Search This Blog

March 30, 2018

Pacific Rim (2013) --- "Human Piloted Transformers Fight Godzilla In A Battle For Planet Earth."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the Kaiju, mankind developed giant robots called Jaegers, designed to be piloted by two humans locked together in a neural bridge. However, even the Jaegers are not enough to defeat the Kaiju, and humanity is on the verge of defeat. Mankind's last hope now lies with a washed-up ex-pilot (Charlie Hunnam), an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) and an old, obsolete Jaeger. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Pacific Rim (2013) directed by Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water) and starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman is an entertaining film with amazing visuals and awesome action sequences despite its nearly $10 million box office deficit. Now we’ve all seen the typical alien invasion films – Independence Day (), War of Worlds (), and even Transformer – but this version of alien invasion is much different. Del Toro succeeds in making disparate elements fit together believably with creative filmmaking. The film opens up with Charlie Hunnam's character giving a voice over that establishes the film’s reality which does a great job of conveying the entire scope of the film; it sincere.  And although there are a few issues with the dialogue and a certain character’s accent, the other areas of success more than make up for the few flaws.

March 28, 2018

Annihilation (2018) --- "A Girl Ventures Into The Unknown To Uncover Her Husband's Disappearance But She Uncovers Will Blow Your Mind."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later).(1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Based off the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, directed & written by Alex Garland, and starring a horde of actors – including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar IsaacAnnihilation (2018) is the newest sci-fi thriller flick with a complex and thought-provoking story that is dark and bizarrely beautiful.

March 26, 2018

Tomb Raider (2018) --- "Girl Uncovers A Fabled Tomb In Japan. What's Inside Unknown."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination -- a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn't be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Directed by Norwegian director Roar Uthang (The Wave) and starring Alicia Vikander, Daniel Wu, Dominic West, and Walter Goggins, Tomb Raider (2018) is an action-packed origin story of epic proportions. I was surprised that this film was not directed by a well-known Hollywood director – like Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay, etc. – but rather by a Norwegian director whose prior experience was directing Norwegian films. Comparing what I knew going into the film and what I know now, I believe that Roar Uthang did a wonderful job with this film and I cannot wait to see if he will make a second installment. This is not a reboot of past Tomb Raider films but rather it is a new take on an old series and you don’t even have to play the video game to understand the story.

March 23, 2018

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Light (2003) --- "Treasure Explore Finds A Legendary Box That Could Destroy The World. But At least She Has Help."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Fearless explorer Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) tries to locate Pandora's box before criminals Jonathan Reiss (Ciarán Hinds) and Chen Lo (Simon Yam) use it for evil. According to myth, the box holds deadly organisms that could kill millions of people. With her old partner, Terry (Gerard Butler), Croft goes on a hunt that takes her from Europe to Asia to Africa, where pal Kosa (Djimon Hounsou) helps her. Along the way, Croft rappels down cliffs, scuba dives and decimates many male opponents. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Directed by Jan De Bont (Speed), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life (2003) is the sequel film to Simon West’s (Con-Air) 2001 video-game-based film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and it is even better than the first film. As seen in his 2000 film Speed, De Bont has a skill for action sequences on a small scale. And while a couple of his large-scale action scenes lack a bit of drama, the locations, sets, and costumes were a tremendous improvement from the first film.

March 21, 2018

Lara Croft Tomb Raider (2001) --- "One Woman Travels The World In An Attempt To It."

Copyright
Plot Summary
This live action feature is inspired by the most successful interactive video-game character in history -- Lara Croft. Beautiful and brainy, Lara (Angelina Jolie) is the heroine of Eidos Interactive's phenomenally successful "Tomb Raider" game series. It is one woman's fearless quest crisscrossing the globe, in an amazing attempt to save the world. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Ever since Indian Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Lost Ark) hit theaters in 1981 there have been a number of films made that have tried to replicate the treasure hunting and clue solving film again. At least until 2001 when director Simon West (Wild Card) came out with Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, and Iain Glen, and there is no doubt that this film is greatly entertaining.

