Bone Tomahawk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Child’s Play 2

Child’s Play 2 is a 1990 American slasher film and the sequel to Child’s Play, written by Don Mancini and directed by John Lafia, one of the co-writers in the first film. It is the second film in the Child’s Play franchise and set two years after the first film; the plot follows Charles Lee Ray (better known as Chucky) continuing his pursuit for Andy Barclay, who was placed in foster care, and transferring his soul into him after being resurrected. The film stars Alex Vincent, who returns as Andy Barclay; Gerrit Graham and Jenny Agutter as Andy’s foster parents; Christine Elise as Kyle; and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky.

The sequel is set 2 years later, the toy company PlayPals determine that there is nothing wrong with the dolls and start production again. Somehow the Chucky doll, is refitted and brought to the factory. One of the men working on Chucky is killed by electrocution. As a result, the CEO of the company, Mr. Sullivan (Peter Haskell), orders his assistant Mattson (Greg Germann) to cover the accident and get rid of Chucky. With Andy’s mother in a mental institute, the boy us now in foster care and is sent to live with  Phil (Gerrit Graham) and Joanne Simpson (Jenny Agutter). In his new home, Andy meets his new foster sister Kyle (Christine Elise).

The electrocution resurrects Chucky and he finds out Andy’s foster home address and kills Mattson in his car. At the house, Chucky finds “Tommy” a Good Guy doll in the Simpson’s house, that had scared Andy, and activates him by accident. He destroys it using a destroys him with Joanne’s ornament. Chucky then buries the doll in the garden and takes his place as “Tommy”. Phil punishes Andy and Kyle, believing one of them broke the ornament. After Andy spends the rest of the day with Kyle, he is attacked by Chucky, who ties him up and gags him with socks in order to possess him, but the ritual is stopped by Kyle. After Andy claimed Chucky tied him up, Phil throws Chucky in the basement. Chucky, left alone, comes back to life and discovers a major nosebleed of his, meaning he’s going human again. Therefore, he realizes that if he doesn’t get in Andy’s body in time, he will remain as a doll.

Chucky follows Andy to school and gets him in trouble there and even kills his teacher. Phil is thinking of sending Andy back to the foster center. Later that night, Andy tries to kill Chucky with an electric knife in the basement, but Chucky attacks him. Phil goes to investigate the commotion but Chucky trips and neck-snaps him, killing him. Joanne, convinced that Andy murdered Phil, sends him back to the foster center. Kyle discovers the buried doll in the garden and realizes Andy was telling the truth all along and rushes in to warn Joanne only to find her dead. Chucky burst from the blankets of the bed behind her and attacks Kyle. Kyle is then forced by Chucky to drive him to the center to find Andy. There, during a false fire alarm, Chucky kills Grace and orders Andy to take him to the PlayPals “Good Guys” factory for the transfer.

At the factory Chucks tries to complete the ritual but it is too late and he seems to be stuck in the dolls body. Kyle arrives and together with Andy they evade Chucky and then pours molten plastic all over him. Andy then saves Kyle by pulling her off of a conveyor belt, and shows her Chucky’s melted body. Kyle thinks that the doll is dead, but Chucky jolts up and struggles with her, until she shoves a helium tube in his mouth, resulting in his head exploding. After Kyle and Andy escape the factory, Kyle tells them they’re going home. Andy asks where that is, to which Kyle says she doesn’t know.

A good sequel to the first movie and one I remember watching all those years ago. It’s a solid cast as well. I give it a 7 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: Josh Brolin Movies

This year really is the year of Josh Brolin as he prominently featured in 3 major films. I’ve never seen him as the big leading man, though he has some of those, but he is a pretty good actors. So here are my top 11 movies in which Josh Brolin has a major role.

  • Deadpool 2
  • Avengers : Infinity War
  • Goonies
  • Hollow Man
  • No Country For Old Men
  • Men In Black 3
  • Sicario
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado
  • True Grit
  • Grindhouse

Beirut

Beirut, also known as The Negotiator (UK), is a 2018 American espionage thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Tony Gilroy. Set in 1982 during the Lebanese Civil War, the film stars Jon Hamm as a former U.S. diplomat who returns to service in the titular city of Beirut in order to save a colleague from the group responsible for the death of his family. Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris, Shea Whigham, Larry Pine and Mark Pellegrino also star. Principal photography began in Morocco in June 2016.

