Tag Archives: m r mathias

We Review: Arrival “Nothing new, but still entertaining 3.5 stars” – MR

Arrival

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arrival
Arrival, Movie Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Produced by
Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
Based on Story of Your Life
by Ted Chiang
Starring
Music by Jóhann Jóhannsson
Cinematography Bradford Young
Edited by Joe Walker
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
(North America)[1]
Sony Pictures(International)[2]
Release dates
  • September 1, 2016(Venice)
  • November 11, 2016(United States)
Running time
116 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $47 million[4][5]
Box office $39.2 million[5]

Arrival is a 2016 American hard science fiction thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short storyStory of Your Life” by author Ted Chiang. The film stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg and Tzi Ma.[6]

Arrival had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 1, 2016, and was released in the United States on November 11, 2016, in IMAX by Paramount Pictures. The film received positive reviews, and praise for its story, sustained intense and suspenseful atmosphere, and Amy Adams’s performance. It has grossed $39 million.

Plot

Twelve mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft, nicknamed “shells” by the U.S. military, appear across the Earth. It is unclear why they have arrived or whether there is any logic behind their choice of sites. Linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is selected to join a special team created to analyse the alien species at the US site in Montana, due to her skills in translation and her existing high level security clearance. Also on the team are theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), and a US Army Colonel named Weber (Forest Whitaker). The story opens with a sequence of Louise with her daughter, who dies of a rare type of cancer while still young.

The team makes ‘first contact’ with two cephalopod-like aliens, which they call ‘Heptapods’ because they have seven ‘arms’. Ian nicknames them Abbott and Costello.

Louise decides that two-way communication in the aliens’ spoken language would be impossible. However, she discovers that they can communicate using their written language, which is based upon complicated circular symbols with inter-related components. With Ian’s help she begins to learn the symbols that correspond to a basic English vocabulary, hoping to build understanding so that she can eventually ask why the aliens have come to Earth. As Louise begins to become more proficient with the alien language, she starts to see images of herself with her daughter, both whilst communicating and later, as dreams.

The potential ambiguity in translation becomes a serious issue when the aliens communicate symbols that translate as “offer weapon”, with similar translations (for example “use weapon”) being deduced at other sites. As other nations, which had initially all been sharing their data and analysis, translate their versions of the message, they close down communication with each other. Some start to scramble their military, believing the message to indicate a threat. Louise believes that, due to the difficulty of translating the language’s complex structure, the “weapon” element of the symbol might have an alternative meaning, such as “tool”.

Rogue soldiers take matters into their own hands and plant a timed C4 explosive device within the shell. Louise and Ian are unaware of the device and go back into the shell, to communicate with Abbott and Costello again. Costello guides Louise to write one of their symbols on the barrier, and then both Abbott and Costello fill the screen with hundreds of smaller symbols. The device continues to count down as the rogue soldiers engage in a firefight with troops from the command centre. Costello leaves just before the device explodes but Abbott stays behind long enough to push Louise and Ian out of the communication chamber. They wake up in the base camp with concussion as the shell rises higher into the sky, out of reach.

Ian analyzes the pattern of symbols that the aliens had displayed to establish that it relates to the concept of time, and that what they received was one twelfth of an intended whole.

Meanwhile China makes preparations to attack their shell, and some other international forces do the same.

Cast

Our Thoughts

The concept and first part of this movie were fresh and spot on, but it turned into the same lost child/lost parent psychological drama that “First Contact” was. Amy Adams looks so much like Nicole Kidman, I thought it was Nicole until my date told me it wasn’t. That is a compliment to Amy’s acting. All of the actors did a great job, the story just ended up being the same ole, same ole. The movie was intriguing to me, and it taught me about some linguistics theory I would have never know had I not seen this film. However, it is what it is, a newer version of “First Contact,” differing enough that they don’t seem like the same thing. Nothing new, but still entertaining. 3.5 stars – MR