March 19, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) --- "Not Much Better Than The Last One But At Least It's More Colorful."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg's classmate Calvin O'Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
       Although I have not read the book by Madeleine L’Engle, I have seen the original 2003 TV movie A Wrinkle I Time and while it was good I was not overly impressed by it. This time, after seeing the trailers, I went into this film with high expectations because of the colorful visual effects and the chance to see some of my favorite actors on screen but I am sorry to say that my expectations were not fully met. This film missed some big opportunities for comedic moments, the story was a bit disjointed, and a couple characters were a little dull. Let’s start with the issues, shall we?

March 16, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time (2003) --- "Traveling Through Time And Space Is Easier Than Expected But Doing So Has Dire Consequences."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Three celestial beings (Alfre Woodard, Kate Nelligan, Alison Elliott) help two children travel through time to find their father and his lab partner. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     A Wrinkle in Time is a 2003 Disney TV movie based off the first book, of the same name, in the by Madeline L'Engle and directed by John Kent Harrison (Anne of Green Gables, 2016). This was one film I missed watching as a child, nor have I read the book, but after recently watching the film I found it to be enjoyable and as classic as The NeverEnding Story series (1984, 1990, and 1994). The characters were interesting. Katie Stuart (The 100 as Monroe), David Dorfman (Drillbit Taylor), and Gregory Smith (The Patriot) are charming as the three main kids Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin. Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave), Alison Elliot (Wyatt Earp), and Kate Nelligan (Wolf) were perfect as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which.

March 15, 2018

Tomorrowland (2015) --- "A Special Girl Must Work With A Cyborg And An Older Boy Genius To Uncover The Secrets Of Tomorrow."

Copyright
Plot Summary
A former boy genius (George Clooney) and gifted teenager (Britt Robertson) set out on a dangerous mission to unearth the secrets of "Tomorrowland", an enigmatic location caught between time and space. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
    Tomorrowland (2015) has been dubbed as one of 2015’s biggest flops, which I find to be a misinterpretation of the film.  Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles; MI – Ghost Protocol), the script, and the actors did a great job in capturing the feeling of endless imagination and possibilities perfectly. This is a Disney adventure film, its family friendly so the story was fitting for the overall tone of the film. If you lack imagination or the yearning for a better world or you think science is dumb, then you'll most likely not enjoy this film.

