Hired Gun

Hired Gun is a documentary film about the hired guns in the music industry; sidemen musicians who play on records and live concerts for bigger name artists and singers. Directed by Fran Strine’s Hired Gun, introduces the instrumentalists who’ve played everything from heavy metal to Disney kid-pop, and rarely doing much to capture its subjects’ individual quirks.

Interviews with ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, former Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVitto, Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy, Dio, Quiet Riot) and Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook, who was not only a sideman for Alice Cooper and Hillary Duff but is also an investor in the film as well. The movie’s interviewees played with acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and Alice Cooper and Billy Joel. Some went from nobodies to headliners abruptly: When Metallica’s bassist Cliff Burton died in 1986, Jason Newsted scraped money together from friends to fly out to audition, was hired for $500 per week and eventually got to join the band. Ted Nugent’s old sideman and vocalist Derek St. Holmes recalls how fans wrongly assumed the star sang lead on hits like “Stranglehold”; others were never even credited on records, trading glory for a paycheck.

The sidemen were usually among the best musicians, masters of their instruments of choice. Of studio perfectionists Steely Dan, one interviewee says, “whether you like that band or not, you know that if [a session musician was] ever on a Steely Dan record, they’re one of the baddest motherf—ers walkin’.” Drummers Kenny Aronoff, Glen Sobel and long time Billy Joel’s band member Liberty Devitto are also part of the documentary. What really got me was the story of Billy Joel’s band members, who were once a very tight family unit and post a major problem when Joel’s manager was discovered to have swindled millions from the singer, he changed and stopped trusting anyone. He would eventually fire most of his band, which led to the guitarist committing suicide.

The documentary features over two dozen musicians, who have worked with some of the biggest artists and bands to have graced the international music scene.

– Liberty Devitto: Drummer (Billy Joel)

– Russell Javors: Guitarist (Billy Joel)

– Jason Hook: Guitarist (Mandy Moore, Alice Cooper, Five Finger Death Punch)

– Kenny Aronoff: Drummer (Elton John, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp)

– Chris Johnson: Drummer (Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Seal)

– John 5: Guitarist (Rob Zombie, Rod Stewart, Marilyn Manson)

– David Foster: Record Producer / Session Musician (Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston)

– John JR Robinson: Drummer (Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Madonna)

– Steve Vai: Guitarist (Frank Zappa, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth)

– Rob McNelley: Guitarist (Lady Antebellum, Bob Seger, Dolly Parton)

– Ray Parker JR.: Guitarist (Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Boz Scaggs)

– Jason Newsted: Bassist (Metallica, Gov’t Mule, Ozzy Osbourne)

– Justin Derrico: Guitarist (P!NK, Tina Turner, Beyonce, The Voice TV show)

– Eva Gardner: Bassist (Cher, P!NK, The Mars Volta)

– Mark Schulman: Drummer (Foreigner, Cher, P!NK)

– Glen Sobel: Drummer (Alice Cooper)

– Michael “Fish” Herring: Guitarist (Christina Aguilera, Tupac Shakur, Prince)

– Steve Lukather: Guitarist (Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Toto)

– Derek St. Holmes: Singer and Guitarist (Ted Nugent)

– Rudy Sarzo: Bassist (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake)

– Richard Patrick: Singer and Guitarist (Nine Inch Nails, Filter)

– Phil Buckman: Bassist (Filter, Fuel)

– Brad Gillis: Guitarist (Ozzy Osbourne, Night Ranger)

– Phil X: Guitarist (Bon Jovi, Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson)

– Paul Bushnell: Bassist (Katy Perry, Phil Collins, Elton John)

– Greg Upchurch: Drummer (Chris Cornell, 3 Doors Down, Puddle of Mudd)

– Nita Strauss: Guitarist (Alice Cooper)

– Eric Singer: Drummer (Alice Cooper, KISS, Black Sabbath)

– Jay Graydon: Record Producer/Session Musician (Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Benson)

Artists Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and P!NK are also among the interviewees, providing the perspective of the superstars who use the services of Hired Guns, as well as Bob Ezrin (Record Producer for Cooper, Pink Floyd, and KISS), also giving his take.

Watch it, it’s good. I give it an 8 outta 10!

