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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.


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

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

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


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

The Circle

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

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

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

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

Premise

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

Cast

Our Thoughts

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


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

Ghost in the Shell (2017 film)

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cast

Our Thoughts

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

 

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


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

Power Rangers

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

Find Power Rangers and see the new trailer here


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

CHiPs (film)

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

Cast

Our Thoughts

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

 

Find CHiPs and see the new trailer here.