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Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Gary Dauberman. It is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle and the fourth installment in The Conjuring series. The film stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto, and depicts the possessed Annabelle doll’s origin.

We get to see the origin of Annabelle (why do they have to do prequels? Why not tell the story properly). Porcelain doll maker Samuel Mullins & his wife Esther lose their daughter Beee (Annabell) to a car accident back in the 1943. Later what they think is their daughter’s spirit contacts them and the mourning couple are happy to transfer its essence into one of Samuel’s crafted porcelain dolls. Even though they only get glipses of their daughter from time to time it seems to be enough for the couple until they realize that it is infact a demon that has possessed the doll and it gouges out one eye and part of Esther’s cheek. The Mullins have the doll locked in a closet in a room and have priests paste pages from the bible on the door and the wall in order to prevent the demon from escaping.

12 years pass and the stupid couple then allow Sister Charlotte and six girls left homeless by the closing of their orphanage into their home offering them a temporary residence. Samuel forbids the girls to enter the locked bedroom which was Bee’s but that night Janice, who was crippled by polio, enters the room which she finds is mysteriously open. She finds a key for Bee’s closet and unlocks it, unwittingly releasing the demon, who begins to terrorize the girls, displaying a special interest in Janice. A night later Janice is picked up and thrown down to the ground floor, injuring her more. The next day while taken out on her wheelchair by Charlotte and left alone for just a minute she is dragged to a shed by the demon where in Bee’s form the demon possess her. Janice’s screams are heard by the others but she tells them she got frightened because she couldn’t open the door.

Only her best friend Linda notices the change in Janice. She admits to Samuel that Janice had snuck into Bee’s room and found the doll two nights earlier. Charlotte talks to Esther who tells them about the demon and the doll and that night the demon viciously kills the Mullins before turning it’s attention to the girls. The girls are chased to the shed and back and a possessed Janice pursues Linda. Eventually Charlotte, who was attacked earlier, is able to lock Janice in the same closet along with the doll. The cops are called but they find only the doll there as Janice through a hole in the closet wall and relocates to an orphanage in Santa Monica. She now goes by the name “Annabelle” and is adopted by the Higgins family. We then see “Annabelle” grow up and kill her parents  her adoptive parents in their bedroom, which catches the attention of their next door neighbors, the Forms, setting off the events of the first Annabelle film.

I must say that the casting is top notch with a serious Anthony LaPaglia almost unrecognizable from his earlier comedic roles and the girls did fantastic jobs. The movie though was a bit boring, even during the chase scenes and I was napping. You only get to see the monster in small glimpses. It’s better than the original but I was more excited for the pizza dinner I was going to afterwards. I would give it a 7 outta 10!

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Alien Movie Franchise – Best To Worst

Having watched Alien : Covenant for the second time a few days ago, I can now rate all the 6 films in the franchise including Alien vs Predator films which I know are not in the franchise per say but are crossover movies without the large scale backing. Still they do have the alien creatures in them and hence I add them to this list. To date I have watched all of these films atleast twice and some way more than that. So here we go; this is how I would rate them.

  1. Aliens
  2. Alien
  3. Alien : Covenant
  4. Prometheus
  5. Alien 4 : Resurrection
  6. Alien 3
  7. Aliens vs Predator : Requiem
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CHiPs

CHiPs is a 2017 American action comedy buddy cop film written and directed by Dax Shepard,[4] based on the 1977–1983 television series of the same name created by Rick Rosner. The film stars Shepard as Officer Jon Baker and Michael Peña as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, with Rosa Salazar, Adam Brody and Vincent D’Onofrio in supporting roles.

This film is an attempt to bring back the fun of the late 70s to early 80s cop show CHiPs which started Eric Estrada & Larry Wilcox. Now you take away the light hearted, action, crime and drama with family viewers in mind and you bring in physical humour, low brow gags, crude jokes and nudity for the sake of nudity. Hey, if done well that stuff can work but it is just done wrong here. Still I thought the action sequences, bike and car chases and such were done well.

Tough guy FBI agent Castillo sent on an undercover job as a highway patrol officer in LA is partnered with a rookie cop, Jon Baker, who is the oldest rookie cop trying to make it as a cop and win back his wife who has lost interest in him after his glory days as a former freestyle motocross racer beginning a new career after his body has been left damaged by his sport. He is on a regimen of pain killers and is living in the guest house, after he and his wife separated when he lost his sponsors. Castillo’s undercover name is  Frank “Ponch” Poncherello and he too is underfire for having shot his partner while apprehending a criminal. Despite his goofyness and being a rookie, Jon has astute observational skills and impresses his partner in a few days.  The corrupt officers are seen being led by Lt. Ray Kurtz, who is stealing the money from armored cars to get his heroin-addicted son out of Los Angeles. Ponch argues with his new partner over whether Baker’s wife is unfaithful, while Baker gives Ponch unsolicited advice on what he perceives to be a sex addiction. Ponch is fired from the FBI when he ruins the investigation of another agent in which a suspect is killed.

However, he is sworn into the CHP when he and Baker identify the dead suspect as Ray Kurtz’ son. Kurtz sets a trap for them by kidnapping Baker’s wife. Baker knows it is a trap but persuades Ponch to go anyway, despite the fact that his wife has just sold their home without his approval. After successfully rounding up the gang of corrupt officers and killing Kurtz, Ponch decides to remain in the CHP.

The movie tanked at the box office and was panned by critics. I found a couple of scenes funny and the bike chases good. A 6 outta 10!

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Would You Pay Extra for a 3-D Movie?

Would You Pay Extra for a 3-D Movie?

I hate the 3-D experience. Especially in the theatres I go to here. OK, Cinepolis is not that bad but man the 3-D in Lulu PVR sure does suck.