Mason Skiles, leaves Beirut in 1972 after his wife Nadia is killed at a party at their diplomat’s residence house.  They have recently begun caring for Karim, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who claims he is without a family. While hosting a party, Skiles is confronted by his friend, CIA officer Cal Riley, who wishes to question Karim, whose brother has been linked to the 1972 Munich massacre. The party is attacked by Karim’s brother, Rami, who abducts Karim; in the ensuing gunfight, Nadia is killed. 10 years later, working as a labour disputes lawyer, he is approached by the CIA to go to Beirut and negotiate the release of Cal, who has been kidnapped by a terrorist group.

They have asked for Mason specifically to be the negotiator. Mason’s leaves for Beirut under the guise of conducting an academic lecture in Lebanon, and is handed money, a plane ticket, and a passport.  He meets several government officials, including Donald Gaines, Colonel Gary Ruzak, and Frank Shalen, along with CIA officer Sandy Crowder, and learns that Cal Riley was recently abducted in Lebanon. At the meeting, Mason learns why he was asked to be involved – a grown up Karim is leading the group. Karim demands the release of his brother in exchange for Riley, despite the Americans’ protest that they do not have Rami in captivity and they in turn think Israel may have him.

Mason has a meeting with Alice, Cal’s estranged wife who tells him that Cal stayed in Beirut because of guilt at Nadia’s death. At the lecture, the building is bombed and Karim makes contact with Mason and takes him to see Riley, who tells him that the PLO has Rami. Before releasing Skiles, Karim threatens that unless Rami is returned later that night, he will sell Riley to Iran. Skiles returns to Riley’s apartment to search for clues, where he encounters Crowder. She reveals that Gaines had been stealing money from the embassy and that Riley had been preparing to make a report shortly before his disappearance. Skiles convinces Crowder that the PLO is holding Rami, and she steals $4 million from the CIA office to trade for Rami.

Mason attacks a PLO officer and arranges for exchanging Rami for money. At the exchange, Rami is shot and killed by a Mossad sniper in a nearby building but the Americans successfully escape. Before departing Beirut, Skiles learns that Gaines has unexpectedly retired and that Ruzak has left Beirut. Crowder announces her intention to apply for the newly vacant jobs, and Skiles offers his services as a negotiator. As the film ends, news footage is shown of the subsequent Israeli invasion of Lebanon, increasing international involvement in the country, and, finally, the bombings of the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Marine Corps’ barracks in Beirut in 1983.

Solid cast and some really good acting saves this film. It does have some fine moments and tension filled scenes. Give it a watch. 7.5 outta 10!

Superhero Stuff

Is anyone fed up or getting superhero movie fatigue? Not me. I hope the MCU carries on and on for a long, long time. As well as the DCEU grows and makes more movies and becomes as successful as the MCU. I do not see myself ever getting tired of it, though I do think more than 3-4 superhero films a year can be tedious.

I am excited about the upcoming films like Auquaman, Captain Marvel & the as of yet unnamed 4th Avengers film. I hope there will be a Ben Affleck Batman movie (or 2 or 3) and we are going to get Shazam, Wonder Woman 2, Cyborg & The Flash as well a new reboot Green Lantern film as well  by the time 2020 is done and dusted. That is good pacing.

Unlike a lot of fans I never was a big comics fan. I read some Superman, Batman, a bit of the Avengers, some Iron man, Thor, a bit of Green Arrow & Green Lantern and The Flash as a kid. Spiderman on tv as the cartoon but never read many comics and watched Batman & Superman movies and Wonder Woman on tv. I had never heard of Black Panther, Dr. Strange,  Deadpool, The X-Men, Captain Marvel etc until the movies were announced. My superhero was the Phantom, whose comics were very popular in India and which I read after moving here back in 1987.

Sicario

Sicario (Hitman) is a 2015 American crime thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve, written by Taylor Sheridan and starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Victor Garber.

After leading a successful FBI raid at a suspected Mexican cartel safehouse, where they discover dozens of decaying corpses and a booby trap that kills two policemen, agent  Kate Macer is recommended by her boss for a Department of Justice special joint task force, overseen by Matt Graver (Brolin) and the secretive Alejandro Gillick (del Toro), to apprehend the Sonora Cartel lieutenant Manuel Díaz (Bernardo Saracino). Assured that the task force will bring Díaz and those responsible for the safehouse incident to justice, Kate joins even though her partner Reggie Wayne, isn’t asked to join.

