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November 29, 2017

Star Trek: Beyond (2016) --- "Don't Always Believe The Lone Survivor Because They May Lead You Into A Trap."

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Plot Summary
A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims. Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact that's aboard the badly damaged starship. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off their hostile planet. (1) 







Review
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     The 21st century Star Trek reboot films have had mixed received by critics, all three have their strengths and weaknesses. Star Trek (2009) was a good origin story but the villain was one-dimensional and underdeveloped. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) fared reasonably well as an action film and had an interesting villain but a few characters were put on the background too much. Now we have Star Trek: Beyond (2016) and I personally believe it to be the better of the three films despite being rated 7.1/10 in comparison to 2009’s 8/10 and 2013’s 7.8/10.

November 27, 2017

Star Trek: Into the Darkness (2013) --- "Super Soldier Goes On A Rampage To Rescue Crew Trapped In Torpedoes."

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Plot Summary
The crew of the Starship Enterprise returns home after an act of terrorism within its own organization destroys most of Starfleet and what it represents, leaving Earth in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) leads his people (Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoë Saldana) on a mission to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction, thereby propelling all of them into an epic game of life and death. (1)







Review
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     I would like to start off by saying that I have not had the chance to watch all of the old Star Trek films but I hope one day I will have the chance to do so. However, my father watched the films growing up so he offered some insight on a comparison between the old films and the new films.

November 24, 2017

Star Trek (2009) --- "Time-Traveling Villains Changes The Whole Plot."

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Plot Summary
Aboard the USS Enterprise, the most-sophisticated starship ever built, a novice crew embarks on its maiden voyage. Their path takes them on a collision course with Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan commander whose mission of vengeance threatens all mankind. If humanity would survive, a rebellious young officer named James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and a coolly logical Vulcan named Spock (Zachary Quinto) must move beyond their rivalry and find a way to defeat Nero before it is too late. (1) 






Review
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A bit of history…
     Star Trek, when someone says this name various images, characters and phrases come to mind. Images of the Starship Enterprise hurling through space at warp speed; Characters such as Kirk, Spock, Picard, Bones, Sulu, and Uhura; and phrases like "Live long and Prosper", "Good God Jim, I'm a doctor, not a…. or “That is highly illogical.” Now I wouldn't consider myself a ‘Trekkie’ (Star Trek fan) but I do have an appreciation for the series and its characters. The original Star Trek series began as a TV show from 1966 to 1969 – which was later dubbed The Original Series – and was the first TV show to die but go to heaven. According to NBC, The Original Series did not receive enough rating to continue and thus the show was canceled, however, upon further review NBC discovered that they had a ratings hit on its hands so the show continued for a 3rd season. The show’s fandom quickly gained momentum by attracting millions of viewers over the next few years and subsequently a short spinoff series, The Animated Series (TAS), was released for 2 seasons from 1973 to ’74, however, due to low budget costs the animation quality was lower than even the original Scooby-Doo series so TAS was cancelled after its 2nd season. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) was released a full decade after The Original Series was canceled and although it was not the strong commercial success that Paramount was hoping for, it proved successful enough to warrant an entire series of movies that would last for over 12 years. Overall, it is safe to say that the Star Trek franchise is one of a kind. It is a Sci-Fi landmark and has greatly influenced the entertainment industry with wonderful characters, great dialogue, and interesting stories.
Now on to the movie…

November 22, 2017

Justice League (2017) --- "Unlikely Heroes Save The World From A Villain And His Magical Boxes."

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Plot Summary
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes -- Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash -- it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. (1) 







Review
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     Past DC films (except Wonder Woman, 2017), have been dark, uneven and incoherent. And with the DCEU films depending on this film's success, the studio couldn’t afford another Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) or Suicide Squad (2016). Also since many believed that Wonder Woman was just a one-hit-wonder, no one actually expected DC to recapture that magic. Fortunately, Justice League (2017) proved to be just what the studio needed; two hours of jam-packed fun, action, and entertainment. The proposed film has faced many obstacles on the way to the big screen ranging from script issues, a change of Director, and massive reshoots as a result of changing Directors. But despite the film’s few problems and contrary to critic bashing, Justice League turned out to be better than expected. Without spoiling anything let me just say that no trailer or TV spot can prepare you for this film, so be ready to have your mind blown. There are a lot of scenes that DC has thankfully kept under wraps this time around - about 80% of the film was kept out of the promos.

November 20, 2017

Geostorm (2017) --- "Man Made Weather Controller Has A Virus. Find Out If It's Government Tampering Or Bad Software."