I suppose that the fact that I have to wear that clunky 3-D glasses on top of my own glasses is a pain in the wrong areas. And they keep sliding off. Once again, I must mention that the glasses as well as the screen in Cinepolis is a lot better and offers a more pleasant viewing experience than the one in PVR. PVR screens look darker in comparison and when it is 3-D I don’t even enjoy the film that much.

I get it when a film is made for 3-D effects in a theatre but sometimes the theatres here just add 3-D for no reason. It’s not worth it. I have to chose the 3-D option when they don’t have the same movie in regular 2D so when I get a choice then I will pick 2-D all the time.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

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Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 British spy action-comedy film directed by Matthew Vaughn, and based on the comic book The Secret Service, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. The screenplay was written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. It follows the recruitment and training of a potential secret agent, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), into a secret spy organisation. Eggsy joins a mission to tackle a global threat from Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a wealthy megalomaniac. The film also stars Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Michael Caine.

Kingsman is a secret service that is so secret that most people don’t even know about it. Harry Hart, code-named “Galahad”, delivers the news about the death of probationary secret agent Lee Unwin, who gave his life to save his team including Hart, to Unwins’s wife Michelle. He also gives Lee’s young son, Gary “Eggsy”, saying that if they ever need help, they should call the phone number (which is the date of Lee’s death) on the back of the medal. Seventeen years later, Professor James Arnold is kidnapped by Internet billionaire and philanthropist Richmond Valentine. One of Hart’s fellow agents, “Lancelot”, attempts a rescue single-handed, but is killed by Gazelle, Valentine’s henchwoman, who wears prosthetic legs that are sharpened to an edge. Gazelle releases Arnold, who then meets with Valentine.

Eggsy is now an unemployed young adult living with his mother, infant half-sister, and abusive stepfather, Dean. Despite being highly intelligent and capable, he left training for the Royal Marines and lives the aimless life of a stereotypical chav.Eggsy is trouble with the law having stolen the car of his mother’s lover’s son who bullies him and his friends. On calling the number given to him by Hart, he is released from the police station and is met up by Hart, who has been keeping tabs on the young man.  With Lancelot’s death, the agency has a vacancy. Eggsy agrees to be Hart’s candidate. Eggsy tries out with a few other candidates, all chosen by the members of kingsman and in a series of tests is one of two selected to the final. He loses out on the role as he refuses to shoot the pug he was given to take care off, unaware that the bullets were blanks and a woman named Roxy, whom he had befriended, wins the trials to become the new Galahad.

During this time, Merlin notes that Arnold is no longer missing. Hart tries to extract information from the professor, but a chip implanted in Arnold’s head explodes, killing him. Hart is injured escaping from unknown assailants. Meanwhile, Valentine secretly meets with various powerful individuals, some of whom go missing afterwards. He also announces a giveaway of SIM cards, which grant unlimited free cellular and Internet service. With all roads leading to Valentine, Hart poses as a billionaire interested in investing Valentine’s ventures but he is not fooling the villain. Hart tracks Valentine to an obscure hate group’s church in Kentucky. Valentine uses his SIM cards to broadcast a tone that causes everyone in the church to become uncontrollably violent. A brawl to the death erupts, during which Hart massacres most of the people in the church, leaving him as the only survivor. As Eggsy, Merlin – the trainer – and Chester King — Kingsman’s leader, code-named “Arthur” — watch via the video link, Valentine shoots Hart in the head.

Eggsy meets Arthur and notices that Arthur has a scar behind his ear, just like Valentine’s other converts. Arthur pours Eggsy brandy containing a radio-triggered poison, but Eggsy distracts Arthur and switches the glasses before they drink. Arthur explains Valentine’s views: humanity is akin to a virus, and global warming is the Earth’s equivalent of a fever. Valentine intends to broadcast his “neurological wave” worldwide to cause a massive culling of the human race to rescue it from extinction. Only those whom Valentine deems worthy of living — his allies, who have protective microchips implanted in their heads, and the VIPs he kidnapped — will be spared. Eggsy refuses to join Arthur, who activates the poison he has unwittingly consumed, killing himself. Merlin gets Roxy and recruits Eggsy to infiltrate Valentine’s lair. As Roxy goes after Valentine’s satellite Eggsy and Merlin infiltrate Valentine’s mountain bunker complex in northern Siberia.

Eggsy is recognised and engages in a running shootout with Valentine’s henchmen. Eventually, both he and Merlin are cornered separately, but at Eggsy’s suggestion, Merlin hacks into Valentine’s system and triggers the implants’ failsafe. Valentine’s henchmen and all his converts’ heads explode into fireworks, leaving only Valentine and Gazelle. Eggsy kills Gazelle after a fierce and intense fight, and then spears Valentine with the sharpened tip of Gazelle’s prosthetic leg. A dying Valentine falls to the ground floor, removing his palm print from the activation pad, terminating the signal. In a mid-credits scene, Eggsy, now a Kingsman agent, offers his mother and half-sister a new home away from Dean, who flatly objects to Eggsy’s suggestion. Eggsy then dispatches him in exactly the same manner that Hart dealt with one of Dean’s henchmen earlier.

So a secret agent film that does not take itself seriously and mixes humour with fast paced action scenes and fights. It’s like a parody of James Bond and the secret agents stuff and it’s fun and silly. I would give it a 7.5 outta 10! Had it been a Hollywood film it wouldn’t have worked as well.

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Rings

Rings is a 2017 American supernatural psychological horror film directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez, written by David Loucka, Jacob Aaron Estes and Akiva Goldsman and starring Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden and Bonnie Morgan. It is the third film in The Ring series. The film takes place thirteen years after the events of the 2002 film.