We Review: Ted 2 “If you don’t watch this in Colorado you might be breaking the law! Hilarious” – MR

Ted 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ted 2
Ted 2 poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Seth MacFarlane
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Narrated by Patrick Stewart
Music by Walter Murphy
Cinematography Michael Barrett
Edited by Jeff Freeman
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • June 24, 2015(New York City premiere)
  • June 26, 2015(United States)
Running time
115 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $68 million[2]
Box office $71.7 million[3]

Ted 2 is a 2015 American comedy film directed by Seth MacFarlane and written by MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild. A sequel to the 2012 film Ted, the film stars Mark Wahlberg and MacFarlane as the title character, both reprising their roles from the original film. It was released on June 26, 2015, by Universal Pictures.

Plot

John Bennett has been divorced from Lori Collins for six months. Meanwhile, Ted marries his girlfriend, Tami-Lynn, but they fight constantly. Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to have a child to attempt to preserve their relationship. Since Ted is incapable of reproductive functions, he goes to John for help. At the same time, Ted is trying to encourage John to start dating again, but John is reluctant. Ted discovers that John has gotten increasingly addicted to Internet pornography. Ted encourages John to date the first woman he meets.

Ted and John attempt to get a sperm donor, and ultimately, Ted accepts John’s donation offer. Unfortunately, Tami-Lynn is infertile, having ruined her ovaries through excessive drug use. Tami-Lynn and Ted’s inquiries into adoption draw attention to his status as property, resulting in the loss of his job and financial accounts. Furthermore, Ted’s marriage to Tami-Lynn is annulled. John suggests that take the situation to court. Since they cannot afford a lawyer, their case is assigned to the novice, Samantha Leslie Jackson. At first they are reluctant to work with her, feeling she is too inexperienced but they quickly change their minds when they discover that she shares their love of marijuana. The three bond as they prepare to present the case.

Meanwhile, Donny is now employed as a janitor at the Hasbro Toy Company headquarters. He convinces the company CEO to hire an expert attorney to ensure that Ted maintains his status as property. Donny proposes that Hasbro capture Ted and study him in hopes of discovering the secret to creating more living teddy bears.

The court rules against Ted. Dispirited but desperate, Samantha, Ted and John turn to Patrick Meighan, a highly respected civil rights attorney, in the hopes of overturning the court’s decision. They take a road trip to New York City to meet with him, but their car goes off road due to Ted’s irresponsible driving, and the group spends the night in a hidden marijuana patch. While sitting around a campfire, Samantha and John realize their attraction for each other. The next morning, the group proceeds to New York City. Meighan is sympathetic to Ted’s plight, but ultimately refuses the case, as he believes that Ted has not significantly contributed to humanity due to his irresponsible and hedonistic lifestyle.

Ted, frustrated over the injustice and jealous of Samantha and John’s new relationship, runs off to be left alone. Donny follows him as he wanders into the New York Comic-Con. Once inside, Donny poses as a costumed fan and asks Ted for a picture, but Ted flees as soon as Donny reveals himself. He steals a phone and contacts John before Donny catches him. John and Samantha arrive at Comic-Con and search for Ted, arriving as Donny is about to cut Ted open.

Cast

Cameos

Our Thoughts:

This one started slow and I was just about to be disappointed when all of a sudden I was laughing so hard It hurt. After that point it was non stop, green cloud,  hilarity. There is enough GREEN humor, meaning WEED humor to warrant the “R” rating and I don’t recommend this for anyone under sixteen. Otherwise, it is a highly recommended modern comedy. The undertones of tolerance and acceptance are timely. I’m waiting for Ted 3 now. – MR

Find Ted 2 and see the new trailer here.