Plot Summary
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world's leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong: the system built to protect Earth is attacking it, and it becomes a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide Geostorm wipes out everything and everyone along with it. (1)






Review
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     I would like to start out by saying that Geostorm (2017) does not deserve SyFy channel worthy reviews of 1 star. I am a big fan of disaster films and have been looking forward to Geostorm since the first trailer was released months ago. Anybody who is also a fan of disaster films will find this film to be just as entertaining and delivers on all the points that the trailer said it would.

November 17, 2017

Suicide Squad (2016) --- "An Expendable Team Of Supervillains Must Battle A Mysterious And Powerful Entity While Avoiding A Psychotic Clown."

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Plot Summary
Figuring they're all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own. (1) 








Review
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     There seems to be a trend going on with DC Extended Universe films and that is the use of a dark themed film, which is opposite to Marvel’s more lighthearted films. We start to see this theme begin in Christopher Nolan’s 2005 film Batman Begins and carry on throughout the DC films that followed in its wake –even Wonder Woman (2017), who was more like the love child of DCEU and Marvel, had a small measure of darkness in it. And now we have the long awaited and much-anticipated film, Suicide Squad (2016) directed by David Ayer (Fury). Suicide Squad has some big shoes to fill after the widespread disappointment from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). This is a difficult task for just one film and yet Suicide Squad delivers and improves the weak aspects that BvS failed to do while still being its own style.

November 15, 2017

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) --- "Caped Crusader Gets Jealous Of The New Superhero, So He Builds A Bulky Suit."

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Plot Summary
It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel. (1)






Review
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     I did not see the film in the theaters and actually waited until it was available at Redbox before viewing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). I read both the negative and positive reviews for this film and both sides naturally said the same thing, “This is the best (worst) Batman film to date.” So I figured how bad could it be?, with Zac Snyder as the director, Christopher Nolan (director of the previous Batman trilogy) as the Executive Producer, and Hans Zimmer as the Composure. I have to say that Dawn of Justice was not as awful as presumed by most but there was still some disappointment. First I will mention the positive aspects and then come back to the issues.

November 13, 2017

Man of Steel (2013) --- "Alien With Super Powers Posses As A Human And Saves Earth From Destruction."

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Plot Summary
With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife seek to preserve their race by sending their infant son to Earth. The child's spacecraft lands at the farm of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their own son. Though his extraordinary abilities have led to the adult Clark (Henry Cavill) living on the fringe of society, he finds he must become a hero to save those he loves from a dire threat. (1) 





Review
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     After reading some of the critics for Man of Steel (2013) I figured out that the negative reviews are simply haters. They complained about the film having too much action or Superman being too serious or a lack of romance. It clear that director Zack Snyder (300) could care less about critics’ opinions simply because they hate his film style; over-the-top action and CGI which has become his trademark. Even two of Snyder’s best movies, 300 (2006) and Watchmen (2009), barely received a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This is why I was interested to see the collaboration of director Snyder and Writer Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) (alongside fellow writer David S. GloverBatman Begins) because in Snyder films it is all about visual interest (rather than the story), while Nolan is more about the story and conveying a sense of realism. And this is the case for Man of Steel.

November 10, 2017

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) --- "College Girls' Singing Group Go To Boot Camp In Order To Beat German Rivals."

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Plot Summary
It's been three years since the Barden Bellas (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson) became the first all-female group to win a national title. All seems well until a botched Lincoln Center performance for the president leads to a scandal that strips them of their performing duties, causing internal tension and strife. With the world championships on the horizon in Copenhagen, Denmark, the women must get their act together for their one and only shot at redemption. (1) 







Review
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     Pitch Perfect (2012) was pretty entertaining and humorous, so Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) adds to it. One thing you have to keep in mind is this film is based on characters that are in college, so anyone who has been to college should understand that you can experience much of the same things that our characters experience in the film (parties, people, incident, etc). Pitch Perfect (2012) was a combination of Mean Girls (2004), Clueless (1995), and seasons 1 – 3 of Glee. While Pitch Perfect 2 has evolved to a combination of House Bunny and the season 4 – 5 of Glee. The first film was a surprise hit as nobody expected a film about an all-girls a cappella group would leave such an impact on the next generation of teenagers.  In addition, I did not nor do I believe the majority of moviegoers believed that there would be a sequel film but there was and it held the same heart as the first film.

November 8, 2017

Pitch Perfect 1 (2012) --- "College Freshman Reluctantly Joins A School Singing Group And Finally Watches The Breakfast."