The 4th Kelvinverse Star Trek Movie Shelved

The news broke that the 4th Kelvinverse Star Trek movie is now shelved! The untitled film which would have been the fourth in the franchise which began with 2009’s J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Trek” has been “shelved.” The film, which in one iteration would reportedly have brought back Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk in a time travel adventure, first ran aground in August 2018 when Hemsworth and James T. Kirk actor Chris Pine reportedly exited the film over budgetary issues. The last film in the series, “Star Trek Beyond,” was released in 2016.

What does this mean for Star Trek? Well, along with Star Trek : Discovery, which will launch it’s season 2 premier in a few days, we also have the Jean-Luc Picard series which is on the way and is being developed. Along with that there seems to be the push to have a few more series based in the Star Trek universe and have like a Marvel or DC kinda cross over thing happening. I am not sure if that will be the case and if all the newer series will be during the same timeline (the Picard series will be set 20 years after the events of Star Trek : Nemesis so atleast that show will be set in the 24th century).

What I really hope is that they return to the core of Star Trek and make it more about exploration – both in the physical realm and what it is to be human (or Vulcan or Trill or Klingon) rather than what we have had so far in recent years. I wasn’t too happy with the Kelvinverse, with the exception of Star Trek : Beyond; a movie which felt like it was true Star Trek and not littered with JJ’s drivel. I want a strong franchise set past the events of Nemesis and have a strong crew that will take us forward.

First Man

First Man is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Damien Chazelle and written by Josh Singer. Based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen, the film stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, alongside Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, and Lukas Haas, and follows the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969. Steven Spielberg serves as an executive producer.

The movie follows the life of Neil Armstrong from 1961 till the return of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969. We start off with the 1961 X-15 rocket plane test by Armstrong which almost goes wrong and he is grounded. His two-and-a-half year old daughter, Karen, is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. Desperate to save her, Armstrong keeps a detailed log of her symptoms and feverishly tries to find possible treatments, but she dies soon afterwards. Grief-stricken, Armstrong applies for Project Gemini and is accepted to NASA Astronaut Group 2. Armstrong, his wife Janet, and their son Rick move to Houston alongside other astronaut families.

By 1965, the family has settled in Houston, and Armstrong awaits selection for a crew. After the Soviets complete the first extravehicular activity (EVA), Armstrong is informed that he will be the commander of Gemini 8, with David Scott as the pilot. Prior to the mission, See and Charles Bassett are killed in a T-38 crash, deepening Armstrong’s grief at the string of recent losses. Armstrong and Scott successfully launch on Gemini 8, and dock with the Agena target vehicle, but soon afterward, the spacecraft begins to spin at a rapid rate. After nearly blacking out, Armstrong activates the RCS thrusters and safely aborts the mission. Armstrong initially faces criticism, but NASA determines the crew is not at fault. Later, White reveals that he has been selected for the Apollo 1 mission along with Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee.

During a launch rehearsal test on January 27, 1967, a fire kills the Apollo 1 crew, and Armstrong hears the news while representing NASA at the White House. The next year, after nearly being killed ejecting from the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, Armstrong is selected to command Apollo 11, and Slayton informs him that it will likely be the first lunar landing. Armstrong is emotionally distant from everyone including his family. Just before the launch his wife confronts him about the possibility that he won’t survive the flight, and insists that he explain the risks of the mission to their young sons. After telling them about the risks he faces, Armstrong says goodbye to his family and departs.

Apollo 11 successfully launches, and arrives at the Moon on the fourth day out. Armstrong and Aldrin undock in the Lunar Module and begin the landing attempt, but as they descend towards their landing site, Aldrin realizes the area is full of large boulders, forcing Armstrong to take manual control of the spacecraft. The lunar module successfully lands with minimal fuel remaining. After setting foot on the Moon, Armstrong drops Karen’s bracelet into Little West crater. With their mission complete, the astronauts return home and are placed in quarantine, where a rerun of JFK’s 1962 speech “We choose to go to the Moon” is shown, and Armstrong and Janet share a moment of tenderness.