They travel to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, with a large force including Mexican Federali agents, to extradite Díaz’s brother and henchman, Guillermo Diaz and to preempt a possible ambush, the team kills several suspected Mexican cartel gunmen — shocking the conscientious Kate. Alejandro tortures Guillermo and learns that there’s a tunnel Díaz uses to smuggle drugs into the U.S. Reggie & Kate have apprehensions of the task force’s illegal and seemingly inexplicable methods. Finally, Matt reveals that the objective is not to apprehend Díaz as originally suggested, but to disrupt his drug operations to such a degree that Díaz will be summoned back to Mexico by his boss, elusive Sonora Cartel drug lord Fausto Alarcón. By following Díaz, they will bring Alarcón to justice.

While commiserating at a bar, Reggie introduces Kate to Ted (Jon Bernthal), a friend and Phoenix police officer. Kate and Ted go to her apartment, but as they become passionate, Kate realizes Ted is with the cartel. In the ensuing struggle, Ted begins strangling Kate, when Alejandro suddenly appears and subdues him. Alejandro and Matt reveal that they used her as bait, knowing the cartel would target her after she was seen at the bank raid. Alejandro and Matt torture Ted into revealing the names of other officers working for Díaz. Díaz is being recalled to Mexico, as they hoped.  Kate questions the good news, pointing out that they have no jurisdiction in Mexico. Matt states that she and Reggie were simply being used, as working with U.S. law officers grants the C.I.A. legal permission to continue.

Angered, Reggie advises that he and Kate leave the task force, but she insists on joining a task force raid on the tunnel to learn more about the operation’s true nature. At the Mexican end of the tunnel, Kate sees Alejandro kidnapping one of Díaz’s drug mules, a corrupt Mexican police officer named Silvio (Maximiliano Hernández). Kate attempts to arrest Alejandro for his illegal act, but he shoots into her bulletproof vest before driving off with Silvio. Realizing that Alejandro is operating illegally with the task force’s support, and that there was never any intention of bringing Alarcón and Díaz to justice through legal channels, Kate confronts Matt. Matt explains that they are attempting to return to a time when a single cartel, Medellín, ran the drug trade.

This monopoly gave the U.S. more control. Alejandro, a hitman who worked for Medellín, was brought on to topple the Sonora Cartel by assassinating Alarcón, thus reducing cartel competition. Alejandro’s own motive is revenge: Alarcón had ordered the murder of Alejandro’s wife and daughter. In Mexico, Alejandro forces Silvio to drive him to Díaz, kills Silvio, and forces Diaz to continue to Alarcón. Reaching Alarcón’s estate, Alejandro kills Díaz, all the guards, and the entire Alarcón family. Alejandro appears in Kate’s apartment, and forces her at gunpoint to sign a waiver legitimizing the operation. As he leaves, she aims her pistol at him, but cannot bring herself to pull the trigger. In Nogales, Sonora, Silvio’s widow watches her son’s soccer game. The game is briefly interrupted by the sound of gunfire, before continuing.

At times I lost interest but at times I was pulled in deep and was enthralled by the events unfolding in the movie. I thought Blunt & Del Toro were fantastic as was Brolin. It’s a would recommend for people who like crime/cop movies and thrillers. 7.5 outta 10!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy. Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow both returned as writers, with Trevorrow and the original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg as executive producers.  Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles from previous films in the series, with Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplin joining the cast.

Set 3 years after the events of Jurassic World, a  small team of mercenaries arrives on the abandoned Isla Nublar to collect DNA from the remains of the Indominus rex at the bottom of the park’s lagoon. After successfully collecting a bone fragment, the team’s survivors barely escape the island following attacks by the Mosasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. As a US Senate hearing debates whether Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs should be saved from an impending volcanic eruption. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm testifies that the dinosaurs should be allowed to perish to correct John Hammond’s mistake of cloning them. Hammond’s former partner, Benjamin Lockwood, summons Claire Dearing, who has started the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the animals, to his Northern California estate.

