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We Review #Alita: Battle Angel “One word: Badass!” – MR

Alita: Battle Angel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alita: Battle Angel
Alita Battle Angel (2019 poster).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Gunnm
by Yukito Kishiro
Starring
Music by Tom Holkenborg
Cinematography Bill Pope[1]
Edited by Stephen E. Rivkin
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox[2]
Release date
Running time
122 minutes[4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $170 million[5][6]
Box office $35.6 million[5]

Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American cyberpunk action film based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series Gunnm, also known as Battle Angel Alita. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez, written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis, and produced by Cameron and Jon LandauRosa Salazar stars as Alita, a cyborg, with supporting roles portrayed by Christoph WaltzJennifer ConnellyMahershala AliEd SkreinJackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson.

Originally announced in 2003, production on and release of the film were repeatedly delayed due to Cameron’s work on Avatar and its sequels. After years of languishing in development hell, Rodriguez was announced as the film’s director in April 2016, with Salazar being cast the following month. Principal photography began in Austin, Texas, in October 2016, lasting through February 2017.

Alita: Battle Angel premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square on January 31, 2019, and was released in the United States on February 14, 2019, by 20th Century Fox in Real D 3DDolby Cinema and IMAX 3D formats. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its visual effects, action sequences and Salazar’s performance, with some calling it one of the better manga adaptations, while criticism was directed at the “muddled” screenplay and the set-up of sequels.[7]

Plot (***SPOILERS***)

In the year 2563, a catastrophic war known as “The Fall” has left the Earth devastated. While scouting the junkyard metropolis of Iron City, cyborg scientist Dr. Dyson Ido discovers a disembodied female cyborg with a fully intact human brain. Ido rebuilds the cyborg, who does not have any recollections of her past, and names her “Alita” after his deceased daughter.

Alita befriends a teenage boy named Hugo, who dreams of moving to the wealthy sky city of Zalem. Hugo introduces her to the competitive sport of Motorball, a battle royale race wherein cyborgs fight to the death.

Alita discovers that Ido is a Hunter-Warrior when she follows him one night and they encounter three cyborg assassins led by Grewishka. When Ido is injured, Alita instinctively attacks the cyborgs, killing two of them while severely damaging Grewishka before he retreats underground. Despite Alita rediscovering her skill in the ancient martial art of “Panzer Kunst”, Ido discourages her from becoming a Hunter-Warrior. The next day, Alita finds and brings home a Berserker body from a downed ship outside the city. Ido refuses to install her in the body, fearing the consequences of her heart’s full compatibility with it.

Fed up with Ido, Alita herself registers as a Hunter-Warrior. One night, she and Hugo enter the Kansas Bar to ask other Hunter-Warriors in helping her take down Grewishka, but they refuse, as Grewishka is not on the wanted list. Suddenly, an upgraded Grewishka storms into the bar and challenges Alita to a rematch, revealing he has been sent by his boss, Nova, to destroy her. Despite her courage and martial arts skills, Alita’s body is sliced up by Grewishka’s bladed fingers before she blinds him with her left arm, and Ido, Hugo, and another Hunter-Warrior force him to retreat. Ido transplants Alita in the Berserker body, which automatically interfaces with her system.

Having fallen in love with Hugo, Alita enters a Motorball tryout race as a means to send Hugo to Zalem. Ido discovers that the other contestants are Hunter-Warriors and wanted cyborgs hired by Vector to kill her. He warns Alita and as the race begins she destroys many of the contestants with her superior skills. Meanwhile, Hugo is being hunted by Zapan after he frames Hugo for murdering a cyborg. Hugo calls Alita for help and she leaves the Motorball race to rescue him. She finds Hugo just as Zapan arrives and reveals to her that Hugo has been attacking cyborgs and stealing their body parts for Vector for use in his Motorball games. Knowing that Alita is in love with Hugo, Zapan mortally wounds him and tells Alita that Hunter-Warrior law dictates that she must either kill Hugo or let Zapan finish him off. Chiren, Ido’s ex-wife, manages to save Hugo by attaching his head to Alita’s heart. Zapan attempts to stop Alita from leaving but she slices part of his face off.