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Plot Summary
College student Beca (Anna Kendrick) knows she does not want to be part of a clique, but that's exactly where she finds herself after arriving at her new school. Thrust in among mean gals, nice gals and just plain weird gals, Beca finds that the only thing they have in common is how well they sing together. She takes the women of the group out of their comfort zone of traditional arrangements and into a world of amazing harmonic combinations in a fight to the top of college music competitions. (1) 







Review
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     Inspired by the non-fiction book Pitch Perfect (Mickey Rapkin), director Jason Moore (Sisters) and writer/producer Kay Cannon (30 Rock) create a unique and highly entertaining film that is filled with a lot of great fun and thoughtful character development for each character. Cannon displays her unique style of writing by crafting a highly comedic and fundamentally touching screenplay. While Moore has a confident style of visual storytelling and knows when to let the cast do their own thing. Together Cannon and Moore created a film that is superb entertainment. While the film may be about a college a cappella group, the true message of the story is about realizing what is important in life and relationships.

November 6, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) --- "Norse God Discovers His Long Lost Older Sister Is Evil After She Kicks Him Out Of The House."

Plot Summary
Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally, and fellow Avenger. Thor's quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization. (1) 





Review
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     I enjoyed the first Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) is an even bigger, darker and bolder follow-up film. And now we have the most recent addition, Thor: Ragnarok (2017), which manages to be a strong contender for the funniest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film, possibly even better than Guardians of the Galaxy, and the best MCU film to date. Ragnarok finally gives Thor the solo film he deserves, one full of laughs and plenty of heart, and the film itself comes out in a time where people are starting to wonder if we have reached the end of MCU films. However, we can’t end a sub-genre when the films keep reinventing themselves with every new film. Director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) balances humor, action, and drama with ease and it shows in the compelling and well-structured story.

November 3, 2017

Thor: The Dark World (2013) --- "Norse God Introduces Human Girlfriend To The Family When Apocalyptic Elves Threaten The World."

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Plot Summary
In ancient times, the gods of Asgard fought and won a war against an evil race known as the Dark Elves. The survivors were neutralized, and their ultimate weapon -- the Aether -- was buried in a secret location. Hundreds of years later, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) finds the Aether and becomes its host, forcing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to bring her to Asgard before Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) captures her and uses the weapon to destroy the Nine Realms -- including Earth. (1) 





Review
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     Supposedly, a sequel should always surpass its predecessor but that’s only speculation. There is a 50/50 chance that a sequel will either surpass its predecessor or not, and there is a common trend where many sequels have tried and failed. However, there are the lucky few who actually manage to achieve that kind of success. X2 (2003) was better than X-Men (2000), Spider-Man 2 (2004) was better than Spider-Man 1 (2002), and now Thor: The Dark World (2013) is better than Thor (2011). 2011’s Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh (Cinderella, Thor), was pretty good but there times it seemed cluttered with introducing new/old character and Thor’s debut into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). However, Thor: The Dark World does not have to deal with all of those things and by doing so this only improved the film. With The Dark World, the director was changed from Branagh to Alan Taylor (Terminator Genisys), which is usually a bad thing but instead, worked out quite well here.

November 1, 2017

Thor (2011) --- "Norse God Ground His Son To Earth By Taking Away His Special Hammer."

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Plot Summary
As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne of Asgard from his aging father. However, on the day that he is to be crowned, Thor reacts with brutality when the gods' enemies, the Frost Giants, enter the palace in violation of their treaty. As punishment, Odin banishes Thor to Earth. While Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor's brother, plots mischief in Asgard, Thor, now stripped of his powers, faces his greatest threat. (1)








Review
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     Among the many Marvel Superheroes, Thor is more of a second-class character because Thor does not have the same popularity amongst fans or the common public that heroes like Spider-Man, Hulk, Batman(DC), and Superman(DC) have. This is partly because when people here the name “Thor” most think about mythologies Norse god of thunder and battle, and the son of Odin. However, that does not mean that Marvel Studios is simply going to give the cinematic adaption of Thor the short end of the stick. Instead, they presented a film adaption that did mythology and the comic book justice.  The visuals were quite spectacular, especially the scenes based in Asgard, and the entire cast filled their roles perfectly. The action scenes were good though there were times when it felt like they could have been executed better and the humor added comedic relief appropriate scenes, while not taking away from the serious tone in other scenes. There were times when the storyline was somewhat predictable but nevertheless, it was still fascinating