The movie is a typical thrill a moment Hollywood blockbuster action film. It’s kinda dull and quiet without much excitement happening. The acting though is top notch. The Apollo 11 launch, journey and landing on the moon is beautiful done. The film has grossed $44.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $55.5 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $100.4 million, against a production budget of $59 million. 7.5 outta 10!

10 Ways to Make Your At-Home Movie Experience More Enjoyable

Whether you’re a purist that loves renting DVDs and Blu-Rays from a local store or enjoy watching movies online, there are plenty of ways to improve your viewing experience if you take a couple of things into consideration. In this article, we’re going to list 10 of the best ways to take your movie viewing experience to the next level.

1. Pick the right time to watch a film

Don’t just watch a film because you can. Instead, choose the optimal time to improve your viewing experience. For example, you might decide to watch a film on the weekend instead of a weekday so that you don’t feel rushed, or you might want to watch a film when you’ve come home from work and had a shower and eaten dinner so that you can fall asleep as soon as it’s finished. There are optimal times to watch a film and it’s up to you to decide when you most enjoy it. The key things to remember are to minimize distractions and pick a time when you feel most relaxed and comfortable.

2. Get your favourite snacks ready

Snacks can include virtually anything. You’ll want to prepare some snacks beforehand, such as going to the store on your way home on a movie night or ordering in some pizza so you can eat while you watch. Typical movie snacks like popcorn can be a great way to add a bit of cinema nostalgia to your experience, but you can also add healthier options like pieces of fruit, vegetable sticks and sandwiches.

3. Include some homemade food

It’s best to include a bit of homemade food whenever you gather snacks for a movie night. In fact, you could even mix dinner and your movie to make it a little more enjoyable. Dinner doesn’t need to be at a dining table with your family. There are other options such as eating finger food around a coffee table while you watch a film, or enjoying a social dinner such as fondue or Asian-style hot pot.

4. Decide if you want to enjoy it alone or invite others

You should also decide if you want to enjoy your at-home movie experience with friends and family or on your own. Some people enjoy watching movies on their own and actually prefer it because when they have friends or family around, they might be upset when they make a negative remark and they might be uncomfortable with movie choices. There’s nothing wrong with watching in private and enjoying a night in on your own!

5. Get comfortable for your movie

It’s important to make yourself comfortable enough to watch a film, but not comfortable enough to fall asleep. Many people make the mistake of watching a film in bed but because their body is used to sleeping in bed and the comfort envelopes them, they might end up falling asleep and missing most of the film. Consider comfortable seats like a reclining chair, luvsac bean bags or even just your regular sofa with a blanket and some pillows. If you’re not comfortable while watching, then you’re not going to have a good time!

6. Decide on a movie

One of the hardest things about watching a film at home is picking a movie! It’s smart to pick a movie during the day so that you’re not stuck flicking through Netflix or your movie collection. There’s nothing wrong with watching something you’ve watched before and a lot of people have preferred genres, actors or even directors that they enjoy watching. Everyone has their own tastes, so it’s important to choose something that you personally enjoy.

7. It doesn’t have to be a typical movie

A lot of people mistake movie night for just being about movies, but the reality is that you can watch pretty much anything as long as it’s fun and enjoyable for you. You could marathon two or three episodes of your favourite drama series, you could watch animated cartoons or you could even watch some documentaries. Whatever you enjoy, these tips will work for you and make your at-home secured bad credit personal loan viewing experience that much more enjoyable.

8. Try watching a movie while you do something else

A lot of people get bored watching films and it’s understandable if you’re not used to watching movies. To remedy this, you could try something like responding to emails while you watch, chatting to friends and family members on social media or even getting some light work done. Some people even find watching a movie more enjoyable while they’re working out, so there are countless possibilities that could apply to you. It’s understandable that some people find watching a movie to be a waste of time, even if it’s for their own enjoyment. As a result, they’ll want to do something else while watching a movie. If this makes watching a movie more enjoyable for you, then there’s nothing wrong with it and it’s perfectly acceptable.

9. Don’t make it a ritual

A lot of hardcore movie watchers will set specific dates and times to watch a film. Some people will even go as far as to get the same snacks, set up the same comforts and invite the same people. However, you shouldn’t force yourself to watch if you don’t feel like it on the day. You could always skip your movie night, pick a different night or even just do something else with the people you’ve invited around. Just don’t make it a ritual and force yourself into watching a film if you don’t feel like it.