Ido transplants Hugo’s head onto a cyborg body before telling Alita that Hugo’s actions were based upon the false belief that he would be able to eventually buy his way into Zalem. Ido confides that this was only a lie fabricated by Vector, and that citizens of Iron City will never enter Zalem. Alita decides to confront Vector, who has been mind-controlled by Nova, a powerful Zalem scientist. Through Vector, Nova reveals to Alita that Chiren has been harvested for her organs and then orders Grewishka to kill her. Alita battles Grewishka again and kills him before stabbing Vector, telling Nova he made the mistake of underestimating her.

Our Thoughts

Though I have some quips about the whole sexuality of beings with nothing but organic brains, thing… ie: why be a girl (or a boy) if you are just a brain in a robot body. But that aside, the message to youth, that the look of our bodies is not nearly as important as the quality of our minds, rings through in both triumphant and tragic ways.  Having never read the books, or seen the anime, I didn’t know what to expect. I have to say it was awesome. It seems there will be more awesome to come. I will see this one again, and I am glad we saw it in IMAX 3D. 5 shining stars, and Highly Recommended. To sum it up in one word, Alita was Badass! – MR

 

Find Alita: Battle Angel and see the new trailer here.

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We Review: #Glass, “4 stars. A refreshing take on the trad… hero flick.” -MR

Glass (2019 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Glass
Glass official theatrical poster.jpg

UK release poster
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Produced by
  • M. Night Shyamalan
  • Jason Blum
  • Marc Bienstock
  • Ashwin Rajan
Written by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring
Music by West Dylan Thordson
Cinematography Mike Gioulakis
Edited by
  • Luke Ciarrocchi
  • Blu Murray
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
Running time
129 minutes[4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[5]
Box office $199 million[5]

Glass is a 2019 American superhero thriller film[6] written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is a sequel to Shyamalan’s previous films Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016), serving as the final installment in the Unbreakable trilogy.[7] Bruce WillisSamuel L. JacksonSpencer Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard reprise their Unbreakable roles, while James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy return as their Splitcharacters,[8] with Sarah Paulson, Adam David Thompson, and Luke Kirby joining the cast. In the film, David Dunn becomes locked in a mental hospital alongside his archenemy Mr. Glass, as well as the multi-personality “The Horde,” and must contend with a psychiatrist who is out to prove the trio do not actually possess super-human abilities.

While there was interest in creating a sequel to Unbreakable following its release, Touchstone Pictures opted not to finance one at that time despite the film’s solid box office performance. Shyamalan set out to write Split using a character he had written for Unbreakable but pulled from its script due to balance issues. Shyamalan realized the opportunity he had to create a trilogy of works, and used the ending of Split to establish the film as within the Unbreakable narrative. This included securing the rights to use Willis’s Unbreakable character from Walt Disney Studios, with the promise of including Disney within the production and distribution of this third film alongside Universal PicturesSplit was a financial and critical success, and by April 2017, Shyamalan announced that he had started the production process for Glass.

The film was released on January 18, 2019, by Universal Pictures in the United States and by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, under the Buena Vista International label, in international territories. It has grossed over $199 million worldwide, against a $20 million production budget. It received mixed reviews from critics, with some finding it underwhelming and lamenting the climax, although the performances of McAvoy, Willis and Jackson, as well as the direction, musical score, and entertainment value of the first half of the film were praised.[9][10]

Plot **SPOILER ALERT**

Three weeks after Kevin Wendell Crumb earns the nickname “The Horde”,[N 1] vigilante David Dunn and his now-grown son Joseph, who have been working together to take down criminals, set out to save four cheerleaders Crumb has abducted. David comes across Kevin, whose alter, “Hedwig,” is in control, and discerns the cheerleaders’ location using his extrasensory perception. After freeing the cheerleaders, David confronts Kevin’s superhuman alter, “the Beast”, only for both of them to be arrested when the ensuing fight spills out into the streets.

