RIP Stan Lee

Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018 ), the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose fantabulous but flawed creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, has died. He was 95. He was the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, and later its publisher and chairman, leading its expansion from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.

The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four – whew! A  heady list of iconic characters that have lasted a long time and will last for a very, very long time. Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, and most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time — led by Avengers: Infinity War’s $2.05 billion worldwide take earlier this year — have featured Marvel characters. Lee launched the internet-based Stan Lee Media in 1998, and the superhero creation, production and marketing studio went public a year later. However, when investigators uncovered illegal stock manipulation by his partners, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. (Lee was never charged.)

In 2002, Lee published an autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Survivors include his daughter and younger brother Larry Lieber, a writer and artist for Marvel. Another daughter, Jan, died in infancy. His wife, Joan, was a hat model whom he married in 1947. The never-bashful Lee appeared in cameos in the Marvel movies, shown avoiding falling concrete, watering his lawn, delivering the mail, crashing a wedding, playing a security guard, etc.

The Nun

The Nun is a 2018 American gothic supernatural horror film directed by Corin Hardy and written by Gary Dauberman, from a story by Dauberman and James Wan. A spin-off of 2016’s The Conjuring 2, and the fifth installment in The Conjuring Universe, the film stars Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, and Jonas Bloquet. The plot follows a Roman Catholic priest and a nun in her novitiate as they uncover an unholy secret in 1952 Romania.

As the movie starts we see two nuns go into the tunnels of Saint Cartha’s monastery to retrieve an ancient Christian relic and enter through a door that reads “god ends here” (Really? He is that weak that he has to end at a door after which demons reside?) and are attacked by an unseen force, which later  takes the form of a demonic looking nun. The younger nun runs to her room and hangs herself. Her body is discovered by Frenchie, a villager who transports supplies to the nuns. On hearing the news the Vatican, summons Father Burke to Rome, where they ask him to travel with Sister Irene, a nun in her novitiate, to Romania in order to investigate the situation.

The pair travel to Romania and seek out Frenchie, who is in fact a French-Canadian named Maurice, and who leads them to the abbey. There they find a key on her and then enter the abbey where they see the veiled abbess (or mother superior) who informs them that the nuns observe a period of silence during the night and offers them lodging at the attached convent if they wish to return the next day. On his way home Frenchie is attacked by a demon but he manages to escape. Irene reveals that as a girl, she had visions particularly of a nun, causing the Church to take an interest in her. Burke is rescued by Irene after being buried alive in the graveyard by the demonic entity.

The nest day as it is cloistered, only Irene can enter the abbey and she talks to some of the nuns, who are taking turns praying. to keep the entity at bay. Sister Oana reveals the abbey’s history: it was built as a castle by a duke who was obsessed with the occult. The duke summoned the demonic entity through a rift in the catacombs but was killed by Christian knights, who sealed the rift with an artifact containing the blood of Jesus Christ. The bombings during the Second World War caused the rift to reopen, unleashing the entity. Burke identifies the entity as Valak and discovers the Abbess has been dead all along. Frenchie meanwhile heads to the abbey Irene is attacked by Valak and joins the nuns in desperate prayer to fend off the demon.

When the group reunites, Irene discovers that none of the nuns she had seen and talked to were real and she had been praying alone, later realizing that Victoria had been the last nun in the abbey and had sacrificed herself to stop Valak from possessing her body and unleashing evil. The trio retrieves the vial with the key Victoria had. Irene then informs Burke that God has called her to make her solemn vows as a nun and asks Burke to elevate her to the status of a professed nun, which he does in the abbey’s chapel. Irene is lured into a pentagram and possessed by Valak. Frenchie smears some of the blood of Christ on her face, casting out the demon. Burke is wounded by Daniel’s ghost as Valak starts to drown Irene in a flooded chamber. Irene expels the blood of Christ in the demon’s face, banishing it as the blood of Christ seals the rift.

After Frenchie resuscitates Irene, he reveals his real name is Maurice. Unbeknownst to the others, Maurice has been possessed by Valak, as evidenced by an inverted cross on his neck. As the movie ends we see a scene from 20 years later, ata university seminar, Carolyn Perron watches as Ed and Lorraine Warren present footage of their attempt to exorcise a possessed Maurice. In the footage, Maurice grabs Lorraine, giving her visions of Ed dying, which initiate the Warrens’ investigation of the Perron household haunting, as well as their encounter with Valak itself.

