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

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

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

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

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

But greed is everywhere.

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

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

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

NEW RELEASE ALERT!

FANTASTICA, Book Two:
Sapphire of Souls

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

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

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

Step into the world of Fantastica.

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

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

You can read them FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited.

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

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

Cast

Our Thoughts

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

 

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


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

The Dark Tower

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

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

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

Find The Dark Tower and see the new trailer here.

 


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

Atomic Blonde

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

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

Cast

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

Our Thoughts

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

Find Atomic Blonde and see the new trailer here


We Review: War for the Planet of the Apes “Monkey see, monkey do.” – MR

War for the Planet of the Apes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
War for the Planet of the Apes
Caesar, with a  sawed off shotgun and Nova behind his back, on a horse with the film's logo and "Witness the End July 14" at the bottom.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Matt Reeves
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Characters created
by

Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino[1]
Cinematography Michael Seresin
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
Running time
140 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $150 million[4]
Box office $174.9 million[5]

War for the Planet of the Apes is a 2017 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback and Reeves. A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it is the third installment in the Planet of the Apesreboot series. The film stars Andy SerkisWoody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, and follows the confrontation between the apes, led by Caesar, and the humans for control of Earth. Like its predecessor, its premise shares several similarities to the fifth film in the original series, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, but it is not a direct remake of that film.

Principal photography began on October 14, 2015, in VancouverWar for the Planet of the Apes premiered in New York City on July 10, 2017 and was released in the United States on July 14, 2017, by 20th Century Fox.[6]The film has grossed over $174 million and received critical praise, with many critics highlighting the acting (particularly Serkis), story, musical score, action sequences and direction, and some calling it one of the strongest-ever conclusions to a film trilogy.[7]

Plot

Some time after the U.S. military was called to fight off an increasingly intelligent and dangerous army of apes, the apes’ clan, led by the chimpanzee Caesar, is attacked in the woods by a paramilitary faction known as Alpha-Omega. AO also has in its service apes that previously followed Koba, a human-hating bonobo who led a failed coup against Caesar. Some of the AO militants, including the gorilla Red, are captured and reveal that Alpha-Omega follows the leadership of a ruthless Colonel. Caesar releases the prisoners as a peace offering to the humans, but makes plans to relocate the clan across the desert, not wanting to suffer any more ape casualties. The night before their journey, Alpha-Omega infiltrates the apes’ base and the Colonel kills Caesar’s wife, Cornelia, and their elder son, Blue Eyes.

Leaving behind his younger son, Cornelius, Caesar departs to exact revenge on the Colonel. He is accompanied by Maurice the orangutan, Luca the gorilla and Rocket the chimpanzee, while the other apes head for the desert. Caesar’s party confronts traitorous albino gorilla Winter in an Alpha-Omega camp and learn that the Colonel has departed for a location called the “border”. Caesar inadvertently kills Winter, which causes him to worry that he is becoming like Koba.

During their journey, they encounter a man living in an abandoned village and kill him when he reaches for his rifle. After discovering his daughter, who is apparently unable to speak, Maurice insists that they take her with them. Further along, they discover some Alpha-Omega soldiers who have been shot and abandoned. Their examination of a survivor reveals that he, like the girl, cannot speak. Later the group meets Bad Ape, a chimpanzee hermit who lived in the Sierra Zoo before the Simian Flu pandemic. Bad Ape directs them to the border, a former weapons depot that was turned into a quarantine facility when the virus first began to spread.

When the group arrives at the border facility, Luca is killed protecting Caesar from an Alpha-Omega patrol, motivating Caesar to proceed alone. However, he is captured by Red after witnessing the rest of his ape clan being forced to build a wall with no food or water. The Colonel reveals to Caesar that the Simian Flu virus has mutated and now causes humans who survived the original strain to devolve, becoming mute and regress back to a primitive state, and that he is barricading himself in the facility to fend off rival military forces coming to defeat him because he favors killing any infected humans – including his own son – to stop the spread of the virus.