David and Kevin are sent to a mental institution where Elijah Price, David’s sworn enemy, known as “Mr. Glass”, is being held. Dr. Ellie Staple, the head doctor of the mental institution, works with patients who claim to have special powers. Staple reveals that she has been given three days to persuade David, Kevin, and Elijah that they are “normal” people who simply believe they have super powers. Staple also knows that David’s alleged weakness is water and has a machine that forces the Horde to switch identities, effectively disarming the Beast.

Joseph, Mrs. Price, and Casey Cooke (who survived an attack from the Beast) all visit at separate times to attempt to aid their associates, but fail. As part of her final evaluation, Staple puts the three patients in one room begins to chip away at David and the Horde’s belief in their abilities being supernatural. Though Elijah has been heavily sedated throughout his stay, Staple reveals that his own MRI results show irregularities in the frontal lobe of his brain, which she believes could explain his obsession with proving the existence of super-powered humans.

The evaluation attracts Elijah, who has been surreptitiously swapping out his medication with aspirin and faking his sedated state, to the Beast. That night, Elijah breaks into the Horde’s cell to prepare them for the Beast’s awakening, but is captured and has laser surgery performed on his brain. However, it’s revealed that Elijah had anticipated this and had previously sabotaged the surgical laser, causing it to have no effect on him; he escapes captivity by killing an orderly and sets off to awaken the Beast. Elijah convinces the Beast to battle David during the public unveiling of the city’s new highest tower to revive the Horde’s faith and reveal the existence of superhumans to the world, before turning his attention to David and forcing him to accept the truth of his superhuman abilities to escape, lest Elijah destroy the tower in place of the showdown. David, Kevin and Elijah are all able to escape from the hospital. David and the Beast face off again outside of the hospital and are evenly matched until Staple intervenes. Staple orders four armed men to subdue each of the superhumans, but David and the Beast fend them off.

Elijah tells the Beast that water is David’s weakness, but Joseph intervenes and reveals to the Beast that Elijah orchestrated the train crash that killed Kevin’s father, the same train crash that Elijah caused to find David. After Kevin’s father died, his abusive mother began torturing him, thus leading to the creation of The Beast. The Beast thanks Elijah for creating him, but because his purpose is to protect Kevin, the Beast mortally wounds Elijah and then throws David into a water tank. David survives but is apparently weakened by the fight. The Beast retreats and promises to finish him off at the tower. However, Casey confronts the Beast before he can escape and summons the real Kevin to take control by speaking his full name. Without the Beast’s superhuman strength and durability to protect him, Kevin is fatally shot by one of Staple’s men and dies in Casey’s arms.

Staple’s men then overpower the weakened David and drown him in a flooded pothole. Staple lets David touch her as he dies, granting him a vision of her being part of a secret society trying to keep the existence of superhumans a secret. Staple tells him that if she had convinced him that he was normal, she would have left him alone, but that The Beast ruined that. As Elijah finally dies of his wounds, Staple reveals to him that a human Illuminati-like group have been the masterminds of the obstruction of both heroes and villains alike for over 10,000 years. With Elijah, Kevin and David dead, Staple deletes the security footage and reports her mission as a success.

Unbeknownst to Staple, the cameras around the mental institution had previously been hacked by Elijah and had been live-streaming to a private network. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Price, Joseph and Casey all receive a copy of the footage and choose to release it to the public via the Internet, bringing the existence of superhumans to the awareness of the public to avenge the death of the three extraordinary people.