March 14, 2018

Inferno (2016) --- "Paying Attention In Art History Could Reveal A Genocidal Plot."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) follows a trail of clues tied to Dante, the great medieval poet. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman (Ben Foster) from unleashing a virus that could wipe out half of the world's population. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Inferno (2016) is the third film in the franchise directed by Ron Howard and based on the novel series, of the same name, by Dan Brown. Moviegoers know that the third film in a series is most likely the worst, yet that is not the case with Inferno as it is undeniably better than The Da Vinci Code (2006) and is one of the best thrillers of 2016. The danger is imminent, the characters are more developed, and the story is better constructed with more twists and puzzles.
     The story is intricate and well laid out with an ending that makes sense and is perfectly fitting. Inferno starts out with an elaborate view of Robert Langdon’s (Tom Hanks) confused mind that sets a premise for how the rest of film plays out. In other words, throughout the previous two films we saw the nonstop and intellectual mind of Langdon, and while we see the same intelligence here the idea of Langdon being subject to retrograde amnesia – is a loss of memory-access to events that occurred, or information that was learned, before an injury or the onset of a disease 1 – provides a new twists to a familiar chase. It increases the ante throughout. The music is impressive, what else can you expect from Hans Zimmer, and makes up for a bit of a lack in the visual department. The cinematography was great in this film, not the same as Angels & Demons (2009) but beautiful. When you are shooting in beautiful locations like Florence, Venice, and Istanbul you would want to take advantage of the location by highlighting the beauty of the scene’s background. In other words, the visuals were good but they could have been a bit better., especially when you compare it to the last film. Now on to the characters.
     Tom Hanks is once again great as symbologist and art and history professor, Robert Langdon. While some viewers believe that he sleepwalks through this film, I believe that this is his best film in the series. In The Da Vinci Code (2006) we are first introduced to his character and we get to see him on his first treasure/mystery hunt. In Angels & Demons, we are familiar with who he but now it’s time to put his intellect to the test. Now in Inferno, we see a side we have not seen yet, a broken and confused side to his character. He is unsure what’s going on and what happened to him, only that he is now being forced to solve a series of puzzles and stop a mass genocide. As aforementioned, this is his best film in the series. The supporting cast is great as well. Felicity Jones (Rogue One) as Dr. Sienna Brooks is outstanding, Irrfan Khan’s (Life of Pi) quirky-nature adds as comic relief, and Danish actor Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld) is pleasant to watch. The only issue with the characters is with Ben Frost’s character as the billionaire psychopath Zobrist. Now Ben Frost is a talented actor so the issue is not with his portrayal of this role but rather with the lack of action his character receives. His character could have been better used in this film.
     Now as great as these actors and the film crew are, all of their skill and cultural influence combined cannot touch the significance that medieval Italian poet, Dante Alighieri, has reached. Dante, similar to William Shakespeare, invented a new kind of poetry by creating new forms of rhyming and choosing to write in his native Florentine dialect rather than Latin. As a result of his popularity throughout Italy, Dante’s poetry became the basis for modern Italian. His most famous work and the basis for this film is his epic poem and “Divine Comedy” called Dante’s Inferno which tells the story of Dante’s journey through the multiple layers of hell, purgatory, and heaven. He created an invaluable historical document and illustrated the soul’s journey from sin to God’s grace. Other than the Bible, Dante’s descriptions of the various locations in the afterlife gives us a modern image as to what those places could look like. In addition, the people depicted in the poem were based on real people he knew, so by seeing where they appear in the story, we can get an idea as to what he thought of each person. It’s no wonder why Dan Brown chose to use this poem and even Dante himself as the backstory to the novel and ultimately the film itself.
     Overall, Inferno (2016) is without a doubt the best film in the series, some people may not agree but this is my opinion. Not only are the characters, locations, and music fittingly perfect but the backstory has never been better, it is both theologically deep and an action-packed thriller. If you enjoyed the last two films or if you enjoy a good puzzle chase then there is no doubt that you will enjoy this film too. 




“There is a switch. If you throw it, half the people on earth will die, but if you don't, in 100 years, the human race will be extinct. You are humanity's final hope.”

- Bertrand Zorbist



Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  9 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  9 of 10 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Inferno (2016).






Movies Similar 
Angels & Demons (2009)
Brothers Grimm (2005)
Celestine Prophecy (2006)
Contact (1997)
Da Vinci Code (2006)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Godzilla (2014)
Gone Girl (2014)
Hannibal (2001)
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Inferno (2016)
Interview with a Vampire
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Megiddo: The Omega Code II (2001)
National Treasure (2004)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
The Omega Code (1999)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

March 12, 2018

Angels & Demons (2009) --- "The Illuminati Hates The Vatican. See How One Guy Tries To Save Rome."

Copyright
Plot Summary
When Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon discovers the resurgence of an ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati, he flies to Rome to warn the Vatican, the Illuminati's most hated enemy. Joining forces with beautiful Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), Langdon follows a centuries-old trail of ancient symbols in the hope of preventing the Illuminati's deadly plot against the Roman Catholic Church from coming to fruition. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs!
      The Da Vinci Code (2006) introduced us to symbologist Dr. Robert Langdon and his skill for solving historical/theological puzzles but it was surrounded in a ton of controversy because it painted Catholicism as a shady cover-up by a group of sadists. On the other hand, Angels & Demons (2009) is a thrilling and fast-paced action film where the mystery intensifies by offering bigger puzzles and more drama. The Catholic Church considers this film to be harmless by the most likely because here, the church is displayed as being a collective of good men who are made to suffer for the sins of evil at the hands of a serial killer(s).