We Review: ‘GET HARD’ – Two words: “Freaking Hillarious.” – MR

Get Hard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Get Hard
Get Hard film poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Etan Cohen
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Adam McKay
  • Jay Martel
  • Ian Roberts
Starring
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Edited by Michael L. Sale
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • March 16, 2015 (SXSW)
  • March 27, 2015(United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1][2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[3]
Box office $38.4 million[3]

Get Hard is an American comedy film directed by Etan Cohen (in his directorial debut) and written by Etan Cohen, Jay Martel and Ian Roberts.[4] The film stars Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, Edwina Findley, andCraig T. Nelson.[5] The film was released on March 27, 2015.[6]

Plot

James King (Will Ferrell) is an extremely wealthy hedge fund manager, engaged to his gorgeous gold-digging fiancee Alissa (Alison Brie). His car washer, Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) is married to his wife, Rita and is trying to put their daughter Makayla in a better school away from the bad neighborhood they live in. James meets Darnell when the latter accidentally frightens James in the parking lot because he assumed Darnell was going to rob him, when he just wanted to give him his keys. James makes a speech about how he got to his success, and to inspire Darnell to go for his. He pulls out a big wad of cash, only to pull out two singles as a “tip” for Darnell.

Alissa hosts an engagement party for herself and James. She gives him an electric guitar as a gift, and she invites John Mayer up onstage to perform. James performs alongside Mayer momentarily until the cops storm in and arrest James for fraud and embezzlement. James’s lawyer Peter Penny urges James to go for a guilty plea, but he refuses and insists that he will be exonerated. Instead, everybody that lost money in the embezzlement scheme is out for James’s head. The judge finds him guilty and sentences James to ten years at San Quentin, with only 30 days to get his affairs in order. His assets are frozen and he is placed under house arrest. He cuts off the ankle bracelet and tries to flee the country. He drives to a country club to get Alissa to go with him, but she says she has left him and decided to move on. The police then show up and arrest James, who asks his boss and Alissa’s father Martin (Craig T. Nelson) for help.

Darnell encounters James once more in the parking lot, expressing his fears over going to prison. He asks Darnell how he managed in prison, simply assuming he was incarcerated because he is black. James then begs Darnell to teach him how to toughen up if he wants to survive in prison. Darnell demands payment in the form of $30,000, which James agrees to.

Darnell, who has little idea of how to act tough himself, tries to put on a facade of his own to convince James that he can show him how to prepare himself. To start his “training”, Darnell pepper-sprays James upon arriving to his home. He tries to get James ready for prison by intimidating with his “mad dog” face (James can only “sad dog” it), creating scenarios in which he must defend himself, and picking fights at the park (only for James to be beaten multiple times). James gets in touch with Martin and says he’s getting help. Martin, who is the actual crook, thinks James is onto him and orders Peter and a hired gun named Gayle to take care of business.

 

Our Thoughts:

Two words: “Freaking Hillarious.” – MR

 

Find “Get Hard” and see a new trailer here.


We review the FireTV version of: Maleficent “Does not disappoint. 5 Stars” – MR

Maleficent (2014 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maleficent
Maleficent poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Stromberg
Produced by Joe Roth
Screenplay by Linda Woolverton
Based on
Starring
Narrated by Janet McTeer
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Dean Semler
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • May 28, 2014(United Kingdom)
  • May 30, 2014 (United States)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $180 million[2]
Box office $757.8 million[2]

Maleficent (/məˈlɛfɪsənt/ or /məˈlɪfɪsənt/) is a 2014 American dark fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton. Starring Angelina Jolie as the eponymous Disney villainess character, the film is a live-action re-imagining of Walt Disney‘s 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, and portrays the story from the perspective of the antagonist, Maleficent.[3]

Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, with Angelina Jolie as an executive producer, principal photography took place between June and October 2012. Maleficent premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on May 28, 2014, and was released in the United Kingdom that same day. The film was released in the U.S. on May 30, 2014 in the Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats, as well as in conventional theaters. The film was met with mixed reviews from critics, but was a commercial success, having grossed over $757 million worldwide and is the fourth highest-grossing film of 2014.

Plot

An elderly narrator tells the story of Maleficent, a powerful fairy living in the Moors, a magical forest realm bordering a corrupt human kingdom. As a young girl, she meets and falls in love with a human peasant boy named Stefan, whose love for Maleficent is overshadowed by his ambition to become king. As they grow older, Stefan and Maleficent grown apart, and she grows into the role of protector of the Moors. When King Henry tries to conquer the Moors, he is thwarted by a mature Maleficent, forcing him to retreat. Fatally wounded in the battle, he declares that whoever kills Maleficent would be named his successor and marry his daughter Leila. An older Stefan hears this, then goes to see Maleficent in the Moors. Stefan drugs Maleficent but cannot bring himself to kill her, so instead he cuts her wings off with iron – a lethal substance to fairies – and presents them to the king as proof of her death. Maleficent awakens to find herself wingless. She rescues a raven named Diaval, whom she gives a human form, to serve as her confidant.  Maleficent, deeply saddened by Stefan’s betrayal, declares herself Queen of the Moors, forming a dark oppressive kingdom with Diaval as her only companion..

Some time later, Diaval informs Maleficent that Stefan, who is now king, is hosting a christening for his newborn daughter, Aurora. Bent on revenge, Maleficent arrives uninvited and curses the infant princess: on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, which will cause her to fall into a deep sleep from which she will never awaken. When Stefan begs for mercy, she offers an antidote: the curse can be broken by true love’s kiss. A paranoid Stefan sends Aurora to live a trio of pixies until the day after her sixteenth birthday, while he destroys and burns all the spinning wheels in the kingdom and hides them in the deepest dungeon in the castle. He sends out his armies to find and kill Maleficent, but she surrounds the Moors with an impenetrable wall of thorns.

Despite her initial dislike for Aurora, Maleficent begins to care for the girl when the incompetent pixies fail to do so. After a brief meeting with the young Aurora, Maleficent watches over her from afar. When Aurora is 15, she meets Maleficent for the first time and she calls Maleficent her “fairy godmother”, as Aurora recalls being watched over by her all of her life. Realizing she has grown fond of the princess, Maleficent attempts to revoke the curse, but she cannot. Aurora later meets Prince Philip, and the two are smitten with each other. On the day before Aurora’s 16th birthday, Maleficent, hoping to avoid the curse, allows her to move to the Moors. When the pixies inadvertently tell Aurora of her parentage and of Maleficent’s true identity, a furious Aurora runs away to her father’s castle.

Meanwhile King Stefan, mad with paranoia, sits in his castle talking to Maleficent’s wings, and even refuses to see Queen Leila on her deathbed.

 

Cast

Angelina Jolie (left), Sharlto Copley (center) and Sam Riley (right)

Our Thoughts

This is a well portrayed movie, with superb acting and stellar effects. I was expecting more of a kids/chick flick type of story, but this was actually a great twist on the old Cinderella tale; dark enough to keep an old Conan the Barbarian fan interested from start to finish. This one does not disappoint.  – MR

 

Find Maleficent and see a free movie trailer here. 


We Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 “Solid fantasy entertainment.” – MR

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay – Part 1
MockingjayPart1Poster3.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Produced by Nina Jacobson
Jon Kilik
Screenplay by Danny Strong
Peter Craig[1]
Based on Mockingjay
by Suzanne Collins
Starring
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Jo Willems
Edited by Alan Edward Bell
Mark Yoshikawa
Production
company
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • November 19, 2014(BR, NO)
  • November 20, 2014(UK, HU, IT, ID, PH)
  • November 21, 2014 (US)
  • January 2015 (CN)

[2][3][4]

Running time 123 minutes[5]
Country United States
Language English
Budget
  • $140 million[6]
  • 250 million (shared with Part 2)[7]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a 2014 American science fiction adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. It is the first of two cinematic parts based on the novelMockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, and the third installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and distributed by Lionsgate. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. It is the sequel to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and will be followed by the concluding entry, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