10. Watch a movie for your own reasons

Lastly, try not to be swayed by people too much. Some people are very critical about the movies they watch and will end up telling you not to watch a film even though it’s with your favourite actors and genres. Some people might even try to force you to watch a film and pester you about it because they enjoy it, even though you really don’t want to. Make sure you watch a film for your own reasons and don’t feel like you should be forced to watch something you don’t want to. In addition, don’t listen to movie critics because your opinion is the only one that counts. Whether you enjoy or dislike a film is all your personal opinion, so don’t let anyone take that away from you!

Why Watch Movies Online

The days of going to a movie theater are over it seems. In most parts of the world, streaming has taken over as the main source of entertainment for media. Whether it’s sports, films or music, hundreds of millions of users are participating on a daily basis. It’s interesting to see the turnaround after generations of cinemas and production companies holding the cards.

For many, it’s also a nice change because it provides a level of flexibility nobody had before. Nowadays, anyone with an internet connection can turn their TV and watch a blockbuster.

These are the other reasons it’s better to watch stuff online than it is to leave your home.

Wifi Connections

When the revolution first happened, it didn’t take off right away. Why? It was down to the slow internet speeds. Streamers constantly had to suffer the buffer and that took away from the experience. Today, it’s an entirely different experience as wifi speeds are stronger and getting even more powerful. Even with a 4k HD television, it isn’t an issue with Suddenlink Communications. Plus, you can boost the signal and watch from anywhere in the house. Not only is it easier to stream movies, but it’s reliable too.

The Cost

Going to the cinema is expensive. Once you factor in the cost of the ticket and the popcorn and drinks, it can be over $30. So much for a cheap date night! Netflix and Amazon Prime are nowhere near as pricey. A subscription with these two is $7.99 and $9.99 per month respectively. And, there is a range of programs to choose from whether you’re a TV addict or a movie buff. For $120 a year on Prime, a streamer can enjoy a multitude of shows and films, whereas it would cost around $250 for the same service at a theater.

New Releases

In the past, the argument against using Netflix and Prime was that it was like owning DVDs. You weren’t watching new or current, just rehashing old shows and movies. The same can’t be said today as these giants are beginning to release originals titles that are only available on their platforms. As well as “Orange is the New Black” and “The Man in the High Castle,” both have released films. “The Outlaw King” is one of the latest which featured a great cast and received very good reviews. So as well as being cheap, streaming online is also original. Plus, it isn’t illegal.

Shareable

Once you watch something on Netflix, you can share it with the world on social media. Some people might not like this idea, but it’s hard to argue it isn’t popular with a vast majority of fans. Part of consuming media is forming an opinion and sharing it with others. There’s a social element to it. Although it is possible with a traditional film, it isn’t as straightforward and as hassle-free. With Netflix or Prime, users click a button, spread the word, and start a conversation.

In the 21st-century, this is an essential part of watching movies.

Venom (2018)

Venom is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and Tencent Pictures. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel, it stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom, alongside Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. In Venom, journalist Brock gains superpowers after being bound to an alien symbiote whose species plans to invade Earth.

The Life Foundation, headed by genius founder Carlton Drake, has a spaceship in space exploring the nearby systems. A probe from the spaceship discovers a comet covered in symbiotic lifeforms and they capture 4 samples. One escapes and causes the spaceship to crash in Malaysia when on it’s way back to earth. The Life Foundation recovers the other three and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where they discover that the symbiotes cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts, which often fatally reject the symbiosis. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock accidentally finds a confidential document about the start of human trials in the possession of his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney preparing a lawsuit defense for the Life Foundation.

He confronts Drake about this in an interview, which his boss meant to be more of a fluff piece, and this leads to him being thrown out of the office buildings, and losing his job and getting Anne fired. She bricks up because of this in anger and moves on. Eddie, struggles on his own and tried to make ends meet as the months pass by. Six months later, Drake’s symbiosis trials are closer to success, though one of his symbiotes dies due to carelessness. Brock is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists who disagrees with his methods and wants to expose him. She helps Brock break into the research facility to search for evidence, and he learns that an acquaintance of his, a homeless woman named Maria, is one of the test subjects.