We start of the movie with a passenger, Carter, on a plane who tells a young woman named Faith hat he has watched Samara Morgan’s cursed videotape. Faith tells another passenger Kelly, who reveals she has seen the tape too. She asks Carter if he made a copy and after learning he hasn’t, the airplane begins to malfunction as Samara comes for Carter and eventually causes the plane to crash. Two years later Holt is off to college and says bye to his girlfriend Julia who later gets upset when he stops contacting her.  She is inspired to find him when a panicked girl, Skye, contacts her, asking for Holt’s whereabouts. Julia meets Gabriel and finds a group of people known as “The Sevens”, who are involved in an experiment involving the cursed video, watching and filming themselves, before passing the task to another person, called a “tail”.

Julia recognizes Skye, who takes her to her apartment to have her watch the video, but Holt warns her not to. Julia locks herself in the bathroom as Samara kills Syke, her tail having been late. Holt reveals that he has watched the tape as well and has twelve hours left. Unwilling to let Holt die, Julia watches his copy and when she picks up the phone, she experiences a vision of a door. The phone burns a mark on her hand. Gabriel notices Julia’s copy of the video cannot be copied and is larger than usual. He discovers extra images within the tape and Julia watches the new footage, which features a mysterious woman: she realizes they must cremate Samara’s physical remains. Gabriel sends them to the town Sacrament Valley, where Samara was given a proper burial after the residents of Moesko Island refused to accept the remains. He realizes the mark on Julia’s hand is Braille, translates it, and goes to warn them. Julia and Holt find an unmarked tomb, but when they break in, they find it empty. They are caught and taken to a blind man named Burke, who claims Samara’s body was entombed by the local priest but a flood came, leading the priest to bury her in a potter’s field outside town.

Heading for the field, Julia and Holt are stopped due to a car crash and learn Gabriel was involved. He tries to warn Julia of his discovery but is fatally electrocuted by a falling utility pole. After experiencing a vision of Samara’s birth mother, Evelyn, Julia and Holt return to town. Julia goes to the church and discovers a hidden chamber beneath the bell tower, finding evidence that Evelyn was imprisoned there whilst pregnant, held in captivity by the priest after being raped before she escaped eight months into the pregnancy. Julia visits Burke and explains her findings. He attacks her, revealing he was not only the priest but Samara’s biological father, and had blinded himself to escape the reach of his daughter’s powers. Julia pushes him down the stairs, temporarily incapacitating him. Holt rushes to Burke’s house, where he is knocked unconscious. Julia is drawn to a room in the house where she discovers Samara’s skeleton behind a wall. Burke appears and tries to choke her to death to prevent her from cremating her remains, which he claims would unleash an unspeakable evil upon the world.

He also reveals that Julia was the twelfth person to have attempted to cremate her remains; the previous ones have been killed by Burke. Suddenly, a swarm of cicadas fly in, summoning Samara through Julia’s phone. Samara removes Burke’s blindness and promptly kills him. Holt recovers and rushes to Julia’s aid. That night, he and Julia cremate Samara’s corpse, in an attempt to appease her spirit for once and for all, and return home. While Julia is in the shower, Holt notices a voicemail from Gabriel, who warns him of the Braille. Holt translates it, discovering it means “rebirth”. In the bathroom, Julia peels away the skin where the mark was, revealing gray skin underneath. She begins to cough up black hair, from which a cicada is born. Meanwhile, Julia’s copy of the cursed video is sent to everyone on her contact list, which becomes viral, despite Holt’s futile attempts to disconnect the computer. Samara is successfully reborn as Julia sees Samara’s face in the mirror instead of her own.

It’s not very original and not very scary. It’s more of the same and though the cast is good, but the plot is muddled and this whole trying to explain too much of the mythology makes it a bit of boring mixed with some “huh?”. It’s an ok attempt to expand the story. I give it a 6.5 outta 10!

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Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a 2017 French science fiction action-adventure film written and directed by Luc Besson and co-produced by Besson and his wife, Virginie Besson-Silla. The film is based on the French science fiction comics series Valérian and Laureline, written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. It stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline, with Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, and Rutger Hauer in supporting roles. Besson independently crowd-sourced and personally funded Valerian and, with a production budget between $177–209 million, it is both the most expensive European and independent film ever made.

Mankind’s progress in space exploration is shown where they form a large space station called Alpha and gradually they meet representatives of various space faring alien races throughout the years and centuries, forming alliances. By the 28th century, Alpha has grown in size to accommodate millions of creatures from all these races, working in several various habitats. Valerian and his partner Laureline are special agents of the human police forces. The story is about how these two are sent on a mission to retrieve a rare object that belongs to a race of peaceful aliens in order to cover up an earthling military act that wiped out almost all of that alien race and their planet 30 years ago. Valerian was chosen by an alien princess just as she died to receive some of her memories, as she sent them out through space & time in a burst of energy.

What we get in this movie is a visual feast with weird and wonderful looking alien, a beautiful alien planet and beach, some wonderful gadgets and tech and a fun, fast paced ride. Stunning backgrounds of these alien worlds, the latest in visual effects and green screen and computer wizardry all combine with a rollercoaster ride of epic space opera proportions that puts to shame other such attempts. With jellyfish that eat memories, aquatic monsters the size of cathedrals, bazaar so bizarre its exists simultaneously in different dimensions, a creature named Bubble that can enter you and take other forms at will, to awesome spacecrafts, the peaceful alien race using pearls, that generate large amounts of energy, from their beautiful oceans to use for their needs and feed to a native cute animal that eats a pearl and spontaneously poops out replicas in the hundreds – what an imaginative world this is!