The story continues to follow Katniss Everdeen; Having twice survived the Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself in District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the Capitol and fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage. Principal photography for both parts of the film began on September 23, 2013 in Atlanta, before moving to Paris for two weeks of filming and officially concluding on June 20, 2014 in Berlin.[8]

Part 1 was released on November 19, 2014 in Brazil, on November 20, 2014 in the Malaysia, United Kingdom, Greece and Indonesia, and is scheduled to be released on November 21, 2014 in the United States and November 28, 2014 in India, with an unconfirmed date in January 2015 in China.[3][4] It landed atop Fandango‘s list of most-anticipated films for 2014.[9]

Synopsis

Katniss Everdeen finds herself in District 13 after she literally shatters the Games forever, but the Capital is using Peeta just like the resistance is using Katniss.

Cast

For character descriptions from the novels, see List of The Hunger Games characters.
A seventeen year old from District 12 and victor of the 74th Hunger Games, she becomes a reluctant hero and symbol of hope for the nation after escaping the third Quarter Quell in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. On her character, Lawrence said, “She’s in a different world. She wakes up in District 13 and she has to adjust to a completely new life.”[10][11] Director Francis Lawrence said that her character now compared to the previous film is just “ratcheted up” and that “she’s panicked, and she can’t sleep. She’s barely able to hold it together.” On her relationships with the other characters, he said that Katniss “feels betrayed by Haymitch and by Plutarch. She also feels lost without Peeta” and that because of that “she’s very, very fragile and very, very angry.” Screenwriter Peter Craig said that “everyone is waiting for her, hoping that she is alive. They’re banking on her to change the world. It’s both high anxiety-provoking and exhilarating to follow her as she tries to understand what is going on – and takes on this new identity outside of the arena.”[12] Producer Nina Jacobson says that “emotionally, Katniss is betrayed. She’s a foreigner in a strange land. She knows that people are looking to her to make a change, and this is the time where she realizes she can’t stand by and do nothing. Snow has done too much. There has been too much deception, and the people Katniss loves are in danger. She will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.”[13]
Joint victor of the 74th Hunger Games, he is captured at the end of Catching Fire and he loses his mind after being tortured.[14] Hutcherson says that he’s “always thought that the arc that Peeta takes is really incredible throughout the whole series” and that Peeta’s character arc, “from the beginning he’s such a vulnerable young lad, and into the literally tortured, inflicted kind of PTSD-suffering person that he becomes in Mockingjay is kind of incredible.”[15][16] Cast member Jeffrey Wright said he’s interested to see Peeta’s journey realised “because he essentially plays a guy, a warrior who’s trying to deal with PTSD and among other things.”
Katniss’s best friend from District 12 and now a soldier in District 13. He is one of the few hundred survivors after the bombings of his district. Hemsworth said on Gale’s role in comparison to the previous films, “I mean Gale has the majority of his stuff is (sic) in the third book and it’s when you get to see him standing up to it all. You see bits and pieces of it through the first two [books], of how passionate he is about it, and he gets to sink his teeth in in the third one. Gale is a big part of the uprising”[15]
A paunchy, middle-aged man and an alcoholic, he is one of the only three victors from District 12. Now under the command of District 13, he is forced to go underdetox as they do not permit the consumption of alcohol. He is no longer trusted by Katniss after he breaks his promise of saving Peeta before her.[11]
Previously the Capitol-born chaperone and publicity representative for District 12 tributes during the Hunger Games, she is now a Capitol-born rebel in District 13. While her character does not make an appearance in the novel until the end, director Lawrence reveals that he has expanded her role in the films, “She’s back! In the book, Fulvia basically replaces her. But how can anybody replace Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in these movies? When [author] Suzanne Collins sawCatching Fire, she called and one of the first things she said was, ‘There’s no way Effie Trinket cannot be in the Mockingjay films.’ Effie brings such warmth and fun and levity to these dark stories. She’s the fish out of water in this one and fans will love how she has adapted to the world of District 13.” Producer Nina Jacobson adds that Effie’s reasoning for helping the rebellion is “for personal reasons, not political reasons” and that “unlike Plutarch, she has to be convinced to help. She does not want to be part of the revolution.”[12]