Lockwood and his aide, Eli Mills, reveal a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary and Claire is needed to help reactivate the park’s dinosaur tracking system to locate the animals, particularly Blue, the last surviving Velociraptor. Although they are estranged, Claire recruits Jurassic World’s former Velociraptor trainer and Blue’s alpha, Owen Grady, to help capture her. Things go wrong and it turns out that Mills has hired a mercenary team led by Ken Wheatley to capture 11 dinosaurs on the black market. They also use Blue. They will also unveil the Indoraptor, a new genetically-modified dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu using Indominus rex and Velociraptor DNA. Wu wants Blue’s DNA to create an enhanced Indoraptor but after Blue is shot and bleeding badly, paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez uses T-Rex blood, that Owen and Claire took from a doped up Rex, for a transfusion.

At the  Lockwood’s estate, Mills & Gunnar Eversol auction the dinosaurs and the Indominus rex fetches a royal sum of $30 million. After his granddaughter, Maisie, informs Lockwood about the auction, he confronts Mills, who murders him. Maisie is later revealed to have been cloned from Lockwood’s deceased daughter and is the reason John Hammond, who opposed human cloning, ended their association. The dinosaurs are transported to Lockwood’s estate and caged. Zia and Franklin narrowly evade capture, but Owen and Claire are apprehended and confined. Owen incites a Stygimoloch into breaking open their cell. They find Maisie, who leads them to the auction where the Indoraptor is being sold despite Wu’s protests that it is a prototype.

Owen disrupts the proceedings by luring the Stygimoloch into the room. In the ensuing chaos, Wheatley tranquilizes the Indoraptor to extract a tooth as a trophy, but it feigns sedation and escapes, killing him, Eversol, and others. The Indoraptor hunts Owen, Claire, and Maisie throughout the mansion. Zia releases Blue, who attacks the Indoraptor, causing it to fall through a glass roof to its death. When a hydrogen cyanide gas leak threatens the caged animals, Maisie is unable to let them die and frees them, despite Owen’s objections. The Tyrannosaurus devours Mills and tramples the Indominus bone, destroying it. Owen, Claire, Maisie, Zia, and Franklin escape safely, while Blue and the other dinosaurs escape.

In a new U.S. Senate hearing, Dr. Malcolm declares the beginning of a Neo-Jurassic Age, where humans and dinosaurs must learn to coexist. The closing scenes show the freed dinosaurs roaming wilderness and outer urban areas.

To be honest this film did not capture my attention and imagination the way the first two did and the previous movie did. It just lacks actual thrilling moments and is kinda predictable to be suspenseful at all. I do love the way they did the dinosaurs. I give it a 7.5 outta 10!

Child’s Play

Child’s Play is a 1988 American slasher film directed and co-written by Tom Holland, and produced by David Kirschner from a story by Don Mancini. It is the first film in the Child’s Play series and the first installment to feature the character Chucky. It stars Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif.

This is a classic horror franchise and film which I watched at the age of 14 I guess, which was in 1990. I remember a cousin of mine telling me about it and I’ve watched it twice and today was my first view of the movie since those early 90s. I also remember renting the 2nd & 3rd films in the franchise and I have also seen Bride Of Chucky on cable a many years ago.

Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray is a criminal & serial killer who is shot by homicide detective Mike Norris on his way to a getaway car. His accomplice, Eddie, panics and leaves him behind. Charles is shot in the leg and tries to hide in a toy store nearby but Norris follows him and fatally shoots him from afar.  Realizing that he is soon going to die, he transfers his soul into a “Good Guys” doll via a Haitian Vodou spell. A bolt of lightning causes the shop to explode. Mike survives the explosion and enters the shop, only to find Charles’ dead body and all the “Good Guys” dolls on the floor. With the store destroyed and a crime scene, the doll ends up being taken by a hobo who sells it a day later for a smaller rate to widow Karen Barclay, who’s son is turning 6 that day.

Later that evening, Karen’s friend Maggie Peterson babysits Andy and is annoyed when Andy disobeys her saying that Chucky wants to watch the news. After putting Andy to bed, Maggie is hit in the face with a hammer and falls out the window to her death. The police search the apartment. Detective Norris deems Andy a suspect, much to the annoyance of Karen, who orders Mike and the police to leave once they complete their investigation. The next day Chucky gets Andy to skip school and head to Eddie’s lair. While Any is urinating Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s lair, turning off a stove’s pilot light but turning up the gas. As Eddie shoots the stove, the house blows up, killing him. Andy, once again a suspect, is placed in a psychiatric hospital. That night, Karen discovers that Chucky’s batteries were never inserted, and that Andy was telling the truth about Chucky functioning on his own power. While she is inspecting the doll, Chucky comes to life, bites her arm, and escapes.