Sadly, I knew it would not be a success as the films lacks character, chemistry and story. The charisma is lacking from the leads and character development isn’t really there. A small cameo from an actor of the status of Rutger Hauer didn’t help, as didn’t the roguish brief appearance from Ethan Hawke in a totally non-Ethan Hawke role. Why do directors want rappers and pop singers to be actors? Ugh, Rhianna is terrible and I was glad that she was mostly in her character’s actual form – a squid-octopus-watery creature! One ridiculous jelly fish incident and the largest hat in the galaxy moment also was detrimental to the film. Luc Besson doesn’t want serious scifi and while his The Fifth Element worked awesomely well it didn’t with Lucy or Valerian (even if Lucy did become a box office hit, it was critically panned)

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The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy film loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name written and illustrated by Marla Frazee and produced by DreamWorks Animation. It was directed by Tom McGrath and written by Michael McCullers, and stars the voices of Alec Baldwin as the title character, Miles Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Tobey Maguire.

So apparently I did not know where babies come from. Babies come from some kind of heavenly abode which has a sort of factory kind of thing where babies are separated as either to go to a family or to go to management. Our main character, Theodore Lindsey Templeton (a.k.a The Boss Baby) is one such baby. After he has been powdered on his bum, given baby booties, a pacifier and diapers the machine judges him to be management material and not suited for a family as he does not giggle joyfully when tickled. He is later sent to a family, the Templetons, and pretends to be a baby. The older son Tim is surprised when an infant wearing a business suit shows up in a taxi at his house, and Ted and Janice call him Tim’s little brother. Tim is envious of the attention the baby receives, not to mention suspicious when the infant acts odd around him.

Tim soon finds out that Ted can talk so he introduces himself as “The Boss”. Seeing an opportunity to be rid of him, Tim decides to record a conversation between the Boss Baby and other toddlers who are at Tim’s house for a meeting (under the guise of a play date by the parents) to do something about how puppies are receiving more love than babies. The Boss Baby and the other infants catch Tim with the recording, and the tape is terminated after the Boss Baby threatens to tear up Tim’s favorite stuffed animal. With no evidence to support him, Tim is grounded by his parents for his actions. Ted calls a truce with Tim when he sees him sad and crying and transports him to Baby Corp, a place where infants with adult-like minds work to preserve infant love everywhere. The Boss Baby explains that he was sent to see why puppies are getting more love than infants. He has infiltrated Tim’s residence because his parents work for Puppy Co., which is unleashing a new puppy on the day that employees take their children to work.

The Boss Baby stays intelligent by drinking a “Secret Baby Formula” that enables a baby to act like an adult. However, if a baby does not drink it after a period of time, he or she becomes a regular baby. When they overhear Boss Baby’s boss threaten to fire him for not bringing in information, thereby stranding him at the Templetons, he and Tim agree to work together to keep that from happening. Tim’s parents take them to Puppy Co. for “take your child to work day”. While there, they slip away and find what they think is the plans for a “Forever Puppy”, but it turns out to be a trap set by founder Francis E. Francis. They discover that Francis used to be the head of Baby Corp. and Boss Baby’s idol but was forced out when it was discovered that his lactose intolerance kept the secret formula from working properly. Vowing revenge, Francis founded Puppy Corp. and intends to have the Forever Puppies overshadow babies by stealing Boss Baby’s serum bottle and infecting the puppies with it. Tim’s parents go with Francis to Las Vegas, and Francis has his brother Eugene pose as Tim and Boss Baby’s babysitter to keep them from interfering.

Without a steady flow of formula to keep his intelligence in check, Boss Baby starts becoming a normal baby. Despite this, he and Tim evade the “babysitter” long enough to get to the airport but are too late to intercept Tim’s parents. After sneaking on a plane for Elvis impersonators bound for Vegas, they stall Francis’ presentation when Eugene unwittingly gives away their plan.

Furious at their interference, Francis locks Tim’s parents up so he can burn them with exhaust from a rocket used to launch the Forever Puppies. Tim and Boss Baby push him off of a ledge, making Francis tumble into the formula. Boss Baby opens the rocket to let the dogs out so they can save Tim’s parents. He returns to baby state while on the rocket, but Tim sings to him with the family song to show his appreciation, causing him to jump off the rocket before it launches. Boss Baby gets promoted and leaves. Tim goes back to being an only child, but Tim and Boss Baby miss each other. Boss Baby returns to the Templeton family as a regular baby named Theodore Lindsey. Back in the present, Tim, who finished the story, is now an adult and the father of an infant daughter who acts like Theodore did when he was Boss Baby.

I found it hilarious, neat, cool, adorable and sweet! I enjoyed it a lot and I almost want to be a baby again! Yeah! 8.5 outta 10!

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War For The Planet Of The Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is a 2017 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback and Reeves. A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it is the third low interest unsecured loan installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot series. The film stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, and follows the confrontation between the apes, led by Caesar, and the humans for control of Earth.

Set 15 years after the events of the first movie, the remaining human soldiers are at war with the apes led by Caesar. A military faction known as Alpha-Omega. AO also has in its service apes who followed Koba, a bonobo who previously led a failed coup against Caesar. Some of the AO militants, including the gorilla Red, are captured and reveal that Alpha-Omega follows the leadership of a ruthless Colonel. Caesar releases the prisoners as a peace offering to the humans, but makes plans to relocate the clan across the desert, not wanting to suffer any more ape casualties. The night before their journey, Alpha-Omega infiltrates the apes’ base and the Colonel kills Caesar’s wife, Cornelia, and their elder son, Blue Eyes. A distraught Caesar leaves his younger son Cornelius in the care of Lake, a chimp who was Blue Eyes’ lover, and makes the rest of the apes leave for the desert.