Brock attempts to rescue Maria, but the symbiote possessing her transfers to his body without him realizing, leaving her dead. Brock escapes and soon begins displaying strange symptoms. He reaches out to Weying for help, and her new boyfriend, Dr. Dan Lewis, discovers the symbiote on examining Brock. Drake exposes Skirth to the remaining captive symbiote, which ultimately dies. This leaves the symbiote inside Brock as the only known surviving specimen. Brock fights off the goons as the symbiote forms  around his body as a monstrous creature that fights off the attackers. It introduces itself as Venom to Brock as and explains that the comet is searching for planets where the symbiotes can possess and devour the inhabitants. Venom offers to spare Brock if he helps the symbiotes achieve their goal, and Brock comes to enjoy the superhuman attributes that the symbiote imbues him with.

Brock breaks into his former employers’ office to turn in evidence against Drake but is corner by cops as he attempts to leave. Anne seems him transforming and takes him in to see her new boyfriend, Dr. Lewis, at the hospital. He explains that the symbiote is slowly rotting Brock’s internal organs. Brock notes that the symbiote has two weaknesses: high-pitched noises and fire. Although Venom claims that the organ damage can be prevented, Anne uses an MRI machine to help Brock separate from the symbiote. Brock is then captured by Drake’s men. Meanwhile, the fourth symbiote, Riot, makes its way from Malaysia to San Francisco by hopping from body to body. It bonds with Drake, who agrees to take Riot in a Life Foundation space probe to collect the rest of the symbiotes and bring them to Earth. Weying reluctantly bonds with Venom so they can free Brock.

Venom back with Brock again, goes to stop Drake/Riot as the symbiote is now convinced that earth has to be saved. Venom damages the probe as it takes off, causing it to explode and kill both Riot and Drake. Weying believes Brock is no longer bonded to Venom after this, and that Venom also died in the explosion. However, the pair remain secretly bonded and set out to protect San Francisco by killing criminals. Brock also returns to journalism, and in a mid-credits scene he is invited to interview incarcerated serial killer Cletus Kasady, who promises “carnage” when he escapes.

The storyline and pacing isn’t the best and it feels very chaotic. They spend too much time without the Venom character and it feels like they could have avoided that by cutting out uninteresting stuff. I wasn’t convinced by Hardy’s performance during the first half of the movie but when he bonds with Venom, it’s much better. Special effects are good, action sequences are generic. The film went on to be an unexpected box office success, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2018 with over $855 million worldwide – though why I don’t know. 7 outta 10!

Halloween (2018)

Halloween is a 2018 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green, Jeff Fradley, and Danny McBride. It is the eleventh installment in the Halloween film series, and a direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, thus retconning the continuity of the previous sequels. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprise their respective roles as Strode and Myers, with stuntman James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers. The film also stars Judy Greer, Andi payday loans online direct lender no credit check Matichak, Will Patton, and Virginia Gardner.

So if you forget all the sequels that we horror fans have watched and, even if the quality hasn’t been great, treasure (except for Resurrection). Let’s keep the Rob Zombie reboot films aside. Anyways, 40 years have passed after the events of the first film. true-crime podcasters Aaron Korey and Dana Haines travel to Warren County Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to visit Michael Myers. They briefly interview Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Ranbir Sartain, a former student of Dr. Samuel Loomis, before meeting with Michael in hopes of gaining some insight into his past actions before his transfer to a new facility. Aaron brandishes Michael’s mask at him, to no effect.

They then meet Lauri Strode, who lives in a cabin in a secluded property, divorced twice and having an estranged relationship with her daughter Karen, and her son-in-law Ray, and has hit the bottle many times. She has spent her life preparing for Michael’s return, with traps, a hidden basement and lots of guns and knives. The track transporting Michael inevitably crashes and he escapes, killing some prisoners and a father & son in a car who stop to check the crash. He ends up killing a mechanic for his coveralls, as well as Aaron and Dana, who stop at the mechanic’s. He then recovers his mask and heads to Haddonfield. Laurie attempts to warn Karen, and her husband Ray, of Michael’s getaway, but they dismiss her concerns. Karen’s daughter Allyson, who is at a Halloween party leaves after finding her boyfriend cheating on her.