While Caesar is tortured with starvation, the mute girl, whom Maurice names Nova, sneaks into the facility to give him food and water. To prevent her from being discovered, Rocket allows himself to be captured as a diversion. Together, Caesar and Rocket are able to work out a means of escape via an underground tunnel that leads out of the facility. Maurice and Bad Ape use the tunnel to rescue the apes, and Caesar orders the others to escape while he goes to confront the Colonel. As the facility comes under attack by the rival military forces, Caesar reaches the Colonel, but realizes that he has been infected by the mutated virus.

 

Cast of Apes

Our Thoughts

If you like this franchise then you should love this movie. I didn’t love this one. I only liked it, mainly because I’m just not into the whole idea of it. That isn’t to say it isn’t a solid, entertaining flick. I just don’t get it. It was worth the price of a ticket, and had great special effects throughout. I will give it 3.5 stars, because it held my attention until the end, and wasn’t boring. Monkey see, monkey do. – MR

Find War for the Planet of the Apes and see the new trailer here.


We Review, Spider-Man: Homecoming IMAX 3D “Fun for all! 5 Shining Stars” – MR

Spider-Man: Homecoming

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Spider-Man Homecoming poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon Watts
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Jonathan Goldstein
  • John Francis Daley
Based on
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Salvatore Totino
Edited by
  • Dan Lebental
  • Debbie Berman
Production
company
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date
Running time
133 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $175 million[2]
Box office $268.7 million[2]

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 2017 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 second Spider-Man film reboot and the sixteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, with a screenplay by the writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. Tom Holland stars as Spider-Man, alongside Michael KeatonJon FavreauZendayaDonald GloverTyne DalyMarisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker tries to balance high school life with being Spider-Man, while facing the Vulture.

In February 2015, Marvel Studios and Sony reached a deal to share the character rights of Spider-Man, integrating the character into the established MCU. The following June, Holland was cast as the title character, while Watts was hired to direct, followed shortly by the casting of Tomei and the hiring of Daley and Goldstein. In April 2016, the film’s title was revealed, along with additional cast, including Downey. Principal photography began in June 2016 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and continued in New York City, before concluding in Berlin the following October. During filming, Watts, Ford, McKenna and Sommers were revealed as additional screenwriters. The production team made efforts to differentiate the film from previous Spider-Man incarnations.

Spider-Man: Homecoming premiered in Hollywood on June 28, 2017, and was released in the United States on July 7, 2017, in 3DIMAX and IMAX 3DHomecoming has grossed over $268 million worldwide, and received positive reviews, with critics praising Holland and the other cast’s performances, the light tone, and the action sequences. A sequel is scheduled to be released on July 5, 2019.

Plot

Following the Battle of New York,[N 1] Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by Tony Stark‘s U.S. Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.). Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute,[N 2] but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.

Parker quits his school’s Academic Decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker nearly drowns intervening, and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against involvement with the dangerous criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.

Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the Decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is overpowered and trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the Decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers before admonishing him for his recklessness and taking away his suit.

Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Liz is Toomes’ daughter. Deducing Parker’s secret identity, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters. He dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes’ lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz, but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die.

Our Thoughts

This movie was well acted all the way around. It was funny, serious, and at times gripping. We watched the IMAX 3D version and the effects were spot on. If you follow my reviews, you’ll know I love Marvel movies, and this film is no exception. Fans of anything Avenger, will love this one. One thing I have to say is, just like most Marvel movies, this one especially sets a great example of how important education is for our youth. Fun for the whole family and well worth the price of a premium ticket. 5 shining stars. – MR

Find Spider-Man: Homecoming and see the new trailer here.


We Review, Transformers: The Last Knight “3 stars… entertaining but unrealistic even for a sci-fantasy flick” – MR

Transformers: The Last Knight

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Transformers The Last Knight poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Bay
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on Transformers
by Hasbro
Starring
Music by Steve Jablonsky[1]
Cinematography Johnathan Sela[2]
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
Running time
149 minutes[4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $217–260 million[5][6][7][8]
Box office $496.5 million[9]

Transformers: The Last Knight is a 2017 American science fictionaction film based on the Transformers toy line created by Hasbro. It is the fifth installment of the live-actionTransformers film series and a sequel to 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. Directed by Michael Bay, the film features Mark Wahlberg returning from Age of Extinction, with Josh DuhamelGlenn Morshower and John Turturro all reprising their roles from the firstthreefilms and Anthony Hopkins joining the cast. Bay and Wahlberg have stated they will not return for another sequel.[10]

The film premiered at Odeon Leicester Square in London on June 18, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 21, 2017 by Paramount Pictures, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D. It received negative reviews and, with an approval rating of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, is the worst reviewed film of the series. The film has grossed over $496 million worldwide against a budget of $217 million, making it the eighth highest-grossing film of 2017.