Maurice the orangutan, Luca the gorilla and Rocket the chimpanzee accompany him against his orders and they come across a human who draws his gun against them and Caesar is forced to shoot him dead. They find his mute young daughter in the cabin and Maurice forces Caesar to bring the girl along with them.  Caesar’s party confronts traitorous albino gorilla Winter in an Alpha-Omega camp and learn that the Colonel has departed for a location called the “border”. Caesar inadvertently kills Winter, which causes him to worry that he is becoming like Koba. They also discover some human soldiers who cannot speak just like the girl.  Later the group meets Bad Ape, a chimpanzee hermit who lived in the Sierra Zoo before the Simian Flu pandemic. Bad Ape directs them to the border, a former weapons depot that was turned into a quarantine facility when the virus first began to spread.

At the border facility Luca is killed trying to protect Caesar from a patrol and the chimp decides to move alone. he is captured by Red after witnessing the rest of his ape clan being forced to build a wall with no food or water. The Colonel reveals to Caesar that the Simian Flu virus has mutated and now causes humans who survived the original strain to become mute and regress back to a primitive state, and that he is barricading himself in the facility to fend off rival military forces coming to defeat him because he favors killing any infected humans – including his own son – to stop the spread of the virus. While Caesar is tortured with starvation, the mute girl, whom Maurice names Nova, sneaks into the facility to give him food and water. To prevent her from being discovered, Rocket allows himself to be captured as a diversion. Together, Caesar and Rocket are able to work out a means of escape via an underground tunnel that leads out of the facility.

Maurice and Bad Ape use the tunnel to rescue the apes, and Caesar orders the others to escape while he goes to confront the Colonel. As the facility comes under attack by the rival military forces, Caesar reaches the Colonel, but realizes that he has been infected by the mutated virus. Caesar ultimately spares the Colonel, who takes his own life rather than exist as an infected primitive. During the battle between Alpha-Omega and the rival militants, the escaping apes come under fire from Alpha-Omega. Caesar attempts to attack Alpha-Omega from behind, but is shot by Preacher, one of the AO militants he had previously set free. Red saves Caesar’s life at the cost of his own, and Caesar blows up the facility’s fuel supplies, causing a cascading explosion which wipes out Alpha-Omega and allows the rival militants to triumph. However, the human forces are subsequently buried by an avalanche, which Caesar and the other apes (carrying Nova) survive by climbing nearby trees.

The apes make their way to the desert and just beyond that they find an oasis like paradise where they can make their new home. While the other apes joyously celebrate their new home, Maurice discovers Caesar’s wound, and assures Caesar that he will be remembered as Caesar quietly dies. Fitting end to a great franchise character. Just wonderfully shot and acted. This is the best of the three reboot movies and everything was done really well. 8.5 outta 10!

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RIP John Heard

Actor, John Heard, best known for his role as Peter McCallister in Home Alone, has died at the age of 72. TMZ reports the beloved star of several mega ‘80s and ‘90s films died on Friday in a Palo Alto, California hotel. The news agency reports via family sources that Heard was “found dead in a hotel by the maid service.” While authorities were called to the scene for a medical emergency, he was pronounced dead on the scene.

He was probably best known for his lead roles in several films, including Chilly Scenes of Winter, Heart Beat, Cutter’s Way, Cat People, and C.H.U.D., as well as supporting roles in After Hours, Big, Beaches, Awakenings, Rambling Rose, The Pelican Brief, My Fellow Americans, Snake Eyes, and Animal Factory. He also played Peter McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, as well as appearing in Sharknado. Heard was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1999 for guest starring on The Sopranos. and he also had a guest role on Battlestar Galactica as Commander Barry Garner.

Heard married actress Margot Kidder in 1979. He has a son, John Matthew “Jack” Heard, with ex-girlfriend Melissa Leo. He has two other former wives, Sharon Heard and Lana Pritchard. Sharon and Heard have two children together, son Max and a daughter named Annika.

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RIP George R. Romero

American-Canadian filmmaker, writer and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, which is often considered a progenitor of the fictional zombie of modern culture. Other notable films in the series include Dawn of the Dead (1978 ) and Day of the Dead (1985). Aside from the Dead series, his works include The Crazies (1973), Martin(1978 ), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988 ) and The Dark Half (1993).

Romero is often noted as an influential pioneer of the horror film genre, and has been called an “icon” and the “Father of the Zombie Film.” His zombie films were remade in the 2000s starting with Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Day of the Dead & a cheapest secured loans 6th zombie movie in Survival Of The Dead in 2009. Romero died Sunday in his sleep after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a family statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. He was 77. Romero died while listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s “The Quiet Man,” with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.

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Interrogation (2016)

Interrogation is a 2016 American action film directed by Stephen Reynolds from a screenplay by Adam Rodin and Michael Finch. The film, from WWE productions stars former wrestler Adam “Edge” Copeland and C.J. “Lana” Perry, Patrick Sabongui, Julia Benson and Peter McNulty. The film is the 3rd installment in the Action Six Pack series of films. The film was released on direct-to-DVD in the United States on September 20, 2016.

This movie, shot in Vancouver, Canada with almost all Canadian cast would be of particular interest to WWE and wrestling fans due to the WWE connection. An action thriller, starring former wrestling superstar Edge as an FBI agent Lucas Nolan specialized in interrogation. We see him go in to the middle of a shootout where a terrorist is pumping out bullets from a machine gun. He counts down the number of rounds the gun can shoot and the time interval in seconds that the shooter needs to reload and he bursts in and takes him down, alive. After Vasti, a Middle Easter sounding man walks into an FBI building in Minneapolis and admits to a bomb that explodes nearby, he is arrested and held for questioning.