Their mutual friend Oscar leaves her and tries to hit on Allyson and after she leaves, he runs into Michael who kills him. Allyson hears his screams and sees Michael and runs away. Michael also goes into the house of the family that Allyson’s best friend is babysitting for and kills her and her boyfriend. Deputy Frank Hawkins, who arrested Michael in 1978, and Laurie hear the incident over the radio and head toward the house, and find the bodies. Near the house they see Michael, who then flees. Laurie begs Ray & Karen to hide in her house, as Hawkins and Sartain, who was only injured in the crash by a shotgun shot, chase after Michael and pickup Allyson on the way. Hawkins hits Michael with his car but Sartain murders Hawkins before he can kill Michael.

Apparently Sartain arranged for the crash and Michael’s escape as he wants the killer to finish his mission and kill Laurie (for some absurd reason). The obsessed Sartain is instead killed by Michael, while Allyson flees. Michael kills two police officers and takes their car, arriving at Laurie’s house and killing Ray. Laurie gets Karen to the hidden basement and goes after Michael with her shotgun Laurie severely injures Michael and severs two of his fingers, but he pushes her over a balcony; when Michael goes to check Laurie’s body, he finds it missing. Allyson comes to the house and calls out to Karen who opens the hidden basement door and Karen tricks Michael to reveal himself so she can shoot him. Laurie then appears from behind him and attacks him.

The three women push and kick Michael into the basement and then trap him in and set the house on fire. They then escape and hail a passing truck and leave the burning house, assuming that Michael has not escaped. We do hear his breathing at the end of the credits scene, meaning he is still alive. And yes there is a sequel in the making.

Generally the film is considered to be the best sequel yet and with some suspense and gory kills. Curtis’ acting is awesome and I thought Judy Greer was top notch in it too. But it felt a little too contrived and too convenient in the coincidences that leads Michael to his victims. Still, I did enjoy it for the most part. 7 outta 10!

Grace The Possession

Starring Alexia Fast, Alexis Knapp, Joel David Moore & Lin Shaye, Grace The Possession is a 2014 horror film from the first person’s point of view. Directed by Jeff Chan & distributed by Sony Pictures the film is kinda unique in that way as we see things the way the possessed character Grace, played by Canadian actress Alexia Fast, sees with the use of a head worn camera. We only see the actress when she looks into a mirror and we see her reflection or when she looks down on her hands and the rest of her body.

As the movie starts we see the her birth and the perspective the camera takes is of a floating entity, which becomes obvious when the mother looks straight into the camera and declares, “There is no God!”. Years later the 18 year old Grace is off to colleague much to the chagrin of her grandmother who does not want her to fall into sin. The demon enters Grace around this time I guess and Grace is trying to enjoy college life along with the drinking and partying that comes with it. She also has sexual interest for the first time in her life in the form of a boy she meets at the campus. Drinking makes her feel even sicker and she hallucinates that she kills her roommate by pushing her off the balcony and other scary visions.

Her grandmother brings her out of college and makes her go to see their priest, father John, and tries to control Grace’s life. Then there’s movement in Grace’s mother’s room, which her grandmother keeps her away from. Later Grace discovers, through a vision, that her mother was raped by the priest and she herself is the child born outta that. Towards the end the demon takes over and kills the grandmother and then goes to the church. The priest and a younger priest Luke, who Grace has had visions of sex before, invite an older priest & exorcist but the demon evades their attempts and kills the two older priests. Luke approaches the demon and fights it but in the end he asks the demon to possess him instead and let Grace go.

The demon agrees and possess Luke – and now we see things from his POV – and he asks Grace to leave. As the movie ends, we see Luke, now a full priest, presiding over mass in front of a full church. I dunno what that is supposed to mean and wish we had more. It’s a good enough approach to a movie and even though I liked the concept, the movie pales in comparison to many I have seen before. A lesser budget and a new director might be the reason but I do appreciate the effort. Still, 5.5 outta 10!