Slightly boring though the movie picks up pace towards the latter half, and reliant too much on jump scares, I was let down by this film. It lacks any real charm and sense of foreboding that I was hoping it would have as Valak is a real treat to watch. 6.5 outta 10!

The First Purge

The First Purge is a 2018 American action horror film directed by Gerard McMurray and starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Mugga, Luna Lauren Velez, Kristen Solis, and Marisa Tomei. The fourth installment in the Purge franchise, the film is a prequel depicting the origins of the first annual “Purge”, a 12-hour span once a year in which all crime in America is legal. Written and produced by James DeMonaco, it marks the first film of the series not to be directed by him.

This movie offers nothing new to the now 4 movie franchise. It shows us that after a period of turmoil, violence and poverty mixed with lack of opportunities has led to a 3rd party named the New Founding Fathers of America, who have grown into power and form the new government. NFFA members Arlo Sabian and Dr. May Updale announce an experiment to take place on Staten Island where for 12 hours, citizens will be allowed to purge and release their inhibitions in any way they choose. The NFFA offers residents of the Island $5000 to stay in their homes during the experiment and a compensation for those participating as well. They also outfit the participants with tracking devices and contact lenses with cameras in them so that they can monitor all activity.

The movie focuses on anti-Purge activist Nya and her younger brother Isaiah, who is working for drug lord and Nya’s ex, Dmitri. There’s also Nya’s friends Dolores, Luisa, and Selina, Dmitri’s gang and Skeletor, a crazy drug addict who just wants to kill people and use the Purge as his outlet. Other than Skeletor, most purgers on the Island want to loot and steal from stores and otherwise have parties. So the NFFA sends a mercenary team in masks and outfits on to kill a bunch of people. At the NFFA headquarters, Updale starts becoming suspicious due to the Purge’s sudden change in the crimes committed, as well as the presence of masked participants.  Sabian explains that he sent the mercenaries to make the experiment look successful, and eventually to help “balance” the rich and the poor.

Updale protests this tampering of the experiment and informs Sabian her realization that NFFA only wants to eradicate the poor because they don’t want to take care of them. With Sabian’s corruption revealed, he has Updale taken away and killed, before erasing all footage of the event. Dmitri ends up becoming a mix off Die Hard era Bruce Willis and any Arnie shootout movie to kill a bunch of the mercenaries and save Nya, Isaiah and their friends who had escaped to their apartment. He is hailed a hero at the end of the 12 hour cycle and another of those stupid rap songs starts to play.

Not really sure why this prequel was needed. It’s a mix of rap music, lots of struting and posing, Black American culture and the “hood” and people dying. Skeletor was an overacting nightmare. 6 outta 10!

Shopping For A Bookshelf

Well after two weeks I was out again today. Finally got two days off together again so I could go out and enjoy myself.

First up I went to The Burger Junction and got myself a real burger. There’s a few places in Cochin if you want a nice juicy beef based burger and TBJ is the best of the best. I had a double patty with fries and a shake and it wasn’t even that heavy. I stayed there a while and then went to Marine Drive near the High Court junction and went to find the small furniture place where I had bought my bookshelf, slightly altered, to house my Star Trek starship models. I wanted a new one as I am starting a small but decent dvd collection.

So I went there, and it was a hot day, and sweated until I gave the rough measurements that I was looking at and they showed me a couple of shelves  that they already had. Finally it was decided that they would make me one from scratch as I wanted something smaller and less wide. As they were taking more time, I said that I would called later in the day and get the final price (which turns out to be Rs.4,600). I then went to Center Mall and shopped for groceries and essentials in Big Bazaar. By then I was quite thirsty and bit hungry again so I went to Subway in the mall and had a sub and a large ice tea.

By 5pm I came back home and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story (or simply Solo) is a 2018 American space Western film based on the Star Wars character Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the second Star Wars anthology film following Rogue One (2016). Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han Solo alongside Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany. The plot takes place approximately ten years prior to the events of A New Hope, and explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca, who join a heist within the criminal underworld.

When you look at it one way, it’s a movie about when Hanny Met Cheewy! LOL, I could not resist. Anyway, what’s with the prequels that is bogging down scifi these past few years. Lovers Han & Qi’ra who grew up together as orphans on Coreilla, escape from the clutches of a local gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with stolen coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his surname, Han says he is alone with no family, so the recruiter gives him the last name “Solo”. 3 years later, due to insubordination he is now an infantry man fighting on Minban.