A spin-off, entitled Transformers Universe: Bumblebee, is scheduled for release on June 22, 2018. A sequel to Transformers: The Last KnightTransformers 6, is set to be released in 2019.

Plot

In 484 AD, King Arthur‘s wizard Merlin forges an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers who have hidden on Earth. The Knights give Merlin an alien staff, and combine into a huge dragon to help Arthur triumph over the Saxons.

In the present day, most of the governments on Earth have declared Transformers outlawed, and the multinational Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) has been formed to destroy the alien robots. Despite the absence of Optimus Prime, who left the planet to search for his creator, new Transformers continue to arrive regularly; the newest ship to arrive crash-lands in the half of the ruins of Chicago, where it is found by a group of children. When a TRF mecha confronts the kids, they are saved by Izabella, a survivor of the Battle of Chicago and her Transformer companions Sqweeks and Canopy, but Canopy is killed by the TRF in the process. Bumblebee and Cade Yeager arrive and help them escape, but Yeager is unable to save the Transformer in the ship. Before he dies, the knightly robot attaches a metallic talisman to Yeager’s body—an act observed by Decepticon scout Barricade, who reports this to his leader, Megatron.

On the far reaches of the Solar System, Optimus discovers that the Transformers’ homeworld, Cybertron, now disassembled into pieces, is heading directly for Earth. He finds the being in control of Cybertron’s movement, the sorceress Quintessa, who professes to be the maker he is searching for. The staff which the Knights gave to Merlin was stolen by Quintessa, and using her powers, she places Optimus under her control, dubs him “Nemesis Prime” and charges him with recovering it. Earth, she reveals, is actually Cybertron’s “ancient enemy” Unicron and she intends to drain his life force so that Cybertron can be restored.

TRF member and former Autobot ally William Lennox brokers a deal between the TRF and Megatron, releasing from their custody a squad of Decepticons that will help Megatron recover the talisman from Cade. Megatron hunts Yeager down and follows him to his junkyard hideout in South Dakota, where he and many of the surviving Transformers are holed up. After the Decepticons retreat, Yeager is approached by Cogman, a Transformer envoy of British Lord Sir Edmund Burton, who takes him and Bumblebee to England to meet his master. There, Burton arranges a meeting between Yeager and Viviane Wembly, an Oxford professor. Wembly has just been kidnapped by the Autobot Hot Rod, using his long-term disguise as her Citroën DS. Burton explains that he is the last living member of the “Witwiccan” order, an ancient brotherhood dedicated to guarding the secret history of Transformers on Earth. He also reveals that Viviane is the last descendant of Merlin, and that she must find and use his Staff to prevent the impending destruction of Earth by Cybertron.

Our Thoughts

I suppose if you are invested in this series it was great, but I have only watched a few Transformer movies, and those after they made it to cable. It is just too unrealistic. A Camero that changes into a car sized robot is cool, and possible, but a Camero that changes into a robot the size of a jumbo jet, is out of proportion. The staff of Merlin, when it is in the human girl’s hand, is maybe four feet tall, and then when Optimus Prime holds it, it is taller than the girl. These little things didn’t take away from the awesome transformation effects, or the semi-cool plot, but I noticed them. Kids and fans of the franchise will love it. I give it 3 stars for being entertaining but unrealistic even for a sci-fantasy flick. – MR

Find Transformers: The Last Knight and see the new trailer here.