One of the leaders of the rebellion residing in District 13, he managed to pull the strings for the rebellion behind the scenes in the Capitol during the 75th Hunger Games by pretending to work for President Snow as the Head Gamemaker and helps Katniss and a few other tributes escape the arena. Hoffman said that, “his job becomes very different. The story becomes very different and everyone will see what happens.”[17] Director Francis Lawrence explains that “not everybody who grows up in the Capitol is a bad person. This is the movie where Phil [Seymour Hoffman] shows us who he really is, and he is great in this movie, hitting on Plutarch’s sense of humour and political manoeuvring.”[12]
The president of District 13 and the leader of the rebellion. Moore was a big fan of the book series and has “read all the books all the way through and I‘m like, ‘I want to be in this movie.’ Clearly [Coin] was the only part I could play.” Describing her character in the books, she says “Coin is very sparingly drawn because you don’t know who she is because she’s only spoken about through Katniss’ point of view. And Katniss immediately mistrusts her in the way sometimes a young person will mistrust an older person who is not familiar to them or is in a position of authority.”[19] Director Francis Lawrence said “Coin’s singular vision to unite all of the districts in a massive rebellion is no small undertaking, especially when most of the districts have no idea that District 13 still exists. Her relationship with Katniss is very complicated as well, because Katniss is wary of everyone at this point. Julianne [Moore] has done an amazing job with helping to shape the character of Coin.” Screenwriter Peter Craig says Moore’s portrayal of Coin is filled with such “intelligence and warmth; anyone would want to be loyal to the character she has created.[12]
The tyrannical President of Panem who has an affinity for white roses. Sutherland compares Snow’s dangerous battle with Katniss to a love affair, “because love affairs often start with people hating each other — the attraction is so deep and profound,” he says. “This is going to go on until it all ends. Snow only gets better.” Director Francis Lawrence says that “everything that happens in this story is driven by the antagonist, which is why President Snow is so vital, it gets very personal with these characters.”
Resident director from the Capitol, she flees alongside her camera crew and assistant, Messalla, to District 13 to join the rebellion in hopes of ending President Snow’s control of Panem. Dormer shaved half her head for the role, but originally intended to shave her entire head. She said she discussed it [with Francis Lawrence] and I took the job on the premise that I would possibly shave my whole head. I’m actually really pleased that we went halfway because I think it’s more the Capitol… and that’s where Cressida comes from. She comes from the Capitol, so she’s got a stylized thing going on and now she’s turned rebel. I think it’s right for the character.”[21] On the similarities between Cressida and the character she plays on Game of Thrones, Margaery Tyrell, she said that Cressida “is employed by the rebellion in this modern capacity that we would recognize as PR and propaganda, winning over hearts and minds in the civil war. And yeah, what Margaery does is modern PR-stunting. So yes, there would be a similarity between the two characters, that they are astute at media manipulation.”[22][23]
Trident wielding victor of the 65th Hunger Games, he escapes from the third Quarter Quell alongside Katniss and other tributes and seeks refuge in District 13. He is distressed, unhinged, and is unable to focus on anything other than his girlfriend Annie Cresta, who was captured by the Capitol during the escape. Claflin said that Finnick since the last film has “been left in a very, very sad and upsetting place. He’s lost his wife and he doesn’t know on where she is. It starts in a very distressing place for him, in the beginning of Mockingjay. He just goes on a hellish journey.”[24] Director Lawrence says on his casting that even though he “has the looks, the beauty, the athleticism, the charm,” that it wasn’t the deciding factor in Claflin’s portrayal that sold him. It was “his emotional depth. Because I always knew where Finnick was going to go as a character, and what we were going to learn about him as the stories progressed, that drew me to Sam.”[25][26]
President Snow’s minister.[28] His character does not appear in the books and is an addition to the adaptation. Knepper says during his audition he read for, but he knows that what he got is not what he’ll end up doing, adding that “they [Lionsgate] are so secretive about this.”[29]
District 7 victor who was captured by the Capitol at the end of Catching Fire along with Peeta. It’s been reported that Johanna’s role has been expanded from that of the novel.[30]