He meets conmen & smugglers Tobias Beckett, his wife Val & Rio Durant who are posing as soldiers and he is dumped into a pit to be eaten by a beast when he almost rats them out. The beast turns out to be Chewbacca (who eats humans apparently) and he speaks in Woookie language to join forced and escape. Beckett, impressed by Han’s resilience, lets the two on board and enlists them in the gang to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up, led by Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife Val, and the destruction of the coaxium. Knowing his bDryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’ yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and is Vos’ top lieutenant.

Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits. After reaching Kessel in the Millennium Falcon and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. In the confusion, they steal the coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship through the dangerous and uncharted Kessel Run to elude an Imperial blockade. The Falcon, badly damaged, lands on the planet Savareen to process the coaxium.

Lando flees in the Falcon. Enfys explains to Han that she and her crew are not pirates, but rebels trying to prevent the syndicates and Empire from gaining power. Han becomes sympathetic to their cause and tries to trick Vos, but Beckett has already alerted him to the double-cross. Vos sends his guards to kill Enfys, but the Cloud Riders overpower them instead, leaving Vos defenseless. Having anticipated Vos’ strategy, Han tries to take the coaxium, only for Beckett to betray Vos, escaping with it and taking Chewbacca hostage. Qi’ra kills Vos and sends Han after Beckett; once alone, she contacts Vos’ superior, Maul, to inform him of the mission’s failure and claim Vos’ position. She avoids speaking of Han’s involvement, instead blaming everything on Beckett.

Han catches up to Beckett and confronts him, shooting Beckett before he can return fire. With his dying words Beckett tells Han he made a smart choice. Qi’ra leaves in Vos’ yacht, while Han and Chewbacca turn the coaxium over to Enfys, who then offers Han a chance to join the rebellion against the Empire; when he declines, she gives him a vial of coaxium, enough to buy a ship of his own. Han and Chewbacca locate Lando and challenge him to a rematch in sabacc, once again wagering the Falcon. Han wins, having stolen the card Lando was keeping up his sleeve in order to cheat, and he and Chewbacca leave for Tatooine, where a “big-shot gangster” is putting together a job.

Altogether it felt like a movie put together to show “hey, here is where Han got the Falcon, here is where he met Lando and how Chewbacca became his side-kick”. High praise for Woody, who is always good, and Emilia Clarke who is awesome too in her role. 7 outta 10!

Buying DVDs To Start A Collection

Well I have finally done it! I have dipped my toes into the dvd collection world and made my first proper purchases of dvds. So, usually I would get pirates copies (what are sold as dvds but are copies with cheap print outs of the dvd covers) and the Torrents ofcourse, like most of India and the developing world does. But things have changed a lot since then. Now we have legal options for downloading or streaming movies like Sony LIV, HotStar, Amazon Prime or Netflix. While those are getting really popular and are available for less money on a monthly or yearly basis, I still crave the physical media.

So on checking prices for movies on dvd online in both Flipkart and Amazon India, I finally made my first 3 purchases. I wanted them to be from the original movie series but it’s still Star Trek and that’s fine in my book. So I bought the Kelvinverse trilogy movies of Star Trek (2009), Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond (2016) on a great deal. They are individual cases and all that, though I do remember seeing a box set I think. But these are for great prices on a limited deal. Infact, I could have gotten it even cheaper had I placed the orders last night. But I waited till morning and thus lost the Star Trek Beyond dvd that was selling for a cheaper rate.

It’s gonna be slow and I won’t be able to afford to buy many dvds on a monthly basis but I will build my collection. Blurays are out of the question for now. But someday that too will be easier to buy.

DVD & Bluray – The Indian Debacle

Ok let me just say this out right – in India, when it comes to movies on Dvd & Bluray everyone, barring the really rich, goes to torrents or gets bootlegs. Though a lot of us have also turned to proper legal online streaming options like Amazon Prime, Sony LIV or Netflix, the vast majority of us illegally download our movies. Why is it so?

The price, which is ridiculous. Case in point a) this 6 film collection of the 4 Alien movies plus Prometheus & Alien : Covenant will cost me Rs. 3,399 in dvd format or Rs. 4,999 which are huge sums to spend on movies. Yes compared to direct currency conversions they may be on par or slightly below even perhaps but the differences in what a person has to spend from their salary for this versus what a person here has to spend. That just isn’t the same and it’s a huge difference in what it means to spend that kind of money for an Indian living and working in India.

I have decided to spend some money on getting dvds but for the most part creating a good sized collection is going to be a very costly affair for someone like me. And I earn a pretty good salary here. This is why I feel that they need to really look at the dvd & bluray prices in India for films from Hollywood, Canada & the UK.

Village of the Damned

From 1995 we have Village of the Damned is a 1995 American science fiction-horror film directed by John Carpenter and a remake of the 1960 film of the same name which in turn is based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. The 1995 remake is set in Northern California, whereas the book and original film were both set in the United Kingdom. The 1995 film was marketed with the tagline, “Beware the Children”, and stars the late Christopher Reeve (in his last film role before being paralyzed), Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare, Mark Hamill, and Meredith Salenger.

In the quaint coastal town of Midwich in California’s Marin County, we see a sort of fog or mist pass through during the early morning hours and everyone including humans, animals and birds fall unconscious the same morning at 10 am. The military comes in and when their men cross the town border they fall unconscious too. 6 hours later everyone wakes up at the same time and find a couple of people died in accidents. Later they discover that 6 women, of different ages, are now pregnant including one woman who hasn’t had sex in months and a virgin teenager. None of the women seek abortions, and later all the babies are born simultaneously on one night – five boys and five girls, though one female is stillborn.

The children are all healthy and sound, but have pale skin, unusually soft, flat-sided platinum blonde hair; fierce intellect, and cobalt eyes. However, they do not appear to possess a conscience or personalities. The children display eerie psychic abilities that can result in violent and deadly consequences whenever they experience pain or provocation. Except for David, the others pair off as they know they are supposed to mate later in life. David is smaller, and is unlike the rest of the children in that he has a capacity for human emotion, and compassion. He and his mother Jill McGowan (the local school teacher) share a brief conversation about this, displaying empathy and remorse. The children’s leader is Mara, the daughter of a local physician, Dr. Alan Chaffee.

Even as a baby, Mara exhibited vengeful tendencies with regard to the use of her abilities, using her mind to force her mother to boil her arm in hot soup and commit suicide by jumping off the cliff. The children, who are by now known to have a hive mind, eventually move to the local barn as their classroom and for survival. The town folk learn that there are other colonies of blackout children in foreign countries, but due to their inhuman nature they were quickly eliminated, in some cases at the cost of destroying the entire town. Government scientist, Dr. Susan Verner, is forced to show the children the preserved stillborn baby she secretly kept to study, and the preserved corpse is seen to be undeniably alien. The children collectively force her to fatally stab herself.

An angry mob gathers to kill the children, but the leader is forced to set herself on fire and burns to death, and later the state police are mentally controlled into shooting each other in a chaotic gun battle. Using a method that Susan taught him, Alan hides his thought from the children by envisioning a sturdy brick wall and then plans to detonate a suitcase filled with explosives. The children begin to suspect that Alan is hiding something, and they slowly “destroy” the wall. Finally, Jill shows up, but the children stop her and attempt to use mind control. David, tired of this, rushes to her defense and knocks Mara over. The children turn on David, but Jill rushes him from the building. As soon as the children discover that Alan is hiding his knowledge of the bomb, it detonates in an enormous explosion, killing Alan and the alien children.

Jill and David, however, are safe in a car fleeing the site; she says that they will both move to a place where nobody knows them. David looks off into the distance as they drive away. I wish they could have made a sequel to this. I like the cast and the acting. It’s a good enough film for a late afternoon spin. 7.5 outta 10!

2018 Star Trek Movie Rewatch

Since 2014 I have decided to do my Star Trek movie marathon every two years. So in November of that year I started watching all 12 movies that were released until that point. Remember this is only the movies since the series will take a much longer, longer time to get through all the shows and episodes.

I did the same thing in 2016 but this time I had the 2016 release Star Trek Beyond to add to the list. So this year as well we will have the 13 movie Star Trek movie rewatching that is due every two years. I guess I will start in November but since I have a 3 day weekend coming up this week due to Friday being a holiday, I could actually start it earlier. Nah, I guess I will wait for the new tv to arrive and start then. Which could be next weekend!

Question is should I start with The Motion Picture (1979) which is the first ever movie or start with Star Trek (2009) the reboot/alternative timelime/Kelvinverse? I usually start with TMP but this year I guess I could start with the 2009 movie. Oh well, I will decide once I start it off.

Phantasm

Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, and edited by Don Coscarelli. The first film in the Phantasm franchise, it introduces the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a supernatural and malevolent undertaker who turns the dead of earth into dwarf zombies to be sent to his planet and used as slaves. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike (Michael Baldwin), who tries to convince his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) and family friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) of the threat.

Phantasm was a locally financed independent film; the cast and crew were mostly amateurs and aspiring professionals. And it shows; in some places the acting is down right terrible and artificial but most of it is from cast members who are there in just one scene and have only a line or two of dialogue. What I was surprise by was the quality of the transfer to bluray; this does not look like a movie released in 1979 but more like a few years later. If only the acting and the storyline as well as the direction was as good.

There are way too many scenes that are like too sudden and at times seem ridiculous. The way that Mike keeps following his brother Jody on foot, the sudden change of scenery, the overall ridiculousness of the reasonings and decision making makes no sense. Anyways, the Tall Man turns out to be an alien who is getting people killed – by morphing into a chick and banging guys and then stabbing them right after orgasm – abducting the corpses, then somehow shrinking them to dwarfs, reanimating them and making them work for him on his planet. In the end I don’t know if these events actually happened or did Mikey dream it all? His brother is dead in a car accident and Reggie is taking care of him.

But Reggie was shown to be killed in the events earlier or the dream. What was going on? In the end the Tall Man appears in Mike’s bedroom and abducts him through the mirror. To…I suppose his home planet. How? I dunno! It’s all so strange. I don’t get why this film has so much praise piled on it going by reviews. I give it a ….6.5 outta 10! I am not sure about checking the remaining 4 films in the franchise now.

TAG

Tag is a 2018 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 true story that was published in The Wall Street Journal about a group of grown men, played by Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner, who spend one month a year playing the game of tag. Annabelle Wallis, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, and Leslie Bibb also star.

So that’s the basis of this film, grown men – in their what seems like 40s atleast judging the ages of the actors – still playing the children’s game of tag. Hogan “Hoagie” Malloy, Bob Callahan, Randy “Chilli” Cilliano, Kevin Sable and Jerry Pierce have been playing tag since they were nine years old, starting in 1983, during the month of May. Since then, the group’s main rule of the game is that the last one tagged is “it,” until next season.  Hogan tags his CEO friend  Bob and then get their stoner friend, divorced loser Chilli and then they go get Kevin (the token black guy). Hogan reveals that their friend Jerry is planning to retire after this May as he is getting married in a few days and since Jerry has never been tagged in his life, this is the last year they can attempt it.

Rebecca Crosby, a Wall Street Journal reporter doing a piece on Bob, joins them and decides to write an article on the friends. They are also accompanied by Hoagie’s wife Anna. What follows next is hilarious attempts to tag Jerry, who is always one step or several steps away from his friends. He is athletic and agile and very clever, being the owner of his own fitness business. His wife to be, Susan, is cautiously enthusiastic but pleads to the other four that they won’t do anything at the rehearsal dinner or the actual wedding. During the rehearsal dinner, Susan reveals to the guys that she is pregnant. Also in the mix is fellow classmate  Cheryl Deakins who used to be the love interest for both Bob & Chillli at one point and both of them now try to date her as she is recently widowed.

Well in the end, after an inappropriate way to get outta of being tagged, Jerry gets married but Hoagie charges at Jerry, but narrowly misses and ends up tackling the pastor to the ground. Hoagie then loses consciousness, which Jerry thinks is a ruse, but Anna confirms that Hoagie’s condition is serious and calls for an ambulance. At the hospital it turns out that Hogan tells them the truth: he had lied about Jerry quitting after the season because he wanted to reunite with his friends after he recently discovered a tumor on his liver and has advanced liver cancer; he may not be alive for the following year. Jerry chooses to swallow his pride and allows Hoagie to tag him. The group starts the game again, running around the hospital as they did as children, and change their rules so Anna, Rebecca, and Susan can play as well.

Before the credits roll, multiple photographs and video clips are displayed, showing the real group of ten men that inspired the film, who continue to play to this day. Which I find fascinating and endearing. The film, though it started out very well lost a lot of steam later on. I found some of the humour forced and boy does Hannibal Buress look out of place in this film. It just seems like they wanted a black guy to fill out the group and found him. He was the dud in the film and is quite a bit younger than the other 4. Talk about miscasting! 7 outta 10!

Skyscraper

Skyscraper is a 2018 American action film written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, and starring Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber and Hannah Quinlivan. If you have watched Die Hard, you will get a familiar feeling while watching this movie. It basically is Die Hard with updated techology, way too many cliches and 1/3rd the charm. Maybe even less.

10 years ago, U.S. Marine war veteran and FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader, Will Sawyer (why does every single role of Johnson always has his as a war veteran) is badly injured in an explosion set off by an unstable abusive father who was threatening his own family. Will loses one of his legs and is operated on by a surgeon, Sarah, who later becomes his wife. He retires from the FBI and starts his own company which assess the security for large skyscrapers. Fitted with a modern prosthetic leg he has full mobility and has two kids, twins Georgia and Henry.

Wealthy Chinese financier and entrepreneur Zhao Long Ji has funded the construction of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, standing at 3,500 feet (1,100 m) and 225 stories tall, which they call “The Pearl”. Although the building is structurally complete, the construction process has been not without complications and the building has yet to be opened to the public.awyer confirms to Zhao, security directors Ajani Okeke and Sawyer’s friend and fellow ex-FBI agent Ben Gillespie, and insurance executive Mr. Pierce, that the building’s fire and security systems are secure, but he needs to inspect the offsite security center that controls the system. Zhao then hands Sawyer a tablet computer that gives full administrative access to The Pearl’s computer systems that can only be unlocked by facial recognition.

As expected, Ben is seeking revenge and has conspired with Kores Botha, an international terrorist to forcefully get the tablet from Will and take over the building. The Pearl is infiltraded and as his wife & kids are in there, Will must fight the whole team of terrorists and save them. Sarah is no slouch in fighting either (though why the good doctor is like also a martial arts asskicking gal is beyond me) and in the end they are able to save the two kids and reunite as a family. Even the final scene with the family hugging and the Hong Kong Police Force Response team chief congratulating Will screams Die Hard.

This is another one of those big block buster explosion fest filled with cheesy scenes and dialogues fit for Dwayne. He is a one-man industry for these kinda movies. Nice to see Neve Campbell in a big budget movie again and she looks great. Movie gets a 6 outta 10 from me.

RIP Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson (born William Delano Wilson) passed away yesterday at the age of 76. Wilson was an American film and television actor who had more than 50 film credits, including In the Heat of the NightIn Cold loan low income BloodThe Great GatsbyDead Man WalkingPearl Harbor, and Junebug. In 1980, Wilson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his role in The Ninth Configuration and  played veterinarian Hershel Greene on the AMC television series The Walking Dead from 2011 to 2014. He had a recurring role on CSI: Crime cheapest secured loans Scene Investigation as casino mogul Sam Braun.

He made his screen debut portraying payday loans online direct lender no credit check characters suspected of murder in his first three films. In his debut film, Wilson played a murder suspect in In the Heat of the Night (1967). His follow-up role, in the same year, was In Cold Blood, based on the book of the same name by Truman Capote. Wilson portrayed real-life murderer Richard Hickock, while Robert Blake played his partner, Perry Smith. Wilson’s long filmography also includes The Gypsy MothsThe Right StuffA Year of the Quiet SunMaloneThe Grass HarpJunebugThe HostMonsterYoung Guns IIPearl HarborBig StanJudge Dredd, the Shiloh film series and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.

Wilson has filmed on location in South Korea, Japan and Spain. Wilson had a recurring role in several episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Sam Braun, father of crime-scene investigator Catherine Willows (portrayed by Marg Helgenberger). Braun was killed off in the episode “Built to Kill, Part 2”. In the fall of 2011 he also made an appearance opposite Laura Dern in the HBO series, Enlightened. He also portrayed John Lyons in Damien.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : JIM CARREY MOVIES

I’ve been a huge fan of Jim Carrey ever since I watched him for the first time in The Mask. He is a great comedic actor and always has made me laugh (with a couple of exceptions). Here is my top 11 favourite films of his.

  • The Mask
  • Dumb & Dumber
  • Ace secured bad credit personal loan Ventura: Pet Detective
  • Bruce Almighty
  • Liar Liar
  • Me, Myself & I
  • I Love You Phillip Morris
  • Yes Man
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • The Truman Show
  • The Number 23

There are movies like Batman Forever & Earth Girls Are Easy in which he was great but not the main actor or one of the main leads.

Bone Tomahawk

Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 American western horror film directed, written and co-scored by S. Craig Zahler in his directorial debut, and stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, Evan Jonigkeit, David Arquette and Sid Haig. Produced by Jack Heller and Dallas Sonnier, the film had its world premiere at the Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2015 and was given a limited release on October 23, 2015, by RLJ Entertainment.

I dunno if I would actually label this movie as horror. It’s restricted to us a couple of scenes of tension or horrific acts. Set in the 1890s two robbers Purvis and Buddy, are making a living robbing and killing travelers. Spooked by the sound of approaching horses, they hide in the hills and encounter a Native American burial site. Buddy is killed by an arrow, and Purvis escapes. He hides his stuff in the next town and goes to the bar. His appearance arouses the suspicions of the backup deputy sherrif Chicory, who alerts the town’s sheriff Franklin Hunt and the two approach Purvis and ask him about the things he hid.  Sheriff Hunt shoots Purvis in the leg when he tries to escape. Hunt sends John Brooder, a local educated man and known womanizer who witnesses the shooting, to fetch the town’s doctor.

Town foreman Arthur O’Dwyer is resting his broken leg at home with his wife, nurse Samantha who is called to help Purvis as the doctor is passed out drunk. She stays back as Purvis has a bad fever. At night an unseen person or persons kills a stable boy and steals horses. They also abduct Samantha, deputy Nick and Purvis offscreen. Hunt thinks they could have been natives and calls a local resident who is a native. He informs them that the murder of the stable boy and the abduction seems to be the work of a troglodyte clan. He tells Hunt of the clan’s dwelling place, “Valley of the Starving Men”, and warns him that they are a group of cannibalistic savages. Hunt goes after them with Chicory and Brooder, who volunteers, and Arthur who despite his injury won’t stay behind.

On their way to the valley, two strangers stumble across their camp. Fearing they are scouts for a raid, Brooder kills them and they set up a cold camp elsewhere to avoid being attacked. During the night, a group of raiders ambushes them, injure Brooder’s horse and steal the rest. After a day of walking, a fight breaks out between Brooder and Arthur, exacerbating Arthur’s broken leg. Chicory sets his leg and leaves him behind to recover, while he, Hunt, and Brooder move on. At the valley arrows are shot at the three men and Brooder is injured badly but they kill two attackers. Brooder makes them leave and takes out 3 more before being killed himself. The attackers capture Hunt and Chicory and imprison them in their cave. The men find Samantha, and an injured Nick, imprisoned in a nearby cage.

They inform Hunt that the tribesmen have already killed and eaten Purvis. They witness Nick removed from his cell, stripped, brutally scalped, and bisected alive, then consumed in a truly brutal scene. Samantha estimates the number of hostile cannibals to be around twelve (reduced to nine earlier by Hunt’s posse). Hunt uses some opium tincture in a flask and lure the troglodytes to drink it.  only one drinks a fatal dose, and only one becomes unconscious. Meanwhile, Arthur wakes up, follows the men’s trail and discovers the valley. He kills two tribesmen and notices an object embedded in their windpipes. After cutting one out, he realizes it is like a whistle. He blows on it, luring another tribesman close, then kills him.

The leader, with wild boar tusks, gets angry and with another of his men pull Hunt outta his cell and cut him in the abdomen. He then takes Hunt’s rifle and shoots him in the arm and abdomen. Arthur arrives and kills one of the tribesmen, while Hunt kills the leader with one of the tribe’s bone tomahawks. Arthur frees Samantha and Chicory, while a mortally wounded Hunt stays behind with his rifle. He prepares to kill the surviving cannibals when they return, to prevent them from terrorizing Bright Hope. As the three leave the cave, they see two pregnant females, who are blinded and have all their limbs amputated. After a bit they hear three gun shots and they smile knowing that Hunt has killed the remaining 3 and they make their way home.

It was quite a bit dull and dragging. I feel that the movie should have been shorter as there were long periods of little activity and just walking or talking. The movie lacks in excitement or even intrigue. When the team get captured though things begin to pick up. 6 outta 10!