Cast

  • James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb / The Horde: A former Philadelphia Zoo employee with 23 different personalities whose body chemistry changes with each personality, resulting in a 24th personality known as “The Beast.”, a savage superhuman cannibal whose abilities include superhuman strength, speed, durability, and agility. Kevin’s personalities also include Jade (a teenage girl), Orwell (a historian), Barry (an effeminate man), Patricia (a proper British woman), Hedwig (a nine-year-old boy), Ann and Mary Reynolds (Irish twin girls), Dennis (a perverted man suffering from OCD), Norma (a Southern woman), Luke (a Southern man who spoils movies), and Mr. Pritchard (a professor of Japanese cinema).[11]
  • Bruce Willis as David Dunn / The Overseer: An indestructible security guard with superhuman strength and stamina, as well as an extrasensory ability to see the crimes people have committed by touching them. In the film, Dunn goes by a new alias, “The Overseer”.[12]
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price / Mr. Glass: A superhumanly intelligent mass murderer and comic book theorist with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, who was institutionalized after Dunn discovered his crimes.
  • Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple: A psychiatrist specializing in delusions of grandeur who treats patients convinced they are superhuman beings.
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke: A teenage girl with a history of abuse who was kidnapped by one of Kevin’s personalities as a potential sacrifice to “The Beast” but managed to survive.
  • Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph Dunn: David’s son who has believed in his father’s abilities since he was a child and sees him as a real-life superhero.
  • Charlayne Woodard as Mrs. Price: Elijah’s mother, who took great care of her son, and always told him he was special no matter what others said.
  • Adam David Thompson as Daryl, an employee at the psych ward.[13]
  • Luke Kirby as Pierce, one of Mr. Glass’s caretakers at the facility.[14]

M. Night Shyamalan reprises his cameo role of Jai, the security guard from Dr. Fletcher’s apartment building in Split, who indicates to David Dunn that he was also the same man he confronted about selling drugs at the university stadium in Unbreakable.

Our Thoughts

James McAvoy continues his brilliant portrayal of the Horde. The distinct shifts in personality are remarkable. I saw this movie on a Friday and am reviewing it on Monday for a reason. The meat of this story is that without bad guys, we wouldn’t need good guys. Or maybe it is even deeper. This isn’t the old fashioned good verses evil superhuman ability tale, and it is a rather dark, but refreshing take on the superhero genre.

The tie back to Unbreakable is such that I am going to have to watch it today. Maybe I will review it, too. I reviewed Split, here, when it came out.

I am seeing ALITA, in IMAX 3D on Feb. 14th. That review will be up on the 15th.

As for Glass, I give it 4 stars and recommend it as a refreshing take on the traditional comic book hero flick. -MR

Find Glass, and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Aquaman “I’ll give it 4 stars and leave it at that.” – MR 

Aquaman (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: DONATE NOW! 
Aquaman
Aquaman poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Wan
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by Kirk Morri
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
Running time
143 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $160–200 million[4][5][6]
Box office $748.8 million[7]

Aquaman is a 2018 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Directed by James Wan, with a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, from a story by Geoff Johns, Wan and Beall, it stars Jason Momoa as the title character, with Amber HeardWillem DafoePatrick WilsonDolph LundgrenYahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles. It is the third live-action theatrical film featuring Aquaman, following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), and the first full-length feature film centered around the character. In Aquaman, Arthur Curry, the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, must step forward to lead his people against his half-brother, Orm, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms against the surface world.

Development of an Aquaman film began in 2004, with several plans falling through over the years. In August 2014, Beall and Kurt Johnstad were hired to write two competing scripts and the film was officially announced in October 2014. Wan signed on as director in April 2015 and in July 2016 it was announced the film would move forward with Beall’s screenplay, although Wan, Johnstad, Johns and Johnson-McGoldrick all performed various rewrites. The main cast was confirmed throughout 2016 and early 2017. Principal photography began in Australia on May 2, 2017. Most of the film was shot at Village Roadshow Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland, with production also held in CanadaItaly and Morocco. Filming wrapped on October 21, 2017.