Mark Law brings in his friend Nolan who he has worked with before which doesn’t sit well with agent Sara Ward. Assisting the team is IT specialist Becky. As Nolan questions Vasti, the criminal mastermind riddles him with clues in his rhetoric. While the others think Vasti is just saying cocky speeches about hating the western world, Nolan is able to pinpoint clues to the whereabouts of further bomb sites and drags Vasti along as they get to the first place. The team is able to avoid loss of human life as the bomb explodes and then move on to Vasti’s apartment where they find more clues. There are fights and shooting and all that which comes in a typical action packed thriller. But the twist comes at the end, when Nolan and Vasti are thought to have died while the former is trying to defuse a bomb at the Federal Reserve building.

The other FBI agents are forced to step out of the vault that Vasti & Nolan are in as the terrorist holds Nolan hostage, having stolen the gun from Sara. Nolan steps in the exchange himself with Sara and triggers the alarm by pushing some money off a table. When it becomes 6pm, the power comes back on in the area which will detonate the bomb in the vault, which Vasti meant to damage the American economy. A virus that Vasti planted erases a lot of data in the FBI systems including records of him. At a eulogy for Nolan, while the FBI pays homage to him, we see Vasti & Nolan incognito outside the building! The two were in on the plan together having grown up as friends since they were kids. Vasti has no middle eastern accent and they spent 5 years giving him an alias hard to track. Before the bomb explodes they transfer money out to a secret account and escape through a shaft. As the two friends leave the vicinity of the FBI building, they then go and meet Nolan’s father, an ex-criminal who was arrested and in prison for many years. With fake passports and a private plane waiting for them, the three of them are set to leave for a new life in parts unknown.

Cheap effects but the movie is watchable. Acting isn’t that great but it’s ok for a dull afternoon. If you like wrestling you might be a fan of Edge and hence give this low budget film a watch. 5.5 outta 10!

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Deepwater Horizon

Deepwater Horizon is a 2016 American biopic disaster film. It was directed by Peter Berg, written by Matthew Sand and Matthew Michael Carnahan, and starring an ensemble cast including Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson. It is based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon  explosion  and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon, an oil drilling rig operated by private contractor Transocean, is set to begin drilling off the southern coast of Louisiana on behalf of BP. We see shots of the family life of some of the main characters as they leave their homes for a 3 week work schedule. Chief Electronics Technician Michael “Mike” Williams and rig supervisor James “Mr. Jimmy” Harrell are surprised to learn that the workers assigned to pump the cement intended to keep the well stable are being sent home early, without conducting a pressure test, at the insistence of BP managers Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza. Harrell meets with Vidrine and persuades him to conduct a test, which only serves to weaken the already poorly placed cement further. His patience thinning, and without waiting for Harrell to confirm the results, Vidrine orders the well to be flowed.

All is well for a little while but the cement job fails completely triggering a massive blowout that overpowers and kills Keith Manuel, Shane Roshto, Roy Kemp, Karl Kleppigner, Adam Weise and Gordon Jones. Several systems start to fail and as they crew is unable to seal the well, the leaked oil causes a fire killing Dewey Revette, Stephen Curtis, Jason Anderson and Donald Clark. The rig’s navigation officer, Andrea, tries to alert the Coast Guard, only to be overruled by her superior, Captain Curt Kuchta, on the grounds that the rig is not in any imminent danger. With oil now spewing into the ocean, a frightened, oil covered pelican flies into the bridge of a nearby vessel, which heads towards the rig just as the workers begin a frantic evacuation. Harrell, who is seriously injured in the explosion, is rescued by Mike and assumes control of the situation, only to discover that the rig could not be saved. Dale Burkeen, a close friend of Mike’s, sacrifices himself to keep a burning crane from collapsing onto the surviving crew, while Mike and Caleb are able to rescue Vidrine and Kaluza and get them to safety.

The Coast Guard sees the fire and sends a ship to rescue survivors With all the lifeboats full, Mike locates the emergency life raft, but it becomes separated from the rig before he and Andrea can board, causing the latter to suffer a panic attack. Just as the oil in the well itself ignites and destroys the rig, the two jump into the water and are picked up by rescuers, who then ferry them to the Damon Bankston. Mike in particular has a panic attack when accosted with the parent of a dead crew member and he collapses in a sobbing heap in his hotel room. However he is reunited with his wife & young daughter and testifies in court.  It is revealed that not a single employee of either Transocean or BP was prosecuted for their actions. Pictures appear of the 11 men who lost their lives before the credits.

The movie received generally positive reviews but grossed only over $121 million worldwide on a budget of $156 million. The film was nominated for two Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects, and a BAFTA Award for Best Sound at the 70th British Academy Film Awards. However it doesn’t really work as a movie as most viewers will fail to connect with the characters, even though the real life event causes much anger in the public and especially environmental groups and even other oil rig workers. I give it a 7 outta 10!

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RIP Nelson Ellis

True Blood, has died at the age of 39 after complications from heart failure. “Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,” the actor’s manager Emily Gerson Saines, told the Hollywood Reporter. “He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.” A graduate of Julliard, Ellis’ first major role was as Lafayette Reynolds, a short order cook and vampire blood dealer on the hit HBO series. Ellis’ portrayal of the character was so beloved by True Blood fans of the series that even though Lafayette was killed off early in the Sookie Stackhouse book series, the character lasted the entirety of the show.

In addition to True Blood, Ellis appeared Lee Daniels’ The Butler (as Martin Luther King, Jr.), Secretariat, The Help, The Stanford Prison Experiment and as singer Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic Get On Up. Most recently, Ellis had a reoccurring role in the CBS detective series Elementary. Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois, near Chicago. When Ellis and his siblings were younger, their mother, a single parent after her divorce from her husband, broke down over the death of her brother. Ellis and his siblings became wards of the state as a result. They were then raised in Bessemer, Alabama, by their grandmother. In Alabama, Ellis attended Jess Lanier High School for a year, then transferred to McAdory High School. He moved back to Illinois at age 15, where he lived with his maternal aunt, and in 1997 he graduated from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois. He joined the United States Marines at the age of 17, but quit not long afterwards. Following this, Ellis attended Illinois State University.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the second reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise and the sixteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, with a screenplay by the writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. The film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.