We Review: Wonder Woman “Another Superhero brought back to life with class, and finesse.” – MR

Wonder Woman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman (2017 film).jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Produced by
Screenplay by Allan Heinberg
Story by
Based on Wonder Woman
by William Moulton Marston
Starring
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams[1]
Cinematography Matthew Jensen
Edited by Martin Walsh
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • May 15, 2017 (Shanghai)
  • June 2, 2017 (United States)
Running time
141 minutes[2][3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $149 million[4]
Box office $254.4 million[4]

Wonder Woman is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comicscharacter of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is directed by Patty Jenkins, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and a story by Heinberg, Zack Snyder, andJason Fuchs. Gal Gadot stars as the titular character with Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and Elena Anaya in supporting roles.

Wonder Woman is the first live action theatrical film starring the character, following her first live-action theatrical appearance in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Set in 1918, the film tells the story of American pilotSteve Trevor, who crashes offshore of the Amazon island of Themyscira, and is rescued by its Princess Diana. After he tells Diana about World War I, she leaves her home in order to end the war, becoming Wonder Woman in the process.

Development for the film began in 1996, with Jenkins signing on to direct in 2015. Principal photography began on November 21, 2015, with filming taking place in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy before wrapping up on May 19, 2016. Additional filming took place in November 2016.

Wonder Woman premiered in Shanghai on May 15, 2017, and was released in the United States on June 2, 2017, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D. It received positive reviews from critics, with many praising Gadot and Pine’s performances and has grossed $254 million worldwide.

Plot

In present-day Paris, Diana Prince, a staff member of the Louvre‘s antiquities department, receives a World War I-eraphotographic plate couriered by Wayne Enterprises and recalls her past.

Diana was born and raised on the island of Themyscira, home to the Amazons, a race of warrior women created by the gods ofMount Olympus to protect humankind against the corruption of Ares, the god of war. In the distant past, Ares slew all his fellow gods, but was mortally wounded by his father Zeus. Before dying, to guard against Ares’ return, Zeus left behind a weapon for the Amazons capable of killing his renegade son—the “Godkiller,” which Diana believes to be a ceremonial sword. Diana desires to train as an Amazon warrior, but her mother Queen Hippolyta refuses to allow it, insisting that Ares will never return. However, Diana and her aunt, General Antiope, disobey Hippolyta and begin training in secret. When the two are discovered by Hippolyta, Antiope convinces the queen to allow Diana’s training to continue.

As a young woman, Diana rescues pilot Steve Trevor after his plane crashes off the coast of Themyscira. The island is soon attacked by the German soldiers pursuing Steve. The Amazons engage and kill all the soldiers, but Antiope dies protecting Diana. Interrogated with the Lasso of Truth, Steve reveals that the Great War is well underway, and he is an Alliedspy. He stole a notebook from German scientist Doctor Maru, who is researching a deadlier form of mustard gas under General Erich Ludendorff. Believing Ares is responsible for the war, Diana arms herself with the ceremonial sword and leaves Themyscira with Steve to find and destroy Ares, although Hippolyta refuses to let her return to Themiscyra.

In London, Steve delivers Maru’s notes to his superiors at the Imperial War Cabinet, including Sir Patrick Morgan, who is trying to negotiate an armistice with Germany. Steve believes Ludendorff will complete and use the gas regardless of an armistice. With Sir Patrick’s support, Steve and Diana infiltrate the Western Front in Belgium, accompanied by Steve’s team: spy Sameer, marksman Charlie, and smuggler Chief.

Our Thoughts

 

I don’t get ANY of the feminist hype I have seen online associated with this film. Wonder Woman is still scantily dressed and kills dozens of innocents while protesting all the death that comes with war. I did really like the movie, and I am looking forward to more of this version of Diana Prince! This was well worth the cost of a premium ticket. Another Superhero brought back to life with class, and finesse. 4 stars – MR

Find Wonder Woman and see the new trailer here.


We Review, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales “Another great installment.” – MR

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Official epic artwork poster

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by Geoff Zanelli[1]
Cinematography Paul Cameron[2]
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 11, 2017 (Shanghai)[3]
  • May 26, 2017 (United States)
Running time
129 minutes[4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $230 million[5]
Box office $514 million[5]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (also known as Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge)[6] is a 2017 American fantasyswashbuckler film, the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film seriesand the sequel to On Stranger Tides (2011). The film is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg from a script by Jeff Nathanson, with Jerry Bruckheimer serving again as producer. Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally andGeoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs and Hector Barbossa, respectively. The film also stars Javier Bardem as Armando Salazar,Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth. The film also features the returns of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann respectively, following their absence from the previous movie, On Stranger Tides.