Aquaman had its world premiere in London on November 26, 2018, and was released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures in Real D 3DDolby CinemaIMAX and IMAX 3D on December 21, 2018, and has grossed over $748 million worldwide, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 2018. The film received praise for its adventurous tone, Wan’s direction and the performances of Momoa, Heard and Kidman, although criticism was drawn to the convoluted plot and the runtime.[8][9][10]

 

Plot **Spoilers**

In 1985 Mainelighthouse keeper Thomas Curry rescues Atlanna, the princess of the underwater nation of Atlantis, during a storm. They eventually fall in love and have a son named Arthur, who is born with the power to communicate with marine lifeforms. Atlanna is forced to abandon her family and return to Atlantis, entrusting to her loyal advisor Nuidis Vulko the mission of training Arthur. Under Vulko’s guidance, Arthur becomes a skilled warrior but is rejected by the Atlanteans for being a half-breed and ultimately leaves Atlantis behind.

One year after Steppenwolf‘s invasion, Arthur confronts a group of pirates attempting to hijack a Russian Navalnuclear submarine. Their leader, Jesse Kane, dies during the confrontation while his son, David, vows revenge. David later targets Atlantis at the behest of Orm, Arthur’s younger half-brother and Atlantis’ king who uses the attack as a pretext to declare war on the surface. King Nereus of Xebel swears allegiance to Orm’s cause, but his daughter Mera, who has been betrothed to Orm, refuses to aid them and journeys to the surface to ask Arthur for help, earning his trust by saving Thomas from a tidal wave sent by Orm. Arthur reluctantly accompanies Mera to a rendezvous with Vulko, who urges Arthur to find the Trident of Atlan, a magic artifact that once belonged to Atlantis’ first ruler in order to reclaim his rightful place as king. They are ambushed by Orm’s men and Mera and Vulko escape without having been seen, while Arthur is captured.

Orm visits Arthur in captivity and announces that Atlanna was executed for the crime of having a half-breed son, blaming Arthur and the surface for her death. He offers Arthur an opportunity to leave forever, but Arthur instead challenges him to a duel in a ring of underwater lava. Orm gains the upper hand and nearly kills Arthur before Mera rescues him. Together, Arthur and Mera journey to the Sahara desert where the trident was forged and unlock a holographic message that leads them to Sicily, where they retrieve the trident’s coordinates. Meanwhile, Orm provides David with a prototype Atlantean battle suit to kill Arthur, imprisons Vulko upon learning of his betrayal, and coerces the remaining kingdoms of Atlantis to pledge their allegiance to him and his campaign against the surface.

After modifying Orm’s technology, a fully-armored David rechristens himself as Black Manta and ambushes Arthur and Mera in Sicily, injuring Arthur before being thrown off a cliff to his apparent death. Mera nurses Arthur’s wounds as they journey to the trident’s whereabouts, and encourages him to embrace his destiny as a hero. Arriving at their destination, Arthur and Mera are attacked by a legion of amphibious monsters known as The Trench, but manage to fend them off and reach a wormhole that transports them to an uncharted sea located at the center of the Earth. There, they are unexpectedly reunited with Atlanna, who was sacrificed to the Trench for her crimes but managed to escape and reach the uncharted sea, where she has been stranded ever since.

Arthur faces Karathen, the mythical leviathan that guards the trident, and voices his determination to protect both Atlantis and the surface, proving his worth and reclaiming the trident, which grants him control over the seven seas. Orm and his allies lead an army against the crustacean forces of the Kingdom of the Brine with the intent of completing Orm’s surface battle preparations. As Orm declares himself Ocean Master, Arthur and Mera, with the assistance of Karathen and the Trench, intervene and lead an army of marine creatures in battle against him. Orm’s followers renounce their obedience to him and embrace Arthur as the true king upon learning he wields the trident. Arthur defeats Orm in combat, but chooses to spare his life and Orm accepts his fate after discovering Arthur has found and rescued Atlanna. Atlanna returns to the surface to reunite with Thomas while Arthur ascends to the throne with Mera by his side.