I was quite looking forward to this film as I felt that Tom Holland & Spider-Man kinda stole a lot of the thunder in Captain America : Civil War, playing a likeable kid who is very green and is being mentored by Tony Stark. So it was with quite a bit of eager anticipation and excitement that I went in for this movie. And the verdict? We get an expansion of the same in that Spidey is being mentored by Stark but is not getting into the high stakes action that he wants to. Two months after the events of Civil War, Peter Parker is going to school and is still waiting for a call to join the good fight. Stark ignores his calls and Happy Hogan is acting as a liaison between them, fielding some of the calls that Peter makes to Stark. So we find Spidey fighting small time crime like robberies and car jackings.

The fear we all had was this, a movie about a very young Spider-Man, would be overshadowed by the large & rather dominating figure of Iron Man – it doesn’t. I felt they kept Tony for exactly as much was needed. Peter is played like an ordinary teenager who is awkward and has a crush on a girl, Liz, who he is afraid of speaking to about his feelings. He keeps his secret from his aunt and his schoolmates until best friend Ned accidentally finds out. He is also shown to have vlogged his trip to join Iron Man against his battle with Captain. His adventures don’t still well with Stark who isn’t sure he is ready yet to be a superhero without supervision so, as Spidey finds out, the suit that he is given has a tracking system in place as well as an AI interface with awesome Stark features that Peter later unlocks.

The villain works; Spidey is shown to be an average ordinary boy who suddenly gets superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Why not an ordinary man who becomes a supervillain? Keaton is almost perfect as Toomes/The Vulture, a middleaged contractor who loses his contract and livelihood 8 years ago after his salvage company were contracted to clean up the city, but their operation was quickly taken over by Tony Stark’s U.S. Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.). Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the  Chitauri technology they already scavenged and use it to create advanced weapons to sell on the black market. Toomes doesn’t have grand visions of taking over the world or even a city – he just wants to maintain a good life and income for his family.

But Toomes causes a lot of destruction and his methods are flawed and worse he is also the father of the girl that Peter is in love with, a fact which is cleverly revealed as Peter goes to meet up with his date at her house before they go for the homecoming party. For a while it looked like Peter was in over his head when facing against an experienced Vulture because, despite his powers, he was still just a 15 year old kid. But Tony’s words, while criticizing Peter, gives Spidey the motivation to overcome defeat and he is able to get the better of his villain and also rescue him from death. Vulture is apprehended and sent to prison which also means that Liz and her mother leave town to move across the country. Aunt May also finds out that Peter is Spider-man!

I also liked the fact that there are so many different skin tones shown in the film, with actors of various ethnicities seen throughout. That is very refreshing. I like the humour and lighter tone in the film, the special effects is just great and it’s a fun to watch. But Spidey using technical wizardry in the film (even though when he faces off and wins against Vulture he is just in a regular suit) ? That is not what Spidey is all about. Still that was the only major flaw for me anyways. I give it a solid 8 outta 10!

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The Void

The Void is a 2016 Canadian horror film written and directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, and produced by Jonathan Bronfman and Casey Walker. It stars Aaron Poole as deputy Daniel Carter, Kenneth Welsh as Dr. Powell, Daniel Fathers as Vincent, Kathleen Munroe as Allison, and Ellen Wong as Kim. The film was originally crowdfunded on Indiegogo and had raised $82,510. The film was originally shown at the 2016 Fantastic Fest and later at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. It was given a limited theatrical release in April 2017, initially opening in 31 theaters and later expanding to 50. It grossed an estimated $55,000 on its opening weekend.

You get an 80s horror vibe with this flick, with parts of the plot payday loans online direct lender no credit check reminding me of The Beyond. As the movie starts we see junkie James running from a farm house in the middle of nowhere, with a woman also running just behind him. The duo are behind chased by Vincent & his son Simon who catch up with the woman and shoot her before burning her. James stumbles onto the road and is found by Deputy Daniel Carter who puts him into his car on seeing his bruises and wounds. He calls it in and reluctantly takes James to the nearest hospital, Marsh County, which is where his estranged wife Allison works as a nurse. The hospital is about to shut down after a fire destroyed much of the basement and other parts of the building. Dr. Richard Powell, nurses Allison and Beverly, intern Kim, pregnant girl Maggie, her grandfather Ben, and patient Cliff are the only ones remaining as the equipment and files are being packed to ship to a new hospital.

Bev is caught in a trance and murdering Cliff with her skin removed from her face. Beverly moves toward Daniel who shoots her dead. Daniel collapses due to a seizure and experiences a strange vision. State trooper Mitchell comes in to the hospital to collect James after discovering a bloody scene at the farmhouse. Daniel goes outside to call in Beverly’s death from his patrol car, but is confronted by robed cultists, one of who wound him. He kills the man and runs back in. Daniel and Mitchell rush into James’ room when they hear him screaming. They find Beverly’s corpse has transformed into a tentacled creature as Daniel and Mitchell rescue James and lock Beverly in the room. In the lobby, Vincent and Simon enter and hold the group at gunpoint, demanding to get to James. James takes Maggie as hostage and stabs and kills Dr. Powell when he tries to calm him down. The creature emerges from Beverly’s room and devours Mitchell. Vincent and Simon kill the creature and regroup with the others in the lobby. Vincent and Simon accompany Daniel to retrieve a shotgun from a patrol car, while Alison ventures into the basement to collect medical supplies for delivering Maggie’s baby.