Additionally, Stanley Tucci,[31][32] Willow Shields,[33][34] Jeffrey Wright, Paula Malcomson all reprise their roles as Caesar Flickerman, Primrose Everdeen, Beetee Latier, and Mrs. Everdeen respectively. Stef Dawson plays Annie Cresta (after having a cameo appearance in Catching Fire),[35] Finnick’s girlfriend from District 4 who is captured by the Capitol.[36] Evan Ross plays Messalla,[37] assistant director to Cressida. Patina Miller portrays Commander Paylor,[38][39] the leader of the rebellion in District 8. Mahershala Ali was cast as Boggs, Coin’s right hand man, while Wes Chatham portrays Castor and Elden Henson plays his brother, Pollux, who is an Avox, someone who had his tongue cut off by the Capitol.

 

Our Thoughts:

Those who have read the books will find what you expect to find in this film. It is a bridge between two parts of the story, and the whole premise for Katniss having two men, or a “boy dilemma,” or “love triangle,” or whatever you call it. To put it simply, she has to have time alone with each of them, for this to develop, and this is her time away from Peeta. I’m giving the movie 5 stars. It is solid fantasy entertainment. I can’t wait for part 2.

 

Find a Mockingjay Part 1 at amazon and see several awesome trailers here.


Review of ‘Mirror Mirror’ Amazon Streaming Version: “Easily as dark as Snow White and the Huntsman!” – M.R.

Review of ‘Mirror Mirror’ Amazon Streaming Version

From Wiki:

Mirror Mirror is a 2012 comedy fantasy film based on the fairy tale “Snow White” by the Brothers Grimm. It is directed by Tarsem Singh and stars Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, and Sean Bean. It is unrelated to the Gregory Maguire novel Mirror, Mirror.

Our Take: This version of Snow White is easily as dark as Snow White and the Huntsman. And just as visually stunning, (in parts.) Julia Roberts plays a good evil step mother. Snow White is played well too, as are the seven dwarves. It is the male characters here that were lacking. Again, Amazon streaming delivers hi quality.

I recommend this for fantasy loving guys to pick as a sofa date movie. Enough romance for the gals, enough dark twisted fun for everyone else, especially the kids.

3.5 stars.

 

Find Mirror Mirror at Amazon

 

 


More Summer Fantasy Giveaways #Win a Whole Trilogy of signed copies! #FREE eBooks too!

Giveaway one is for Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle then you can still take advantage by getting one of Amazon’s many FREE reading apps, for Droid, iPad, Blackberry, PC, etc…

Confliction Compendium is FREE  for Kindle at Amazon HERE July 13th, 14th, and 15th. AND again July 21st and 22nd. No entry required. Just go get yourself three great fantasy novels, a novella, and two short stories all in one download.

YES…..  THE WHOLE Dragoneer Saga TRILOGY IN ONE OMNIBUS DOWNLOAD FREE for ANYONE who wants it.

Now that’s cool on a HOT day, and it’s all courtesy of M. R. Mathias’ newest release, the conclusion to his Wardstone Trilogy. (see image below)

The next Three Giveaways are idenidenticalu can enter three times to win the 3 Dragoneer Trilogy Books signed by the author from Goodreads vie their drawing system.

The following titles are linked to the respective giveaway.

The Royal Dragoneers

Cold Hearted Son of a Witch

The Confliction

Good luck and enjoy the summer. More movie and classic fantasy book reviews to come!


“Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” – Tad Williams Fantasy Trilogy reviewed.