In a mid-credits scene, David is rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin, a scientist obsessed with finding Atlantis, and agrees to lead Shin there in exchange for his help in his revenge on Arthur.

Cast

A half-Atlantean/half-human who is reluctant to be king of the undersea nation of Atlantis. He has the ability to manipulate the tides of the ocean, communicate with other aquatic life, and swim at supersonic speeds, and possesses superhuman strength. A younger Arthur Curry is portrayed by various actors including an uncredited infant, Tainu and Tamor Kirkwood at age 3, Kaan Guldur at age 9, Otis Dhanji at age 13, and Kekoa Kekumano at age 16.[11]
Arthur Curry’s love interest, a warrior and daughter of King Nereus. She was raised by Queen Atlanna and groomed to become queen. Mera possesses hydrokinetic and telepathic powers that allow her to control her aquatic environment and communicate with other Atlanteans.[12]
Atlantis’ counselor, who was a mentor of Arthur Curry when he was young. He trained him to fight as well.[13][14]
Arthur Curry’s Atlantean half-brother and ruler of Atlantis, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms to declare war on the surface world out of the belief that humanity polluted the seas.[15][16]
The king of the Atlantean tribe of Xebel and Mera’s father, who allies with Orm.[17][18]
A ruthless pirate and a high-seas mercenary with a flair for creating deadly technological innovations.[19][20]
The Queen of Atlantis, mother of Arthur Curry and Orm.[21]

Additionally, Temuera Morrison portrays Thomas Curry, a lighthouse keeper who is Arthur Curry’s father;[22] Graham McTavish portrays Atlan, the first king of Atlantis and the ancestor of Atlanna, Orm, and Arthur;[23] Ludi Lin portrays Murk, the Captain of the Men-of-War, the frontline army of Atlantis;[24] Randall Park portrays Dr. Stephen Shin, a marine biologist obsessed with finding the lost city of Atlantis;[25] and Michael Beach portrays Jesse Kane, a member of a group of pirates and David Kane’s father.[26]

Djimon Hounsou, Natalia Safran, and Sophia Forrest play the Fisherman King Nicou, the Fisherman Queen, and the Fisherman Princess respectively, whom Orm creates an alliance with as part of his plan to unite the seven kingdoms of the sea where the former provided the voice of King Nicou.[27] Leigh Whannell, Wan’s long time collaborator, appears in the film as a plane pilot,[28] while Julie Andrews provides the voice of Karathen, a mythical leviathan that allies with Aquaman.[29] While Andrew Crawford provides the motion-capture of King Nicou, he also provides the motion-capture of the Brine King, who is voiced by John Rhys-Davies.

Our Thoughts

Lacking the comedic charm of Ant-Man or Dead Pool (even though they tried for it) and relying on a mostly “B-rate” cast (ie: Willem Defoe, and Dolph Lundgren) this was by no means as good as many of the other “comic book movie” upgrades. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a few hours of awesome visual effects and far fetched action and adventure. There were two distinct story lines that could have been two separate movies, and that detracted from the film. I’ll give it 4 stars and leave it at that, because I know you are going to see it, as you should. We saw it in IMAX and it was worth the extra cost of the tickets. – MR

 

Find Aquaman, and see the new trailer here. 

 

 

 


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

Mortal Engines

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

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

 

Find Mortal Engines and see the new trailer, here.


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

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

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

 


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

Venom (2018 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Venom
Venom poster.jpg

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

Find Venom and see the new trailer here.


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

The Predator

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

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cast

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

Our Thoughts

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

 

Find The Predator and see the new trailer here.


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

Ant-Man and the Wasp

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

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

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

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

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


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

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

Cast

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

 

Contents

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

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


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

Tag (2018 film)

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

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

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

Premise

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

Cast

Production

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

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

Our Thoughts

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

Find Tag and see the new trailer here.