Powell rises from the ground seemingly still alive and follows Alison and captures her. On discovering that Alison is missing, Daniel and Vincent search for her and find photographs and files indicating Powell was the cult’s leader. Powell phones Daniel, taunting him and mentions the vision he experienced while unconscious. Leaving Maggie & Ben in Kim’s hands, Daniel, Vincent & Simon force James to go down to the basement with them in search for Alison. James explains that Powell has the power to transform people and he was reluctantly drawn into the cult by a woman on the promise of sex and meth. Alison regains consciousness on an operating table where Powell explains he has found a way to defy death after the loss of his daughter Sarah. Having cut off his face, Powell shows Alison that something now grows inside her. Daniel, Vincent, Simon, and James find a hidden area in the basement and end up surrounded by deformed corpses brought back to life. One of the creatures kills James as the other three men get separated.

As Maggie enters labor, Kim hesitates to perform a C-section. As Ben pleads with Kim, Maggie stands and slits his throat, revealing she is carrying Dr. Powell’s child. Kim hides as cultists enter the building and Maggie leaves. Daniel finds a pregnant Alison on a hospital bed but as he looks again sees a creature with tentacles. The vision of a pregnant Alison is one of her when she was in labour with their child and a traumatized Daniel inally attacks his wife’s mutated remains with an axe. Daniel is transported to a morgue room with a glowing triangle on the wall. Powell’s voice tells Daniel that he found the ability to conquer life and death. Powell promises that Daniel can have his child back if he is willing to die first. Maggie arrives and stabs Daniel as Powell appears without any skin in front of the triangle as Maggie kneels before him. Powell recites an incantation before the triangle as a now frightened Maggie’s torso explodes, as she births the reborn Sarah. Vincent and Simon arrive and battle the beast.

The creature attacks Vincent who pours isopropyl alcohol over it and himself, allowing Simon to kill them both with a flare. As Powell begins transforming, he tells Daniel he can be with Alison if he gives himself to the abyss. Daniel refuses and tackles him, leading both men to tumble into the void. Meanwhile, the creature pursues Simon who escapes, and is teleported back to the hospital to reunite safely with Kim. Daniel and Alison are shown in the netherworld beneath a black pyramid as they hold hands.

A slow mover that builds up in intensity and visual scares as it goes alone, the film is sure to appeal to horror fans. The ending leaves us wanting more and hoping that answers will be provided in a possible sequel or two. What is this void, what happens to Powell and Daniel & Alison in this void. What is that humongous black pyramid? I give the film a 7.5 outta 10.

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RIP Stephen Furst

Stephen Furst, perhaps best known as Flounder in Animal House & Vir Cotto in cult scifi tv show Babylon 5, died Friday from complications with diabetes, the actor’s rep told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 63. His two sons Nathan and Griffith Furst announced the news on the actor’s Facebook page, paying tribute to their “brilliant and prolific actor and filmmaker” father. The actor was also known for playing the role of Dr. Axelrod in the 1980s medical TV drama St. Elsewhere, and he also directed a few episodes of B5. After his breakout role of Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in 1978’s Animal House, he had several guest appearances on TV shows such as Newhart, CHiPS and The Jeffersons until he landed the role on St. Elsewhere, which aired from 1982-1988.

In 1979 he played the role of an overweight high school tuba player coerced onto the wrestling team in Kieth Merrill’s feel-good underdog film, Take Down. Also in 1979, as pointed out above, he reprised the Flounder character in the ABC sitcom Delta House. He also reprised the character and repeated his famous line, “Oh boy, is this great!” in the Twisted Sister music video for “I Wanna Rock.” In 1980, he played the character of Harold in the cult classic movie, Midnight Madness, and the character of “Junior” Keller (the unseen) in the horror movie The Unseen. In 1983, he also appeared in a supporting role as Aldo in the provocative ABC TV movie The loan low income Day After. In 1989, he played the character of Albert Ianuzzi in the film The Dream Team. Although not a regular, he also appeared in the short-lived 1992 TV series The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys.

In the 1995 animated TV series Freakazoid!, he voiced the character Fanboy. Also in 1995, he took a hiatus from Babylon 5 to star in a short-lived TV series, Misery Loves Company. In 1997, he played Derby Ferris in Little Bigfoot 2: The Journey Home. He also voiced a young Colonel Hathi in Season 2 of Disney’s Jungle Cubs, had a starring voice role as Booster in the 2000 series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and also played a hulky walrus named Dash in the 2000 Disney movie The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. He starred in Magic Kid and its sequel. In 2002, he guest starred in an episode of Scrubs. Furst directed many independent and/or low-budget movies, including the low-budget movie Title to Murder starring Christopher Atkins and Maureen McCormick in 2001, and the direct to video children’s movie Baby Huey’s Great Easter Adventure.

Furst directed three low-budget movies for the Sci Fi Channel, Dragon Storm in 2004; and Path of Destruction and Basilisk in 2005; he also co-starred in both of the latter two films. Furst produced My Sister’s Keeper based on the Jodi Picoult novel starring Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin. Furst produced other several films under his production company Curmudgeon Films. Atomic Shark aired in August of 2016 on Syfy during Sharknado Week. Christmas in Homestead premiered on the Hallmark Channel during the holiday season of 2016. Cold Moon, a psychological thriller based on the Michael McDowell book, is set for a theatrical release in October 2017 in the United States. Cold Moon won “Best Horror Film” at the 2016 Laughlin Film Festival. Furst had two sons, both in the entertainment business. His older son, Nathan Furst (b. 197, is a television and film composer. His younger son, Griff Furst (b. 1981), is an actor, director and musician. He was married to Lorraine Wright, an entertainment lawyer.