The filmmakers cited the series’ first installment, The Curse of the Black Pearl(2003), as inspiration for the script and tone of the film.[7][8] Pre-production for the film started shortly before On Stranger Tides was released in early 2011, with Terry Rossio writing a script for the film. In early 2013, Jeff Nathanson was hired to write a new script, with Depp being involved in Nathanson’s writing process. Initially planned for a 2015 release, the film was delayed to 2016 and then to 2017, due to script and budget issues. Principal photography started inAustralia in February 2015, after the Australian government offered Disney $20 million of tax incentives, and ended in July 2015. It was released in conventional, Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats on May 26, 2017, received mixed reviews and has grossed $514 million worldwide.

Plot

Two years following the post-credits scene of At World’s End, 12-year old Henry Turner boards the Flying Dutchman to inform his father, Will Turner, that the mythical Trident of Poseidon is able to break his curse and free him from his ship. Will does not believe the Trident exists and orders Henry to leave his ship and never come back.

Nine years later (and five after the events of On Stranger Tides), Henry works on a British Royal Navy warship. While chasing a pirate ship, Henry realizes the captain is about to sail them into the Devil’s Triangle. The captain dismisses his concerns and has Henry locked up for attempting mutiny. As they sail into the Triangle, they come across a shipwreck that quickly comes to life with undead sailors, led by Captain Salazar. The ghost crew board the ship and kill everyone in their path. Henry is confronted by Salazar, who sees a wanted poster for Jack Sparrow in Henry’s cell. He allows Henry to live so he can deliver a message to Jack that death is coming his way.

In Saint Martin, a young woman named Carina Smyth has been sentenced to death for witchcraft because of her knowledge ofastronomy and horology. She manages to escape her cell and briefly runs into Jack, who is in the process of robbing a bank with his crew. Jack and his crew manage to evade the British Army, yet they realize the vault they stole is empty. Jack’s crew abandons him for being unlucky and not delivering any loot. Carina later meets Henry, who has also been sentenced to death for supposedly committing treachery aboard the vessel of the Royal Navy, and tells him she knows of a way to find the Trident. She helps him escape, but gets caught by the British Army.

Feeling depressed after losing his crew’s support, Jack goes back to town and inside a local tavern. Having no money to pay for his drink, he reluctantly trades his mystical compass. This causes the Devil’s Triangle to crumble and allows Salazar and his crew to sail the seas freely. Soon afterwards, Jack gets caught by the British Army. Before both he and Carina can be executed, Henry helps them escape with help from Jack’s crew, and together they sail away on Jack’s ship, the Dying Gull. Carina reveals a map that will lead them to the Trident, and reluctantly decides to team up with Henry and Jack in order to achieve their goals; Carina and Henry grow closer as their adventure progresses. Salazar and his crew are roaming the seas and destroying ships in Captain Barbossa‘s fleet in their search for Jack. Barbossa decides to meet Salazar and offers to help find Jack in exchange for sparing his fleet. Salazar explains to Barbossa how he and his crew once sailed the seas to kill every pirate. They were undefeated until they ran into a young Jack Sparrow, who tricked them into sailing into the Devil’s Triangle, where Salazar and his crew died and were cursed to remain undead. Jack’s mystical compass was the key to freeing them from the Devil’s Triangle; letting go of its ownership would unleash the owner’s worst fear.

When Salazar’s ship finds the Dying Gull, Jack, Henry and Carina escape on a rowboat while the crew remains on board to cause a distraction. Salazar and his crew chase Jack, but upon arriving at a small island, Jack realizes Salazar’s ghost crew can’t step on land. Barbossa arrives at the island and decides to help Jack; he breaks the Black Pearl out of the bottle and returns it to its original size. With Jack’s compass, which he had managed to locate, Barbossa takes command of the ship and lets Carina navigate them to the island.

Our Thoughts

These movies have always been favorites of mine, and this one is no exception. It is well worth the cost of a premium ticket. Another great installment to a fantastic series of well imagined, well acted films. 4 stars – MR

Find Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and see the new trailer here.


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.