The Spy Who Dumped Me

The Spy Who Dumped Me is a 2018 American action comedy film directed by Susanna Fogel and co-written by Fogel and David Iserson. The film stars Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj and Gillian Anderson and follows two best friends who are chased through Europe by assassins after one of their ex-boyfriends turns out to be a CIA agent.

So that’s the whole premise – cashier Audrey Stockton has been dumped by her boyfriend Drew via text. It’s her birthday and her best friend and roommate, Morgan, tries to cheer her up. However it turns out that Drew is a spy and he calls her and tells her that he dumped her. He asks her not to burn his stuff. At her work, a man she flirted with, Sebastian, and a colleague force her into a van and he proceeds to tell her he is Sebastian Henshaw and that Drew works for the C.I.A. and has gone missing. A man Morgan  slept with turns out to be a rival spy and he and others are out to be after the secret usb drive Drew left hidden in a trophy. Drew turns up and is then murdered.

Audrey & Morgan then go on a manic travel adventure through Europe where they get shot at and have few people that they can trust. Everyone seems to be after the data in the drive, even an old friend of Morgan’s father is killed and a killer pretends to be the friend just to get the drive and including a fashion model/androgynous model cum gymnast. Sebastian happens to be the only one on the girls’s side and helps then at every turn, even going against orders. After they recover the data – which Audrey hid in her vagina ffs! – it turns out that the data is a lot of information which can be used for blackmail governments. Drew turns up alive and in a predictable twist is actually a bad guy and is finally bested by Audrey and Morgan. Sebastian & Audrey kiss and a year later Morgan & Audrey now work as spies and are on a case in Japan with Sebastian.

Predictable, corny, ridiculous, totally contrived story and plotlines. I could predict a lot of things from a mile away and it feels like the jokes are just crude and stupid for the most part. I wonder what the whole point was. 6 outta 10!

Five Favorite Family Night Movies

What are your five favorite movies for a family movie night?

What family night? I am not married and no kids and no girlfriend(s) so it’s usually just cheapest secured loans me choosing the movie to watch. In this apartment it’s my dad, mom and me but it’s almost like it’s them and me sharing the apartment rather than us living together as the only things we do together is eat lunch or dinner together. I don’t watch their Malayalam tv shows and the rare movies that they watch.

And they don’t sit and watch movies with me. Anyways, I watch my movies & tv shows in my bedroom. So here is what I would pick as family movies, if I had a wife & kids:

  • Home Alone
  • Gremlins
  • Ghostbusters
  • The Goonies
  • Jurassic Park

The Predator

The Predator is a 2018 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Fred Dekker. It is the fourth installment in the Predator film series, following Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), and Predators (2010). Black had a supporting role in the original film, while John Davis returns as producer from the first three installments. The film stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown.

A battle in space ends up with a Predator creating a wormhole in space to evade the other ship, pilotted by a larger one (the Ultimate Predator). He reaches earth and crash lands in the woods of Mexico. Army Ranger sniper Quinn McKenna and his team are attacked by the Predator on a hostage retrieval mission. McKenna incapacitates the Predator and has its armor mailed off. Government agent Will Trager has Quinn captured and brought back to be interrogated. Traeger also takes the Predator to a lab for experimentation and observation, recruiting evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket to study it. We learn that the Predator has some human DNA, meaning at one point the alien species experiment with our DNA to enhance theirs. The Predator awakes, breaks out of its bonds, kills lab workers, but spares Case before leaving, as was then unarmed and naked (to use the decontamination chamber).

Meanwhile, the packages with the Preadtor armous that Quinn sent to a PO Box address ends up in his home address where his estranged wife Emily and their autistic but extremey clever son Rory live. Rory opens the box and works on the devices which leads the Ultimate to earth. McKenna is bussed off with a group of other government captives, including ex-Marine Gaylord “Nebraska” Williams, military veterans Coyle and Baxley, helicopter pilot Nettles, and Lynch, another ex-Marine. They see the alien escaping and take over the bus and attack the Predator and rescue Casey. When the Predator leaves, they head over to McKenna’s estranged wife, Emily, where he expects to find the Predator armor he mailed off. Rory has taken the helmet as a trick of treat mask but inadvertently leads the Predators to him.