From Wiki:
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is Tad Williams’s epic fantasy trilogy, comprising The Dragonbone Chair (1988), Stone of Farewell (1990), and To Green Angel Tower (1993). The world and story draw upon many sources from history and folklore. Several characters’ elements and experiences mirror the legends of Great Britain and other lands (e.g., King Arthur and Sir Lancelot, Alfred the Great, Baba Yaga, and Amaterasu). The dominant Erkynlanders resemble the medieval English, with Anglo-Saxon/Biblical-sounding personal names in addition to the usual castle-based feudal/agrarian setting of stock fantasy. The other peoples of Osten Ard also have identifiable real-world parallels in their names, cultures, and native tongues.

Our Thoughts: I read this trilogy some years ago and three scenes stick out in my head. Simon facing the dragon in the snow. Tad William’s description of the dragon’s approach was so well written that I stopped and reflected on it. Also the flooded plains frozen over. Loved some of the battle strategies portrayed there. The Sithi city in the forest, with the strung up cloth art and vividly different culture. I enjoyed these books a lot. My ONLY gripe about this trilogy is that it is 4 books long. Book III – To Green Angel Tower was so big that the publishers split the paperback in two. Having to buy the 4th book was irksome. Luckily, these days we have ereaders and the title fits in a single file just fine.

The Sithi (which are pre-Sith) are like elves. The other creatures from Tad’s imagination are something else all together, and much terrible fun.

This is a 4 star epic fantasy that I highly recommend. – M.R.

Find Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn on   Kindle   Nook


I want to announce 4 giveaways that pertain to The Wardstone Trilogy

I want to announce 4 giveaways that pertain to The Wardstone Trilogy. Winners for all 3 will be decided Independence Day, July 4th 2012. ALL entries are FREE.

These giveaways are taking place to promote the
July 4th 2012 release of The Wizard and the Warlord – The Wardstone Trilogy Book III by M. R. Mathias

Five Chapter Preview in .pdf  HERE

#1 is the Fantasy Book Critic Indie Kindy   Win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch loaded with indie fantasy eBooks.
info: Fantasy Book Critic

#2 is a Goodreads Giveaway of 5 signed copies of The Sword and the Dragon – The Wardstone Trilogy Book I
info: Goodreads Giveaway

#3 is a Goodreads Giveaway of a signed copy of  Kings, Queens, Heroes, and Fools – The Wardstone Trilogy Book II
info: Goodreads Giveaway

#4 is a Goodreads Giveaway of a signed copy of The Butcher’s Boy – 2011 Readers favorite Award Winner for Horror Fiction

info: Goodreads Giveaway

Please pass these on to your friends and followers.  Thank you. @WizardWyrm


PROMETHEUS IMAX 3D Movie Review “The aliens blew my mind” – M.R.

Tickets for 2 – $32.00

2 Hot Dogs   – $11.00

2 Diet Dr. Peppers – $13.00

Getting to see PROMETHEUS in IMAX 3D on opening night at the Warren Theater in Moore, Oklahoma – Priceless

Ok…  I really liked the movie. There was a lot from Alien in this sci-fi space travel thriller. A lot. Weird creepy android, a crew waking from cryogenic hibernation, belly bursting creatures, exciting, “Pulse-Pounding” action. The first of the movie had a “2001 a Space Odyssey” feel to it. It graduated, a little slowly, into an arm-rest-gripping, who is going to bite it first, type of theme.

The 3D effects were pointless, save for one awesome scene where we see space (several galaxies worth) all represented in hologram-like clockwork imagery. This scene blew my mind.

The aliens blew my mind.

This is great sci-fi fun, and worth the cost of a premium ticket. If you loved the original Alien, you’ll definitely love this. It had elements of horror, thriller, drama, a little romance, and once the story developed and I know the characters a bit, the action took over and I was enthralled. The ending was a great tie in. I can’t say more about that without being a spoiler.

4 stars – losing one for lack of a truly original story.  It would have been 3 stars, but the special FX, and action sequences carried the movie after the first 30. It was the same 30 minutes of build up I’ve seen in several movies before.

Recommended – M.R.