March 9, 2018

The Da Vinci Code (2006) --- "A Symbologist Uncovers A Secret That Will Shake The Foundation Of Christianity. Jesus Has A Great-Granddaughter?"

Copyright
Plot Summary
A murder in Paris' Louvre Museum and cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery. For 2,000 years a secret society closely guards information that -- should it come to light -- could rock the very foundations of Christianity. (1)



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     The Da Vinci Code (2006) is an entertaining film based off the fiction novel, of the same name, by Dan Brown that challenges popular and religious beliefs in its quest for the “truth” and director Ron Howard (Inferno) does a great job in translating these theories onto the screen. This film is based off a Fictional story, not theology. Fiction1 means:

March 7, 2018

Red Sparrow (2018) --- "Ballerina Is Forced To Become A Sex Spy. Find Out How She Gets Back At Those That Wronged Her."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Prima ballerina Dominika Egorova faces a bleak and uncertain future after she suffers an injury that ends her career. She soon turns to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons. Egorova emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow after completing the sadistic training process. As she comes to terms with her new abilities, Dominika meets a CIA agent who tries to convince her that he is the only person she can trust. (1) 



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     WARNING: The film has a running time of 2hr and 19 min which can be long for some audience members – at least ten people left the theater where I was at – but my father and I were able to sit through the entire film. However, before you decide to see this film please be aware that it is Rated R for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.  So beware that the film is for mature audience and children should not be present.

March 5, 2018

In The Blood (2014) --- "Her Husband Goes Missing On Their Honeymoon. How She Tracks Him Down Will Shock You."

Copyright
Plot Summary
Newlyweds Ava (Carano) and Derek (Cam Gigandet) are celebrating their recent marriage in the Caribbean when suddenly Derek vanishes into thin air. Devastated, Ava, a trained fighter, puts her deadly skills to work as she seeks brutal revenge against the men she believes to have abducted him. The closer Ava gets to the answers, however, the more apparent it becomes that she has stumbled into a vast conspiracy that's bigger than she could have imagined. Now, she must survive long enough to seek vengeance and to expose the sinister act of treason once and for all. (1)


Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     In The Blood (2014) starring Gina Carano, Cam Gigandet, Luis Guzman, Danny Trejo, and Amaury Nolasco is a great and violent crime thriller action film that puts a female twist on the film Taken (2008). Directed by John Stockwell (Into the Blue), In the Blood tells the story of newly married Ava, a woman with a violent past, and Derek, the prodigal son of a wealthy family, who are honeymooning in the Dominican Republic. When Derek goes missing, it is up to Ava to use an unconventional set of skills to figure out what happened to him and serve justice to those who are responsible. There have been countless films like this made that threw in vulgar and corny jokes just so that it could have some comedic relief. But this film does the opposite. There is a lack of comedic relief and strays far from reality but this draws you into the story and makes what Ava does that much more compelling.

March 2, 2018

Molly's Game (2018) --- "Girl Because Famous For Running An Underground Poker Game And Losing All Her Money."

Copyright
Plot Summary
The true story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led people to believe. (1) 



Review
Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Molly’s Games (2018) follows the real-life exploits of Molly Bloom, who ran one of the biggest underground poker games that lasted years, and her ultimate trial afterward. The film beings with a well executed and wince-inducing freestyle skiing sequence, that acts as an introduction point into Molly’s character. From there we move to LA with poker sequences that are as fluid and engrossing as Goodfellas (1990). This is director and co-writer Aaron Sorkin first directorial piece, having been screenwriter for much of his career before, and he chose the perfect story for his directorial debut by creating one of the most enrapturing and compelling films of 2017.