McKenna and the others find his son just in time to stop a pair of Predator Dogs from ambushing the boy. The Predator chases them into a nearby school. They start to give the Predator’s armor back when the larger Ultimate Predator arrives and kills the first. They flee, and the second Predator sets out to retrieve the lost technology. Bracket concludes that the Predators are attempting to improve themselves with the DNA of humans and, presumably, other planets’ inhabitants. The team flees to an abandoned barn, but Traeger finds them, captures them, and shares his theory that the Predators anticipate that climate change will end their ability to retrieve human DNA for further hybridization, so they are scrambling to retrieve it before it is too late. Seeing Rory drawing a map to the spaceship, Traeger takes the boy away to go to the ship. The team escapes and goes after him with the help of a brain-damaged Predator Dog.

The Ultimate kills Lynch and tells the group using a translator that he plans to give them a head start  before it hunts them down. The Predator quickly kills off most of the team. Traeger tries to use a Predator weapon on the alien but accidentally kills himself in the process. He then takes Rory into his ship as his autism eflects an advancement in human evolution and is therefore worthwhile in the Predator hybridization, and flies away in his ship. McKenna, Nebraska, and Nettles land on the ship’s exterior, but the Predator activates a force field. This slices Nettles’ legs off, and he falls off of the ship to his death. Nebraska sacrifices himself and slides into the ship’s turbine, causing it to crash. McKenna sneaks into the ship as it crashes and attacks the Predator.

After the crash, Bracket arrives, and the three manage to overpower and finish the Predator with its own weapons. They pay their respects to their fallen comrades with trinkets representing each one before heading off. The end scene has McKenna and Rory are seen in a science lab watching the opening of cargo found on the Predator’s ship. A large gauntlet is found and attaches itself to a scientist nearby, transforming into a full body metal armour or Predator Killer suit before disarming upon not finding any Predators in the area. We assume this leads to a sequel or two when this armour will be put to use.

This movie is a mess. A violent, gory, cluttered mess. It’s bad. Really bad. The dialogues are cringe-worthy. The acting – Olivia Munn is someone I like a lot but just watch her explaining about what the Predator is doing to enhance themselves using DNA from other creatures like humans and – it’s awful! It was almost like she knew it was terrible and hence hams it up! Her facial expressions were comical. The other characters were bad too – I was rooting for the giant Predator the whole time. 5.5 outta 10!

The Search For Spock’s Horses

So I had posted in October that I was planning my 2018 Star Trek movies rewatching. This is something I do every 2 years and usually towards the end of the year, November-December. I have watched the first 3 films and I was reminded of something.

As a kid I only remember the Star Trek Motion Picture but I don’t remember watching the full movie. I am talking about when I was 7-9 years old, (1983-85) though the movie came out in 1979. But that’s when I remember my extended family watching and talking about that film and how excited they were then an Indian actress, Persis Khambatta, had a major role in it. The only other Trek movie I remember watching before I became a Trekkie at the age of 19 in 1995 was Star Trek III : The Search For Spock.

Back in the late 80s & 1990s we had memberships in a few VHS video lending library. And at one small one in Palarivattom, I remember picking up the Search for Spock as I was curious about the franchise. I must have been 13 or 14 at the time and didn’t know much about Star Trek. For some reason, I remember this movie having the Klingons riding on horses. I dunno why but that’s what I remember even though it’s not in the film. Although when I later watched the movie many years later, I did not remember the story but I was trying to look out for the horses.

This time too on Sunday, when I was rewatching the movie for the 10th time, I was looking out for the horses. No horses anywhere!

Ranking The Star Wars Movies, Redoux

Back in April I did my first ranking of the 11 Star Wars movies (including the Ewok ones) at the time. After watching the Solo : A Star Wars Story film a few weeks ago (Or like I call it, When Hanny Met Chewy) I just had to redo the ranking. And…I also have a change having watched The Force Awakens for the second time, I loan low income put it above Rogue One. I guess my ranking can change over the years but that’s what fun about doing lists. So here is my new ranking of the Star Wars films.

  • IV – A New Hope (1977)
  • III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Rogue One : A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
  • I – low interest unsecured loan The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
  • Solo : A Star Wars Story
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)