riza’s island fortress, the trio attempts to infiltrate the base and recover the weapon…

Cast

  • Chris Hemsworth as Henry / Agent H, a suave agent in MIB UK branch.
  • Tessa Thompson as Molly Wright / Agent M, a rookie MIB recruit assigned to the UK branch.
    • Mandeiya Flory portrays a younger Molly.
  • Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny (voice), a tiny alien warrior that H and M befriend.
  • Liam Neeson as High T, the head of MIB UK branch.
  • Rafe Spall as Agent C, an MIB agent in the UK branch who is sceptical of H’s past.
  • Rebecca Ferguson as Riza Stavros, an alien intergalactic arms dealer and H’s ex-girlfriend.
  • Laurent and Larry Bourgeois as The Twins, a shape-shifting alien duo seeking a dangerous artifact.
    • Laurent Bourgeois also portrays the human that The Twins kill and copy his appearance on.
  • Emma Thompson as Agent O, the head of MIB.
  • Kayvan Novak as Vungus the Ugly, a member of an alien royal family and friend of H.
    • Kayvan Novak also portrays Nasr and Bassam
  • Tim Blaney as Frank the Pug (voice)
  • Spencer Wilding as Luca Brasi
  • Marcy Harriell and Inny Clemons cameo as Molly’s parents in a flashback.
  • Thom Fountain and Drew Massey as the Worm Guys (voices), worm-like aliens that work for MIB.
  • Sérgio Mallandro as himself

Our Thoughts

While fun for the whole family, there was nothing here exceptional or inspiring. That said, it was good clean family fun that won’t freak out the younger kids, and not so cheesy that older kids and teens will get bored. It is Summer. Enjoy the movies. MIB: International is entertaining and safe for all. 4 stars – MR

 

Find MIB: International and see the new trailer here: