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RIP Leonard Nimoy

It will never be the same again. American actor, film director, poet, singer and photographer and the man who was the original – and for many of us the only Spock – Leonard Nimoy has passed away. He was 83 years old. His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

Nimoy was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Boston, Massachusetts. He began his career in his early twenties, teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances through the 1950s, as well as playing the title role in Kid Monk Baroni. Foreshadowing his fame as a semi-alien, he played Narab, one of three Martian invaders in the 1952 movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere. After the original Star Trek series, Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two seasons, hosted the documentary series In Search of..., narrated Civilization IV, and made several well-received stage appearances. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series Fringe. He frequently performed onstage, notably as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” His poetry was voluminous, and he published books of his photography. In 1978, Nimoy played Dr. David Kibner in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also did occasional work as a voice actor in animated feature films, including the character of Galvatron in The Transformers: The Movie in 1986.

From 1982 to 1987 Nimoy hosted a children’s educational show Standby: Lights, Camera, Action on Nickelodeon. Nimoy lent his voice as narrator to the 1994 IMAX documentary film, Destiny in Space, showcasing film-footage of space from nine Space Shuttle missions over four years time. In 1994, Nimoy performed as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in The Pagemaster. In 1998, he had a leading role as Mustapha Mond in the made-for-television production of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Nimoy provided the voice of Spock as a guest star in a Season 5 episode of the CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. The episode is titled “The Transporter Malfunction” and aired on March 29, 2012, and was frequently mentioned by several of the main characters (especially Sheldon Cooper, who idolized Nimoy).

During and following Star Trek, Nimoy also released five albums of musical vocal recordings on Dot Records. On his final three albums, he sings popular folk songs of the era and cover versions of popular songs, such as “Proud Mary” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line“. There are also several songs on the later albums that were written or co-written by Nimoy.

In 1965, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot The Cage, and as a changed character would go on to play the character of the half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock for 3 seasons of Star Trek : The Original Series until 1969, followed by eight feature films (from 1979 to 2013) and guest slots in the various spin-off series. The character of Spock has had a significant cultural impact and garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations; TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters. Nimoy’s fame as Spock was such that both of his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character.

And now he is gone. The Star Trek world weeps for the loss of a great person and actor.

Leonard Simon Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015)

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The 2015 Academy Awards Winners Are….

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony concluded in the early hours of this morning (last night in the USA) and here are some of the winners:

Achievements in visual effects : Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

Best actress in a supporting role : Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Best foreign language film : Ida — Poland

Best actor in a supporting role : J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Animated Feature Film : Big Hero 6

Best Documentary Feature : CitizenFour

Best Original Score: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Glory from Selma

Best Director : Alejandro González Iñárittu, Birdman

Best actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything

Best actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best picture: Birdman

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Coma (1978)

Based on the 1977 Robin Cook novel of the same name and directed by Michael Crichton, Coma is a 1978 medical thriller starring Genevieve Bujold, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Ashley, Richard Widmark, and Rip Torn (who I didn’t even recognize until the end). Also starring in small roles are pre-fame Ed Harris & Tom Sellek.

Dr. Susan Wheeler, who is having trouble in her relationship with fellow resident Dr. Mark Bellows, is devastated to learn that a close friend of hers, Nancy Greenley, is pronounced brain dead and ends up in a coma after minor surgery at the Boston Memorial Hospital. Susan, who works there along with Mark, decides to check up on the records and finds that over the previous year a number of other fit young people have ended up the same way. When another young & otherwise fit person suffers the same fate she investigates and finds out that all 12 cases took place in the same operation theater, OR 8, and that all the comatose bodies were taken to a remote facility named the Jefferson Institute. As she continues to investigate she runs into road blocks, seemingly from a Dr. George, Chief of Anesthesiology at Boston Memorial Hospital.

After a fun weekend with Mark she tries to enter the Jefferson but is told that tours are only conducted on Tuesdays. As she gets closer to the truth, a maintenance man, who offers to give her information, is killed by a security guard who then tries to kill Susan but she escapes from the hospital and finds out that Carbon Monoxide is being filtered through the gas tubes in OR 8. She runs to Mark’s apartment but on hearing him speak about her on the phone to someone, she panics and runs away. She goes for the tour at the institute and finds out that the Jerfferson is a front for harvesting organs to be sold to the highest bidder on the black market. Boston Memorial is in on this, purposely inducing comas in patients whose organs match those of potential buyers. She is almost caught by security but sneaks out on top of an ambulance that is delivering some organs to an airport.

Susan goes to see Dr. George Harris, the Chief of Surgery, to who she has confided her suspicions and tells him everything. However it turns out that Dr Harris is the mastermind behind this operation and he drugs her with a substance that creates a pain mimicking an appendix about to burst. He rushes her to surgery and says that he will do the operation himself. Mark meets Susan there and she manages to convince him that her life is in danger and he also hears Dr. Harris insist for OR 8. Mark stops the carbon monoxide from entering the gas tubes and takes Susan away after her operation is shown to not have an inflamed appendix. The two lovers have Dr. Harris exposed and the final scene is of him waiting to be escorted by two police officers.

It has some tense moments and the acting is top notch. The movie itself is a bit dull in places and I hope they do remake it someday with more excitement. 8 outta 10!

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Rio

I must admit that I do tend to avoid animated films at times (I dunno why, I end u liking them a lot when I do eventually see them) and this one was no exception. 2011’s Rio is an American 3D computer-animated musical adventure-comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Carlos Saldanha.

The film features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, and Jake T. Austin. The film was also a box office success, grossing over $143 million in the United States and $484 million worldwide. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song “Real in Rio”.

Blu is a young Spix Macaw hatchling who was smuggled out of Brazil along with several other birds. In Moose Lake, Minnesota his crate falls off the truck it was being delivered in and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson. Linda raises Blu as her pet and keeps him by her side all the time and 15 years later he has a place of honour in the bookstore that she manages. Blu is highly domesticated but unable to fly as he was snatched away at a very young age. One day Brazilian ornithologist Túlio Monteiro comes to the store and invites Linda & Blu to go to Rio de Janerio with him as Blu is the last male of his species and it is imperative that he mates with a female Spix to ensure that the species continues. Linda accepts and they fly to Rio, where Blu meets and befriends a Red-crested Cardinal named Pedro and his Yellow Canary friend Nico. At the aviary Blu meets Jewel a fiercely independent female Spix Macaw who wishes to be free in the wilderness.

At night the bird are captured by Fernando, an orphaned street boy and a tough looking & scarred Cockatoo named Nigel, who are both working for a group of smugglers led by Marcel. Marcel wants to sell the birds on the black market and make a lot of money. Nigel seems to dislike all “pretty birds” as he once was a famous star but his role on a television program had been ruined by one, while Fernando seems to have second thoughts. Blu manages to escape with Jewel and they make their way to the jungle. Fernando meets Linda and Túlio and helps them find the birds, while Blu and Jewel meet Rafael, a Toco Toucan, who offers to take them to his bulldog friend, Luiz, to remove their leg chain. He attempts to teach Blu how to fly, before they meet up with Pedro and Nico.

Nigel hires some marmosets to help capture Blu & Jewel who are taken by Pedro and Nico to a Rio-style dance party, where they perform a duet and begin to fall in love. When the marmosets attempt to capture them, a fight ensues after which the 5 birds escape on a train. Fernando, who has met up with Linda and Túlio, takes them to the smugglers’ hideout, where they discover that the birds have already been moved out. Meanwhile, Blu and the others meet Luiz, who releases the chain holding Blu and Jewel. After the two get into a heated argument, they decide to go their separate ways. Pedro & Nico witness Nigel capturing Jewel and inform Blu & Rafel who rush to the carnival to rescue her. As Linda and Túlio pose as dancers in blue macaw costumes to enter the carnival, Nigel captures Blu and the group.

As Marcel takes the birds in a plane, Blu destroys his cage using a fire extinguisher and releases the other captive birds. However, Nigel attacks the macaws, injuring Jewel. Blu sends Nigel flying into the plane’s engine using the fire extinguisher, causing the plane to fall. Jewel falls out of the plane’s open cargo hatch towards the ocean. Jumping out of the plane to rescue her, Blu finally discovers that he is able to fly and carries her to Linda and Túlio for help. Later, they adopt Fernando and organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Blu and Jewel eventually raise three children together, and celebrate with their friends. Meanwhile, Nigel (who actually survived the plane accident) is ridiculed for his loss of feathers, and the smugglers are sent to jail.

It’s a fun and feel good film as most of these animated comedy/romantic films are. I like the storyline and the actors did a great job with their voices. 8 outta 10!

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All I Have To Say About That Is “Asphinctersayswhat”

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

Exactly! This is ofcourse a quote from Wayne Campbell (played by Mike Myers) from that excellent movie Wayne’s World! Party on Wayne, Party on Garth! And this is Wayne & Garth Algar’s reactionary question to douchebags who have just told them something that they don’t like or agree with. Or just when they don’t plain like someone who is a phony.

That is my reaction to assholes & douche-bags I met in real life. And the world is full of them. That’s a plain awful truth and the quicker that you understand that the quicker you will be ok with it. It’s a fact of life and nothing you can do will ever change that. The only thing you can do is to either cry / moan /bitch and complain about it or you can try and adjust to that fact and learn to not let them affect you too much. And perhaps joke about it and a good laugh with your friends about said douche-bags.

Life is to short to let them make it less enjoyable for you. Adjust, change and be free. And have fun!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

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Taken 3

The subject of many internet memes, the Taken series has made Liam Neeson a household action movie star name all over the globe. The 3rd & final installment is directed by Olivier Megaton and written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen and once again stars stars Neeson, Maggie Grace & Famke Janssen with Forest Whitaker, Sam Spurell & Dougray Scott joining the cast. Also returning are Leland Orser & Jon Gries.

Bryan Mills, has just had a brief visit at his daughter, Kim’s, house – giving her a large teddy bear as an early birthday gift. Kim, is distracted as she has just found out that she is pregnant but doesn’t let on to either Bryan or her boyfriend who comes in a couple of minutes later. Lenore, who is having problems with her husband Stuart St. John, reaches out to Bryan and tries to rekindle her relationship with her ex-husband. Though Bryan loves her, he refuses to act upon his feelings while she is still married. Later Stuart visits Bryan and warns him off from meeting his wife so regularly and Bryan agrees.

The next day while out buying bagels Bryan receives an urgent text from Lenore asking him to meet her back at his home and on reaching there he finds her dead body. The LAPD arrives on the scene and attempts to arrest Bryan on suspicion but he escapes from them and contacts his buddies Casey, Gilroy & Harris for help. Meanwhile inspector Franck Dotzler, is assigned to the case and becomes fascinated as he reads up on Bryan’s unique history. Bryan collects equipment & ammo from a hideout and retraces Lenore’s steps the previous day. He tracks her movements to a convenience store and recovers surveillance footage of Lenore being abducted by unidentified men at a gas station. LAPD detectives arrive and unknown to them, Bryan allows himself to be arrested, then commandeers the police car to access LAPD’s computer system from the vehicle’s laptop to analyze information. At a restroom in her college, Bryan meets up with Kim, who is being secretly followed by the cops via an electronic bug they placed on her clothing. As Bryan tells her that he is investigating her mother’s death, she informs him that Stuart has hired bodyguards and that she is pregnant.

Bryan again evades the cops at the college but is followed by some Russian mobsters who attack his car and push it over a cliff. Bryan escapes and then kills the Russians which leads him to Stuart – they were hired by him! He abducts and interrogates Stuart, who reveals that his debt to an ex-KGB Spetsnaz and Afghan War veteran operative named Oleg Malankov was the probable motive for Lenore’s murder and that Stuart was forced to send the men in Bryan’s direction as Malankov feared that Bryan would retaliate. With the help of his ex-CIA colleagues Bryan collects Kim from Stuart’s house, and using Stuart as decoy he enters Malankov’s heavily guarded private penthouse and kills off his men. A mortally wounded Malankov, reveals that Stuart had played both men against each other – the businessman had hoped that Bryan & Malankov would kill each other leaving his debt free and with Lenore dead he could also collect a $12 million life insurance police on her. When Bryan arrives back down, he finds that Stuart has abducted Kim and on his way to a private airfield. With the cops hot on his tail, Bryan is able to disable Stuart’s private jet before it takes off by ramming into one of it’s wheels and overpowers Stuart, telling him that he will spend time in prison for his involvement in Lenore’s murder.

As the LAPD cops led by Dotzler arrives on the scene, Bryan warns Stuart that he will later answer for her death. Dotzler and the LAPD arrive and arrest Stuart and Bryan but due to his CIA connections, Mills is later let free with his murder charge cleared. In the aftermath of Stuart’s arrest, Kim, who is pregnant, informs Bryan that she wants to name her baby Lenore, after her mother. A somewhat fitting end to the movie franchise, though this one pales in comparison to the first one and even the sequel was much better. The film was received poorly by the critics, despite that the film was a box office success, grossing over $267 million. I give it a 7 outta 10!

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Sex After Kids

Sex After Kids is a Canadian comedy film, written and directed by Jeremy Lalonde and released in 2013. The film features an ensemble cast, and depicts various ways in which adults struggle to reconcile their sex lives with the demands of parenthood. The film was funded in part by a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which raised $61,000. Among the ensemble cast are tv show regulars Kristen-Holden Reid (Lost Girl/The Listener), Zoie Palmer (Lost Girl), Ennis Esmer (The Listener), Paul Amos (Lost Girl), Mary Krohnert, Kate Hewlett, Jay Brazeau, Mimi Kuzyk, Katie Boland, Amanda Brugel, Peter Keleghan, Shannon Beckner, Gordon Pinsent and Kristin Booth.

The movie shows these people, who are connected, struggling to keep an active sex life post having kids. Jules & Ben haven’t had sex in a year and with a 6 month old baby and obsessing about laundry & house work Jules just isn’t into it. Their sex therapist’s advices them to have sex every night for 100 nights straight, which doesn’t work out and Jules only getting aroused by the vibration of her washer against her body and later guide them after both of them were close to cheating on each other. Gage, a single father with a young son, on the other hand has no problem in attracting women but finds silly reasons to stop seeing them (including one funny scene in which the woman he is having sex with calls him ‘daddy’ putting him off). He joins a “mom group” for support in raising his kid. His sister Jody & her wife Larissa are a lesbian couple with a baby and their relationship is being tested by their frequent disagreements. Gage & Jody’s parents Horton & Dolores are middle-aged grandparents who having just had their youngest daughter Markee move out to her own place are looking to spice things up at home. Although it was Horton’s idea, he is initially overwhelmed by the revelation that his wife has never had an orgasm by him and by the different things she wants to try out.

Lous is the scene stealer of the movie, a British expat in Toronto and single mother who lives with her nanny brother Payton. She had decided to go the donor sperm route and have a child wanting to love someone but is struggling to have a social life and feels that she is horrible with babies, especially since Payton seems to be so good at it. He advices her to not hold out for a relationship but go for casual sex but they backfire on her. Vanessa, a former model & tv presenter, who had a son is seen less as a sexual being and more as a housewife & mom by her husband Sean, who runs a successful business. She tries to lose the baby weight and look attractive for him but the initial efforts are hilariously unsuccessful. As Sean seems less into having sex with her, she undergoes a make over to make herself more appealing and it seems to work but she later catches him having sex with a single mom named Bethany, who is the same mom group with Gage, Lou & Jules. Gage asks Lou out on a date and she cooks dinner for him but accidentally hand him a glass spiked with a heavy dose of Valium, which she meant to take herself to calm her down, and he falls asleep in her living room.

Markee tries to seduce Ben and almost succeeds and Jules kisses Gage but they manage to work things out by the end. Vanessa leaves Sean and joins the mom group and becomes friends with Bethany; Gage & Lou try dating again while Jody & Larissa work out their issues. They all meet for Gage’s son’s birthday party at a park as Horton & Dolores, who have managed to spark things sexually, go on a cruise. It’s a funny and sweet movie and it has it’s moments. It’s definitely low budget and nothing really stands out; look at it as actors who know each other having some fun while being filmed. The majority of the cast are parents of young children and signed onto the film before the script had even been written. They were encouraged to offer up their insight and own experience and stories of the film. I would rate it a solid 7.5 outta 10!

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John Wick

John Wick is a 2014 American action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. The movie stars Keanue Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, and Willem Dafoe. The film pays homage to Hong Kong cinema’s choreographed fight and gun battles as well as other martial art films as well as Spaghetti Westerns.

John Wick is a retired contract assassin who quit the buisness after meeting Helen, who would become his wife. After Helen dies due to illness John receives a delivery that she had arranged prior to her death – a puppy named Daisy. Initially distant from the pup, John quickly connects with the dog after driving around town the next day. At a gas station Russian gang members led by their leader Iosepf (Alfie Allen aka Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones) demand that John sell them his car to which he bluntly refuses. The three men follow John back to his home, break in and beat him up, kill the puppy and steal his car causing some other damage as well. Ioseph and his goons are informed by Aurelio, the owner of a chop shop that they stole John Wick’s car and that he won’t touch it. Ioseph’s father, Russian mob boss Viggo Tarasov, informs his father about Aurolio’s hostile rejection the mobster calls Aurelio, only to be stunned on knowing whose car his son stole.

Viggo berates Isoeph for stealing from “Baba Yiga” (Russian for the Boogeyman) & killing his dog; John was his best assassin and had helped Viggo gain control of his syndicate by single-handedly eliminating all competition, a task Viggo considered “impossible”. Viggo attempts to dissuade John from retribution but John disregards it and must fend off a hit squad that Viggo sends to his house. After dispatching them off and calling a cleaning crew John hseeks refuge at the Continental, a hotel that exclusively caters to assassins, with the rule that no business can be conducted on premises. However he must fend off from a female assassin after Viggo puts a contract out on him and fend off numerous Russian mobsters and killers before he can get to Ioseph. And ofcourse once he does kill the son will the Russian mob boss leave him alone? There’s also a fellow veteran assassin named Markus who is sympathetic to John’s situation and wants to help, but will it come at a steep price?

Wonderfully well choreographed this thriller starts off at a slow pace with the funeral and John adjusting to life as a widower and then getting the puppy. Once the film gets going it barely takes a breath and is edge of your seat excitement. Reeves shines in this type of role and I smell a sequel of two in the near future. The cinematography is amazing and everything looks so well done. With a great cast to boot, I think this was my favourite action based movie in a long time. 8 outta 10!

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Nominees For The 87th Academy Awards (Partial List)

The list of nominations for the 87th Academy Awards : this is only 6 categories and the only ones I usually look out for. Take a look.

Best Picture
Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“American Sniper”
“Whiplash”

Actress in a Leading Role
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days One Night”

Actor in a Leading Role
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”

Directing
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Laura Dern, “Wild”

Actor in a Supporting Role
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”

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The Inbetweeners 2

The Inbetweeners 2 is the second movie to be based on the popular British sitcom that originally aired on E4 from 2008 to 2010, after 2011’s hilarious The Inbetweeners Movie. While the series was set during the 4 lads high school days and the first movie was a coming of age tale post high school with the boys on their holiday in Crete. This time round it’s the 4 lads having a bit of an adventure in Australia.

3 years after the events of the first film Will, Neil and Jay’s girlfriends have all broken up with them while Simon is unhappy with his obsessive and abusive girlfriend Lucy. While Neil is working in a bank Simon & Will are depressed and often bullied in college and Jay is taking a year off in Australia. After being denied entry at a dorm party and having Will’s furniture taped to his ceiling (again) the 3 of them decided to go join Jay in Sydney after receiving an email about how he is living it up as a star DJ, having sex with a lot of girls and sleeping in a mansion. However when they do make it to Australia they find that Jay was lying through his teeth; in reality he is working as the toilet attendant in the club and sleeps in a tent outside his uncle’s house. While at the club Will runs into Katie, who was his friend during childhood. Before they turn in for the night, Simon Skypes with Lucy in an attempt to break-up with Lucy via a Skype call however Jay’s uncle interferes and tricks Lucy into thinking Simon asked her to marry him, to Simon’s horror.

The next day the four friends travel by car to a youth hostel in Byron Bay where Katie and several other backpackers are staying and Will tries to become friends with Ben who does not seem impressed with him. Will also noticed that his mother seems to be living with someone when he Skypes her, but she denies it. It turns out that Jay was in Australia to try and win back his ex Jane who was working at a water park in Byron Bay and so the next day the quartet visit the park along with several of the backpackers. The staff inform Jay that Jane quit her job and is now in the Outbacks. After a hilarious song & playing of a borrowed guitar Will & a drunk Katie almost have sex but she falls asleep on him and he is mistaken for trying to rape her. In the morning things are sorted out but while the other 3 want to try and find Jane in the outbacks, Will wants to stay back and try his luck with Katie. But that night he struggles to fit in with the ‘spiritual’ activities of the travellers and on discovering that Katie is seeing multiple people at once, Will gets angry and rants a foul mouth tirade against them, which leads Katie into having sex with Ben. Will catches a plane the next day to reach his friends in an Outback town and joins them in their car.

While driving to Jane’s new workplace the car runs out of fuel and stuck in the desert without food or water. A dehydrated Simon almost drinks some urine from Neil but the latter only ends up splashing it on his friend’s face. The group hold hands together as they realise that they will most likely die, but are rescued by Jane and her co-workers and it’s only been two hours since the car stalled. Although Jane is touched by Jay trying to find her she does not take him back. The boys go back to Sydney and find Will’s mom, who has been sleeping with their old nemesis & former school teacher, and Jay’s dad there. Jay gets angry at his uncle who insults Jane and slaps him, which causes a fight between Jay’s dad and his uncle. Simon finds out via Skype that Lucy has been cheating on him with Pete, his university friend – but he is elated and abruptly closes the call with her. The four boys decide to travel to Vietnam in a montage during the film’s credits – they are seen hooking with transvestites! After their return to England Neil starts a relationship with one of the backpackers and Will’s mother announces her engagement, much to Will’s horror.

Filled with gross, young men’s humour and jokes the highlight of the movie is Neil pooping in his swim trunks and the poop “chasing” Will down the waterslide as he screams and it landing on his face only for him to puke violently in the water afterwards. There’s ribbing and joking and gross stuff all over the film and not everyone will enjoy that. But I find it hilarious so if dirty English humour is your cup of tea then pop in this film and enjoy. 8 outta 10!

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Dracula (1979)

One of the numerous but probably one of the best Dracula movies based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, Dracula (1979) was directed by John Badham and starred Frank Langella as the famed count. The film also starred Laurence Olivier as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Donald Pleasence as Dr. Jack Seward, Kate Nelligan as Lucy Seward, Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, Tony Haygarth as Milo Renfield, and Jan Francis as Mina Van Helsing.

Similar to the story in the novel, Dracula arrives in Whitby, England via the ship the Demeter one stormy evening. In the form of a wolf he kills the entire ship’s crew just before the ship crashes on the shore. An ill Mina Van Helsing, who is visiting her friend Lucy Seward and Dr. Jack Seward’s house sees the crash and runs to the shore to find Dracula. The Count is taken to his newly purchased but old & run down Carfax Abbey, which was sold to him via young Johnathon Harker, Lucy’s fiance. Dracula is invited to dinner at Dr. Seward’s house, whose clifftop mansion also serves as the local asylum, where he charms everyone especially Lucy. Later that night while Johnathon and Lucy have a secret rendevouz, Dracula visits Mina in her bedroom and drinks her blood. Early in the morning Lucy finds Mina struggling to breathe and calls her father to the room. Powerless, they watch as Mina dies, only to find wounds on her throat. Lucy blames herself for Mina’s death, as she had left her alone.

Dr. Seward calls for Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Mina’s father, to come to Whitby and fills him in on the mysterious circumstances of his daughter’s death. After a period of grieving, and a chance meeting with Dracula, Van Helsing suspects the workings of a vampire and does research on it after a nurse in the asylum swears that she saw Mina feeding on a baby. He & Seward visit Mina’s grave and discover that it has been broken from the inside and track her to the local mines. It is there that they encounter the ghastly form of an undead Mina, and it is up to a distraught Van Helsing to destroy what remains of his own daughter. Lucy, meanwhile goes alone to Carfax Abbey for dinner, as Johnathon is away on work and she reveals that she is under the count’s spell and professes her love to him. They share a sensuous night of love making after which Lucy drinks some of Dracula’s blood. However, after Johnathon arrives to find her in a similar sickly state as Mina, the two doctors manage to give Lucy a blood transfusion to slow her descent into vampirism, but she remains under Dracula’s spell.

The three men realize that to save Lucy they must destroy the Count but have to restrain Lucy first as she desperately wishes to be with him. The two doctors & Harker go to the Count’s home in daylight but he is prepared and waiting for them and despite it being daylight he manages to escape. At night he bursts into the Asylum and frees Lucy and they make their way to board a ship carrying the vampire cargo bound for Romania. Harker & Van Helsing take a boat to the ship and get on board to confront the Count. They find the Count’s coffin; upon opening it they see Lucy sleeping beside her new “husband”, Dracula. Again they try to destroy him, but the Count awakens and once more fights with them. Van Helsing is fatally injured by Dracula as he is impaled by the stake intended for the vampire but manages to throw a hook (attached to a rope, from the ship’s rigging), into Dracula’s back. Harker hoists the body of Dracula high into up through the cargo hold and into the sunlight above. With animalistic screams of agony the Count dies a slow death, his body burnt into ashes.

The last scene shows a now more herself Lucy reaching out to Harker but he rejects her still feeling betrayed. As Lucy looks up she sees Dracula’s cape flying in the wind and smiles to herself, leading me to believe that we haven’t seen the last of the Count. Good film and excellent casting. A classic gothic-romantic style film with an emphasis on the romance. 8 outta 10, though it drags a bit in the middle!

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Dumb And Dumber To

A full 20 years later we finally get the proper sequel to 1994’s hit comedic film Dumb And Dumber in Dumber And Dumber To. Co-written and directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly, the movie brings back the then smash duo of Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels who reprise their roles as Lloyd Christmas & Harry Dunn. Joining them this time around are Kathleen Turner, Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin, Rob Riggle & Steven Tom.

When we start the film we see that for the past 20 years Lloyd has been admitted in a mental institution after his apparent grief over his failed romance with Mary Swanson from the first film. Harry has been regularly visiting his friend every Wednesday and – changing his dirty diapers and removing the urine bags – and finds out that Lloyd has been faking it for 20 years as a gag. Lloyd decides to leave with Harry and the duo head to their apartment. When they get there, Harry tells Lloyd about his medical issue: one of his kidneys is bad and he needs a donor soon. Lloyd does not offer his but suggest that they go to meet Harry’s parents (down the road) and get one of them to donate but since they adopted Harry they are not compatible. On their way out, Harry’s dad gives him his mail that’s been piling up since he moved out. One of them is a postcard from his old girlfriend Fraida Felcher dating from 1991. It in she says that she is pregnant and needs Harry to call her.

The two friends go to meet Fraida at her place of work, a funeral parlor, and Fraida admits that she had a daughter named Fanny that she gave up for adoption. She wrote Fanny a letter, only for it to be sent back and noted to never contact her again. Fraida shows the two a picture of Fanny that she found online, Lloyd then instantly falls in love with Fanny after seeing the picture of her. Taking a hearse from Fraida, the two of them drive to Maryland where Fanny lives with her adopted family (after first going to Fraida’s home as they mistake the Return to address for Fanny’s) and find that the girl’s name was changed to Penny by her adoptive parents Dr. Bernard Pinchelow and his wife Adele. Penny, also not too bright, has already left for El Paso (Texas) for a KEN convention where she is to accept an award on her father’s behalf, as he is unwell, and also speak about her father’s work. She was supposed to give a package to the organizer but forgets that as well as her phone at home. The wife Adele, is secretly poisoning her husband with the help of her lover & family housekeeper Travis. Harry & Lloyd tell them why they are there at which point Bernard realizes Penny left the package, which he says is worth billions. Adele suggests that Harry and Lloyd deliver the package to Penny. So Adele and Travis can get the billions from the package, Travis accompanies the duo, but he becomes extremely annoyed with the duo’s antics.

Travis sets off firecrackers in the hearse which temporarily affect the duo’s hearing but as they step out a freight train to plows into Travis and the Hearse, which Harry and Lloyd do not see. Harry & Lloyd end up finding their old van but when it break down they get a zamboni and drive to El Paso. Captain Lippencott, Travis’s twin brother and special ops soldier, informs Adele that his brother is dead and offers to help kill Harry and Lloyd. At the KEN convention Harry is mistaken for the reclusive Dr. Pinchelow and invited to the auditorium but he argues with Lloyd when he finds out that Lloyd wants to get with Penny and the latter is escorted out. Lloyd then gets a call from Penny. They arrange a meeting at a fountain after he tells her that he’s there with her dad. The two then head to a restaurant, where Lloyd deduces, as he recalls one night he was with Fraida, that he is the biological father of Penny, not Harry. Adele arrives at the convention and exposes Harry as a fraud when she tells the heads of the convention that he is not her husband. Fraida also arrives and pulls the fire alarm and everybody exits. Harry runs into Fraida and Penny, only for the moment to be ruined by Lippencott pulling a gun.

They run into the bathroom to hide but are caught by Lippencott & Adele After Lloyd arrives, having undergone a kidney removal at an illegally run clinic, Adele and Lippencott attempt to shoot them, but three cops bust in with a healthy-looking Bernard, who knew that Adele was trying to poison him. The package he gave Penny were just cupcakes for one of the convention heads. As Adele and Lippencott are arrested, Adele then turns her gun on Penny and shoots, but Harry jumps in front of the bullet and is severely injured. Harry is rushed to the hospital, where he reveals that he was pranking Lloyd about needing a kidney. Good thing to as Lloyd was duped by the clinic and given a pork chop instead of his kidney in a medical freezer! Harry and Lloyd are told by Fraida that neither are Penny’s father and that her biological father is a deceased high school friend of theirs named Pete Stainer (or “Pee Stain”, as they called him). As the duo leave El Paso, they spot two beautiful women walking in their direction. They decide not to waste this opportunity, and they end up shoving both women into a bush as a joke. They run off and high-five each other. In the final scene they hurl their milkshakes behind them, as they are riding their zamboni, which hit the truck of their old nemesis Sea Bass, who angrily chases the two.

Funny, gross funny in places and they had me falling outta my bed as I was laughing so hard in a couple of scenes. I know the movie was panned by critics and given negative reviews but I liked it. Not as much as the first one but still it was thoroughly enjoyable. On a budget of $40 mil the movie has made a little over $130 million. I give it an 8 outta 10!

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Hercules (2014)

Hercules is a 2014 directed by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Reece Ritchie, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Joseph Fiennes, and John Hurt. Much like in the view of the recent spate of Greek legend movies with a lot of liberties taken. This is one of two Hercules themed movies that was released this year and the latest of Hercules themed movies that I can remember.

Hercules is a wizened warrior and leader of a band of mercenaries that consists of the spear-wielding prophet Amphiaraus of Argos, the knife-throwing thief Autolycus of Sparta, the feral warrior Tydeus of Thebes, the Amazon archer Atalanta of Scythia and his nephew storyteller Iolaus of Athens. Iolaus recounts the legend of Hercules who was born to a human woman after she was impregnated by the might god Zeus and who completed the 12 labours to appease Zeus’s wife the goddess Hera. However the story goes that he went insane and murdered his wife & 3 children during a visit to King Eurystheus, after being betrayed by Hera. He was banished by the king but continued to show displays of great strength and skill in combat. Hercules is frequently haunted by the memory of the deaths of his wife and daughters by his hand, as well as visions of Cerberus. After a mission, Hercules and his group are celebrating at a tavern when Ergenia, daughter of Lord Cotys Hercules to train the armies of Thrace to defend the kingdom from bloodthirsty warlord Rheseus. Hercules accepts after he is promised his weight in gold if successful.

After training the army, which is usually led by General Sitacles, Hercules and his men lead them into battle against local barbarians as a test of their strength. After the barbarians are defeated, Hercules and Sitacles confront Rheseus and his soldiers. Rheseus is defeated and taken back to Thrace as a prisoner, where he is tortured and humiliated. However back in Thrace, Rheseus informs Hercules that regarding actions of burning down villages, it was not him or his army, and tells Hercules that he has been fighting on the wrong side. In the palace during a celebratory feast Ergenia takes pity on Rheseus Hercules confronts her and finds out Rheseus was telling the truth in that he was merely retaliating against Lord Cotys’s aggressive attempts to expand his kingdom, and, although Ergenia doesn’t agree with his methods, she goes along with them for the sake of her son, Arius, Lord Cotys’s successor to the throne, who is being threatened by Cotys. Hercules confronts Cotys and has to be restrained by Autolycus. The group gets their gold and prepare to leave but Hercules wants to stay back and correct things.

All but Autolycus choose to follow him but they are overpowered and captured by Sitacles and his men. While chained, Hercules is confronted by King Eurystheus, who is in league with Lord Cotys, and reveals that he drugged Hercules the night his family died, viewing him as a threat to his power. Hercules’s family was in fact killed by 3 vicious wolves that Eurystheus sent, resulting in Hercules’s constant hallucinations of Cerberus. Lord Cotys orders Ergenia to also be executed for her betrayal and Hercules, encouraged by Amphiaraus to become the legend that people know him to be. Summoning inhuman strength, Hercules breaks free of his chains, saving Ergenia and slaying the 3 wolves with his bare hands. Hercules releases the prisoners, including Rheseus, and then confronts King Eurystheus, impaling him with his own dagger. He is attacked by Sitacles, who is then stabbed by Iolaus. Outside Arius is taken hostage, but then rescued by Autolycus, who has decided to return to help his friends.

In the ensuing battle, Tydeus is mortally wounded while protecting Arius, but fights on slaughtering numerous Thracian soldiers. Hercules again uses inhuman strength and pushes a massive statue of Hera from its foundations and uses it to crush Lord Cotys and many of his soldiers. After this show, the remaining soldiers bow down to Hercules, believing the legend of the demigod. Later Arius takes the throne, with Ergenia at his side, while Hercules and his men depart in search of other adventures.

And perhaps more movies to follow. Good enough film for an afternoon’s fun. It’s entertaining and the creature effects are done well as is the production. 7.5 outta 10!

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At The Devil’s Door

A movie titled like that is sure to get it’s share of people checking it out. I expected a lot more from this film, even after glancing through it’s synopsis but I was somewhat disappointed. At The Devil’s Door is 2014 horror film directed by Nicholas McCarthy and starring Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ashley Rickards & Naya Rivera.

Teenager Hannah is with her new boyfriend who takes her to meet a man in a trailer who offers her $500 to play a game and “sell her soul”. Not making much of it she agrees and wins a round of the shells game. The man tells her she’s been chosen, and to go down to where the roads meet and say her name (so he knows her name when he calls for her). Later that night at her house, she hears a male voice from her closet that says “come to me” and she is attacked by an unseen entity that lifts her in the air and then throws her down with some force. The movie then shifts to Leigh, a real estate agent who has just visited the now empty house that Hannah lived in and she sees a girl in a raincoat who walks away without saying a word. Leigh then goes to her artist sister Vera at the latter’s house and offered to buy one of her works, even though Vera wants to gift it to her. Later Leigh meets the owners of the house are trying to sell the house due to being unable to pay the mortgage since Chuck, the husband got sick. Leigh tells them that she say a girl there earlier and the couple say that it must have been their daughter Charlene who has been missing for several months (they think she ran away with her boyfriend).

Later when Leigh is at the house awaiting some inspection crew she see the girl again and takes her out of the rain and to her own home. As Charlene sits in the kitchen Leigh calls Chuck and says that she has his daughter with her but is stunned to hear Chuck tell her that police picked Charlene up at a local mall hours ago and that she is with him. Leigh then sees the girl’s picture in an newspaper article among the files for the house – it is Hannah White, who committed suicide back in 1987. Leigh notices Hannah is gone and she goes around the house to look for her. She finds her in an empty room staring into a mirror. When Leigh asks who she is, Leigh falls to the floor and her heart stops. A grey creature comes out of Hannah. The next day Vera is contacted by the police to come to identify the body of her sister Leigh, who died the day before. Vera finds the same files in Leigh’s home and goes to the empty house where she too sees Hannah who then takes out. Vera then goes to see Charlene who is in an institute and she tells her that she saw the same girl and what looked like a dark figure of man watching her through a mirror.

Vera then goes to see one of Hannah’s old friends who says that Hannah was pregnant before she committed suicide and that she wasn’t herself the last few days she was alive. Also that Hannah claimed a demon was inside of her, wearing her body like a costume. That night at her own loft Vera is awakened by a voice that says “come to me” and she sees a demonic face in the mirror. The entity then attacks her and throws her out the building window onto the roof of a car. When she comes to at the hospital she is told that she was in a coma for 8 months that she was also pregnant at the time. The baby is safe and progressing along fine but Vera wants it out of her. During her ultrasound, Vera sees a demonic face on the monitor and demands an immediate C-section. Refusing to hold or look at the baby she gives the baby up for adoption and after a week later, Vera goes back to Leigh’s house to gather some of her sisters belongings before leaving town.

6 years later Vera tracks down her baby, a girl and meets the mother. While the mother is in another room Vera asks the girl why she was chosen and that she knows who the girl is. The girl hands a finished puzzle to Vera and then leaves the house and runs into a partially completed house in the woods. Vera chases after her with a knife and in a room sees a dark shadow of a demon which then changes shape to that of the girl and almost stabs the girl with the knife. We then see the girl’s mother running to the house searches desperately for her daughter who she cannot find.
In Vera’s car, the little girl and Vera prepare to leave when the girl touches Vera’s hand and says, “I knew you’d come back for me, mommy.” The end!

For a movie that is about the anti-christ or coming of the devil in human form, it’s not very scary (just a couple of jump scares) and falters to excite you as anything worthy of Satan’s spawn should do. Hannah’s angst at trying to burn the money to get rid of the entity and on failing to do so tries to bury it but it still comes back is good but the film hinting that she probably harmed an infant she was babysitting and not doing so – what? The film didn’t really work for me although it is worth a watch. 6.5 outta 10!

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Lucy

A Luc Besson direction, Lucy is an English language French science fiction  action flick starring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked and Choi Min-sik. Shot in Taipei, Paris & New York the movie is about a woman who gains psychokinetic abilities from a nootropic drug being absorbed into her bloodstream.

Lucy is an American student in Taipei and gets tricked into delivering a suitcase to Korean mob boss & drug lord Mr. Jang at a hotel by a man she just started dating. While she waits at the lobby, the boyfriend is killed and she is taken up to Jang’s suite by his goons. The suitcase contains four large vials of a new synthetic drug called CPH4 and the goons have the vials surgically inserted into the abdomens of Lucy and 3 other unwitting drug mules who will deliver the drugs to various cities in Europe. Lucy is taken away to a warehouse and while in captivity, one of her captors kicks her hard in the stomach which releases a large quantity of the drug into her system.  As a result, she begins acquiring increasingly enhanced physical and mental capabilities, such as telepathy, telekinesis, mental time travel, and can choose not to feel pain or other discomforts, in addition to other abilities. Using her new found abilities, she dispatches her captors and escapes.

She goes to a hospital nearby and has a surgeon remove the bag of drugs at gunpoint and Lucy is told by the operating doctor of the volatile nature of the drug, based on a substance given to fetuses during prenatal development, and its destructive side-effects. Lucy then goes back to the hotel where Mr. Jang stays and kills a bunch of his men, stabs the mob boss’s hands and telepathically extracts the locations of all three drug mules from his brain. She then goes to her friend’s place and uses the internet to find out about & contact a well-known scientist and doctor, Professor Samuel Norman, whose research may be the key to saving her. She does this by controlling his phones, computers and tv to convince him of her genuineness. Lucy then contacts Paris police captain Pierre Del Rio and tells him about the remaining 3 bags of drugs that is being smuggled. During her flight to Paris Lucy starts to disintegrate when she takes a sip of champagne as her cells destabilize, due to the alcohol which makes her body inhospitable for cellular reproduction. She rushes to the bathroom and ingests more of the CPH4 which stabilizes her. Meanwhile the Korean drug gang had captured the 3 mules and taken the drugs from them.

As her powers grow Lucy is able to telepathically incapacitate armed police and members from the Korean drug gang and with the help of Del Rio she takes the 3 drugs back from them and hurries to meet Professor Norman, with whom she agrees to share everything she now knows, after he points out that the main point of life is to pass on knowledge. Jang and his men now in Paris have a shootout with the Paris police while Lucy speaks to Prof. Norman discusses the nature of time and life and how people’s humanity distorts their perceptions. She has his fellow scientists intravenously inject her with the contents of all three remaining bags of CPH4. She begins to metamorphose into a black substance which begins to spread over the computers and other devices in the lab and transform these into an unconventionally shaped, next generation supercomputer that will contain all of her enhanced knowledge of the universe. She then travels through space and time back into the past and sees the oldest discovered ancestor of mankind, implied to be Lucy, and touches fingertips with her. Jang then enters the lab, having killed off most the cops and his own men all dead, intending to kill the scientists and Lucy. Just before he shoots her Lucy reaches 100% of her cerebral capacity and disappears within the spacetime continuum, where she explains that everything is connected and existence is only proven through time. Left behind are only her clothes and the oddly shaped black supercomputer.

Jang is shot dead by an injured but still alive Del Rio and Professor Norman takes a black, monolithic flash drive offered by the advanced supercomputer before it disintegrates into dust. When Del Rio asks where Lucy is, he gets a message on his phone from her that say she is everywhere. As the film fades to black Lucy’s voice is heard stating, “Life was given to us a billion years ago. Now you know what to do with it.”

I think the movie has a lot of good points and has shot some of the scenes really well. As for the science, I guess they take a lot of liberties with it but that still makes for a good movie. I still have some issue with the plot. It was a box office success, grossing over $458 million against a budget of $40 million. 8 outta 10!

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The Maze Runner

Based on James Dashner’s 2009 novel of the same name, The Maze Runner is a 2014 American science fiction dystopian action thriller film directed by Wes Ball. The film, which is one of the latest in the spurt of  young adult themed semi-scifi kinda fiction, is the first installment in The Maze Runner film series and was produced by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, and Lee Stollman with a screenplay by Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, and T.S. Nowlin. The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, and Ki Hong Lee.

A teenage boy wakes up inside a rusty elevator that has come up from several levels below and is greeted by several other unfamiliar boys on a grassy enclave.  He makes a run from them but finds that the clearing, called The Glade, is surrounded by huge stone walls. The boy has no memory of who he is and how or where he came from but the leader of the group of all boys, Albi, says that he will remember his name in a little while. The boys all work and survive together in a sort of community and the boy is befriended by the second in command Newt, who shows him the work in the garden, and a chubby younger boy called Chuck. All the boys came up to the surface in the same way, one at a time every 30 days, without their memory and only remembers their name after a couple of days. The boy wonders what is beyond the opening in the wall adjacent to the Glade, but he is warned not to go through there, being that it is a maze. Newt, second in command and gardener, explains that the Maze is the only way out. The most able boys become Runners, who are the only ones allowed into the Maze. They search for an escape route during the day, but return before nightfall, since the Maze entrance closes at dusk, and no one has ever survived a night in the Maze.

That night at a bonfire party the boy remembers his name, Thomas, after a brief fight with Gally, one of the stronger boy. The next day Thomas is attacked by Ben, who has been stung by a griver, one of the deadly part organic-part robotic creature that prowls the Maze at night and the other boys capture him and banish him into the Maze, forcing Ben inside it as the walls close. The next day Minho, the leader of the runners and Albi go into the Maze to retrace Ben’s path but Alby is stung and rendered unconscious. Minho appears at dusk, dragging Alby towards, but is unable to reach the entrance in time. Seeing this, Thomas runs into the maze to try and help. All three boys survive the night, with Thomas successfully killing a Griever by tricking it into running into a closing wall, crushing the Griever, and they return the next day with Alby to the astonishment of the other boys. Gally fears that the peace between the Grivers and the boys will come to an end, wants to punish Thomas by banishing him into the Maze but Newt overrules him and makes Thomas a runner. The next morning a few of the runners with Thomas & Minho go into the Maze and find the corpse of the Griver and retrieve a mechanial part which has an LCD display with the number 7 on it, corresponding a certain section of the maze.

The next morning the very first girl is sent up via the elevator with two syringes of a medical substance and a note that reads that she is the final person to be sent. The girl, Teresa knows Thomas but he does not remember her. The boys use one of the syringes on Alby and he starts to recover. Minho shows Thomas a model of the Maze he has created with all the data they collected during the last 3 years and the two of them go back in discovering an escape route. They barely make it back after being forced to retreat by collapsing sections, and inform the others. That night the Grivers attack killing some of the boys including Albi. Thomas stabs himself in the leg with a severed sting and remembers that he and Teresa were part of the organization that created the Maze, and that all of this was a test, and not imprisonment as they all were supposing so. Gally blames Thomas and Teresa for everything and attempts to execute them. The Gladers stop him, and most of them follow Thomas through the maze’s escape route. They battle the Grivers losing a couple of the boys along the way and using the pattern in which the Maze sections open up every day, which Minho has memorized, unlock a password locked door behind which they find a lab with a lot of dead scientists lying about.

A video plays in which a woman explains that the earth has been devastated by solar flares and a pandemic, The youths in the Glade were all part of an experiment researching their apparent resistance to the pandemic. At the end of the recording, she shoots herself in the head as the lab is attacked. Gally then shows up with a gun he found and shoots at Thomas but Chuck jumps in the way and is killed while Minho kills Gally using a spear. Armed masked men rush in to take the group away to a helicopter and fly them over the walls and reveals a vast desert and they approach the ruins of a destroyed city. In the final scene the scientists, all alive having faked the scene in the lab, sit at a table and the woman states that the experiment has been a success, the group havingbought the bait, and the survivors are now entering Phase Two.

Not bad as far as the young adult films goes (I have no idea how the books are) and there is very little cliched stuff in it. The execution is good and I think the actors chosen did a commendable job. I’m not fully convinced though as we don’t too much of an explanation but seeing as this is the first of a series of films that negates some of it. I’d have to say this is a 7.5 outta 10!

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Jessabelle

Jessabelle is a 2014 horror movie directed by Kevin Greutert and written by Ben Garant. he film stars Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter, David Andrews, Amber Stevens and Ana de la Reguera. The movie is about ghosts and possessions and is produced by Jason Blum who also produced Insidious, Sinister & The Purge.

Jessie, a young woman who is moving to her boyfriend’s place, is in an accident that kills her boyfriend and also her unborn baby. Having injured her legs badly that she needs a wheelchair, the hospital make her call her estranged father, who she hasn’t seen in ages, to come pick her up when she is discharged. Her dad comes and picks her up in his truck and takes her home to his farm house in St. Francis, Louisiana. He sets her up in his wife’s, Jessie’s mom’s, old room which hasn’t been used in a while. Jessie’s mom Kate had died a little after giving birth due to cancer, which she hadn’t allowed to be treated with chemo. After a couple of awkward days spent mostly alone by her self, Jessie finds a few old VHS tapes in a box labeled “Jessabelle” and pops on in in the VCR. She sees a taping of her mother Kate, still pregnant at the time, back in 1988 who is addressing her unborn daughter.

In the video Kate does a card reading for her daughter in which “transition” comes up. The next card says that she has never left St. Francis and that she is never going to leave – which is untrue for Jessie. The third card is Water and Jessie laughs as she doesn’t know how to swim. She reads that Jessie is not alone, that there is a presence in the house with her, a female who wants her out of the house. At this point her dad walks in and breaks the tape and tells Jessie not to watch that garbage. He is so angry that he dumps the wheelchair into the bayou. That night Jessie sees a girl in a wheelchair in her room that latter disappears. In the morning she sees an old wheelchair, which her dad says he left there. He apologizes for his behaviour and says that it was Kate’s, which he found in the shed. After he leaves Jessie pops in another video in which her mother says that she spoke to Moses about the reading that he said the presence is a demon, and she should stop blaming herself for an accident that happened. Her mother then gives her another reading. Death comes up again, meaning transition, but further reading shows a very horrible death.

The next day a physiotherapists comes to the house and places Jessie in the bath and leaves the room for a bit. Jessie falls asleep and is attacked by a ghost girl as the bathtub fills with dark blood. Hearing her screams her father comes in and she opens her eyes, the attack seemingly a hallucination. The dad gets upset and makes the physio leave and on finding the rest of the tapes, attempts to burn it in the trash. However as he goes in to the shed for matches, it closes and locks by itself and the shed is accidentally set on fire, killing him and Jessie is unable to get to him. At the funeral she meets her childhood friend Preston but a hallucination of a partial burned African-American man makes her faint. After recovering she goes to have lunch with Preston and tells him about the tapes and that she’s been having nightmares. Later on her own at night she watches more tapes and in one of them is of her parents at Christmas and another is of her mother telling Jessabelle that she is already dead. The ghost then begins attacking Jessie, again leading to her discovery of another tape in the wall.

She calls Preston and after he comes they investigate lights across the bayou and find voodoo objects and a small grave labeled Jessabelle. Preston opens it up and finds the skeleton of a baby, which they think was still born, and they call the police who take the remains for analysis. The next day Preston takes Jessie to see a lady who used to cook for her parents and who’s son was a friend of Preston. On seeing Jessie the old woman starts chanting a voodoo song to allow spirits to possess people and she gets a bit violent. They leave and try to find Moses but only find his shrine with voodoo objects. While there, a group of men find them, attack Preston and tell them to leave. Preston takes Jessie home to get her things so she can stay at his mother’s, but he is attacked by the ghost and is taken to the hospital. Jessie later learns from the sheriff that the baby was African-American who was murdered after she was born, which leads Jessie to believe that the spirit, that of the baby, needs saving. When she is alone, she tries to talk to the ghost. She finds the last tape on the coffee table and plays it. She sees a white baby and her mother. At first it looks as if the mother will kill the baby but instead she curses her with a voodoo spell and then shoots herself.

It is then that Kate’s spirit appears and the truth comes out. The baby was half black because Kate had an affair with her friend Moses and he is father of the baby. When Jessie’s dad sees the baby, Kate’s infidelity comes out in the open and enraged he kills the baby and then Moses and adopted Jessie to hide this. Moses’s spirit also appears and together they tie Jessie’s hands and push her into the bayou. Preston & the sheriff see her from afar and rush to the edge of the water. As Jessie sinks to the bottom, Jessabelle comes up to her and takes her bracelet and swims to the surface, having assumed the form of Jessie. Preston lift her out of the water and takes her inside the house and when the Sheriff asks “Jessie” if she is alright – calling her Miss Laurent – she replies with a sly look, “It’s Jessabelle.” Spooky!

I would say that I like this film, though the “twist” ending is foreseeable by a mile. I still enjoyed them film and the lead actress Sarah Snook is very effective in her sweetness and vulnerability. No one else stands out but I will give it a 6.5 outta 10!

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Left Behind (2014)

I must admit I had no clue going in that this film would be this bad! But what did you expect? Left Behind is a 2014 Christian film about the apocalyptic rapture film directed by Vic Armstrong and written by Paul LaLonde and John Patus. The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins and stars Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, and Jordin Sparks. Yes, Cage has fallen to act in such drivel.

Ok, so what is this movie about? It’s about the rapture – where Yahweh is supposed to instantly beam or take all his believers into heaven and leave all the rest behind – that is believed to happen just before the end of days. The events of the film focus on one city (supposed to be NYC) & her people are shown and one plane and it’s crew plus passengers. Chloe is home from college to celebrate her pilot father’s birthday but is upset to learn that he is scheduled to be flying from New York to London. Things have been rough at home ever since Chloe’s mom Irene became a devout Christian, spouting off Bible quotes and heavy on the prayers. Her dad Rayford is flirting heavily with the pretty blonde stewardess  Hattie who is on the same plane, when Chloe sees him. Hattie accidentally finds out that Rayford has plans to spend his London trip with Hattie and she goes up upset.

At home after brushing off Irene’s religious concerns & preachings Chloe goes to the mall with her young brother and it is there that the shit hits the fan! Her brother disappears from her arms, as do several other people at the mall. Panic ensues and you see looting, shoving, and absolute mayhem. A driverless car crashes through the window and when Chloe is outside a small planet crashes into her car. She run to the hospital (for what?) and finds all the babies have disappeared from their cribs. She also sees television reports of chaos on the streets and of people disappearing. Meanwhile on the plane a bunch of people including the co-pilot and a stewardess have also disappeared, leaving their clothing & personal belongings behind, causing panic among the remaining passengers. A mother cries out about her young daughter missing cries while a drug addict woman freaks out as she knows what is happening. With the help of Cameron, who is on the same flight, Rayford tries his best to calm things down. An antagonistic man sees a muslim praying and has suspicions on him. Rayford has difficulty getting radio or cell phone contact with anyone on the ground, until he is finally informed that people have disappeared everywhere and the world is in uproar. Soon a pilotless jet approaches directly into Rayford’s flight path. He narrowly avoids a midair collision but the jet damages Rayford’s fuel line. He decides his only option is to return to New York and hope his fuel holds out.

Chloe meanwhile goes home and finds the shower still on and her mom’s jewellery on the shower floor and goes to their church and finds it empty with the exception of their family pastor. He explains that god has taken all his believers to heaven while those that remain must face the end of days. When Chloe asks her how come he wasn’t taken, the pastor says that he never truly believed in what he preached as he had doubts. Back on the plane, Rayford confesses to Hattie that he is married and has 2 children and she is upset as she didn’t know that he was married. Chloe feels that everything is hopeless and climbs on top of a bridge to jump to her death but at that precise moment – it’s a fucking miracle – her phone rings! Hallelujah! It’s Cameron who along with Rayford has been trying to contact her several times and it is at this precise moment that the connection gets through! Rayford apologizes to his daughter saying that it is all his fault for the rift between her mom and him.  He loves her and “I love you daddy” and but bitch this plane has no runway to land. So Chloe finds an abandoned Ford truck and uses it to clear away the equipment from a bridge under construction in order to create a makeshift runway. And she uses a Compass app and tells Rayford the coordinates of the landing site.

Using all his skills Rayford is able to make the emergency landing, saving everyone on board. As Chloe is reunited with Rayford and Cameron, they look onto a city or make that world in chaos and fire and she says this is just the beginning! What a lousy film! Shit script, horrendous acting and nonsensical cliched dialogues. Even most devout Christians would be ashamed of this drivel and they were as the rantings in critical websites show. But I laughed a lot! 3 outta 10!

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