She finds Norris and shows him the bite wound that Chucky made. He does not believe her and leaves. Chucky tries to strangle Mike from the backseat using a cord but Mike burns Chucky with a cigarette lighter. After that, Chucky attempts to stab Mike. Mike shoots him and Chucky retreats. After that, Mike finally agrees to help Karen. Chucky tortures John, the voodoo practitioner who taught him the spell him, and he says that the longer he stays in the doll, the more human he will become that he has to transfer his soul to the first person who he revealed his true identity to which is Andy. Before bleeding out and dying, John tells Norris that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.

Chucky attacks Andy at his home but Karen and Norris arrive and stops Chucky from completing the ritual to transfer his soul to Andy. Chucky slashes Norris Mike, then goes after Karen and Andy. Soon, the pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him alive. Karen and Andy leave the room to help Mike, but a heavily burned Chucky follows them and attempts to kill them, since burning him alive didn’t work. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots off his head, arm, and leg. Mike’s partner Jack Santos arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio’s story just before Chucky’s body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack. During the struggle, Karen tells Mike to aim and shoot at Chucky’s heart (as John told them to do) which Mike does finally killing him.

While Mike, Jack and Karen go to the hospital, Karen turns off the bedroom’s lights and Andy looks back at Chucky’s burned remains before closing the door. This itself in an indication to the audience that the producers wanted to make sequels from the beginning – Andy’s look indicates that he knows that this is not the end. They did a great job finding the right innocent kid for the role. Brad Dourif, who had 3 appearances in Star Trek Voyager as a psychotic Betazoid,  is an apt choice for the mainly voice role as Chucky and he and Catherine Hicks (from Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home) are the Star Trek connection to this role. 7.5 outta 10!

The Beyond (2017)

The Beyond is a 2017 independent science fiction thriller film written and directed by Hasraf Dullul. It was Dullul’s first feature film as a director and is loosely based on the 2014 short film Project Kronos. The movie is shot like a documentary. The cast is mostly working actors like Jane Perry, Nigel Barber, Noeleen Comiskey, etc.

In 2019 an anomaly, nicknamed The Void, appears above the Earth. Communications are disrupted, there is a power outage on the International Space Station (ISS), and an astronaut, Jim Marcell, goes missing (presumed dead). Alex Grant (Barber), Head of Exploration Missions, reveals that this isn’t the first time the anomaly has been encountered, as it first appeared in 1990 when it was visible for two months before mysteriously disappearing. The Space Agency, run by Gillian Laroux (Perry) sends probes into the anomaly. Communication with the probes is soon lost, but data analysis reveals it might be a wormhole, with a planet-like structure on the other side. Cosmologist Jessica Johnson (Comiskey) argues that this could be a first contact event. Despite resistance from her team, Laroux wants to send astronauts to investigate further.

Astrophysicist Professor Jakob Brukiehm (David Bailie) who says it would be suicidal to send  to send astronauts to investigate further due to the gravitational waves. The only feasible solutions he says are robotics or probes. Strange orbs then begin to appear in the sky and The Void starts emitting waves. Concern rises about the threat posed by The Void and The Spheres. A secret US military organisation offers its classified robotics technology – Human 2.0 – to help solve the Space Agency’s dilemma. Human 2.0 was designed to fuse human brains with synthetic bodies to create more robust soldiers. The US military argues this technology will allow the Space Agency to send an astronaut successfully into The Void.

After they go through a few candidates, wheelchair user and drone pilot Carl Roberts (Tom Christian) is selected. However, the procedure to fuse Roberts’ brain with the synthetic body fails and Roberts dies. After struggling with her decision, Jessica Johnson volunteers to be the next candidate and this time the procedure is successful. The US military also produce a Human 2.0 soldier to accompany Johnson on her mission, with this version containing unspecified weaponry. Johnson and the 2.0 soldier are launched into The Void, with Johnson reporting beautiful lights before disappearing. Five days later the mission returns unexpectedly, but when the capsule is recovered only Johnson is in the craft, with no sign of the Human 2.0 soldier. The craft looks like it has been in space for a very long time.

By the time Johnson regains her consciousness, scientists retrieve data from her brain and discover several years of memories have been made – far more than the week since she was launched into The Void. As people begin to panic, military begin to attack the spheres. Johnson wakes up and reveals what she remembers after the communications blackout. She says there was a lot of light and when she closed her eyes the Human 2.0 soldier was mysteriously transported out of the craft. She says the soldier looked fearful and kept looking at his arm, which detonated like a nuclear bomb. She passed out and awoke on a planet. On the planet she met Jim Marcell who communicated to her that everything was going to be okay. The Space Agency is sceptical about Johnson’s memories, although Laroux is hopeful this means Marcell is alive and The Void and The Spheres are not malicious.

The solar system is them destroys and debris heads towards the earth Suddenly The Spheres begin to change and form a protective barrier around the earth. The realisation dawns that the presence of The Spheres has been completely misinterpreted as an attack, whereas they’d been sent to protect the earth. The Void disappears. Marcell is detected in the Arizona desert unharmed but without any memory of what has happened. In the aftermath of the events, a new solar system appears, with another planet almost identical to earth, offering new hope for humanity. The film ends with Human 2.0s on Earth 2.0 encountering the lifeforms from The Void.

A very ambitious and original storyline and film and it shows how much you can do with a very limited budget. The documentary style makes it almost credible but it also makes it lack excitement and energy. 6.5 outta 10!

RIP Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds, the wisecracking 1970s movie heartthrob and Oscar nominee, has died at the age of 82. He reportedly died in a Florida hospital from a heart attack with his family by his side. The moustachioed megastar underwent heart bypass surgery in 2010. Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton. He shot to fame in 1972’s Deliverance, instant laons becoming a Hollywood legend with his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run and Boogie Nights. Reynolds’ breakout movie role was in 1972’s Deliverance, which told the tale of four friends attacked while on a canoeing trip in rural Georgia. The box office hit netted three Oscar nominations and made him a Hollywood sex symbol.

That same year Reynolds broke a publishing taboo by posing for a nearly nude centrefold in Cosmopolitan magazine, which he later said was a “really stupid” idea His career peaked in 1977 when he played trucker Bo Darville in action comedy Smokey and the Bandit. Only Star Wars grossed more at the box office that year. Other memorable credits included his 1974 role as a jailed former NFL player leading his fellow inmates in a grudge football game against their prison guards, in The Longest Yard, or The Mean Machine, as it was renamed for UK viewers. The movie was remade in 2005 with Reynolds starring as the team coach.

He also appeared alongside Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a 1982 comedy musical. One of his last hits, The Cannonball Run, released in 1981, starred Reynolds as an outlaw race car driver. It spawned several sequels. But his work went into freefall in the 1980s and his finances were ruined by failed investments in restaurants and a Florida football team. Reynolds made a 1997 comeback playing a porn film director in Boogie Nights, which won him an Oscar nomination. He was married twice, firstly to British actress Judy Carne in 1963, but they divorced two years later amid accusations of her over-spending and his infidelity.

Reynolds went on to marry American actress Loni Anderson in 1988, but that also ended bitterly in 1993. They adopted their son, Quinton. He also had an on-off relationship with co-star Sally Field, who he later said was the love of his life. In 1996 Reynolds filed for bankruptcy with nearly $11m in debts. In 2014, he was forced to sell many prized memorabilia, including the Golden Globe award he won for Boogie Nights. He penned two autobiographies: My Life, published in 1994, and But Enough About Me, in 2015. Up until his death, he had been set to appear in a Quentin Tarantino movie about Charles Manson – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

The Masked Killer Returns

I maybe a fairly recent fan of the Halloween movie franchise – I watched the Rob Zombie versions first back in 2012 and the original series of movies in 2013 – and I may have only watched all the movies twice in my life, but I have my strong opinions about this franchise. I respect all the movies even though I have my hatred of some of them (I’m looking at the pile of cow dung that was Halloween : Resurrection) I still have strong feelings about the upcoming movie Halloween (2018 ) ignoring all the sequels of the original 1978 movie.

It’s 40 years after the original and we are to only consider the events of the 1978 original and ignore everything else. And it’s supposed to be the final ever Halloween movie as declared by the franchise’s creator, John Carpenter. In this film, where Laurie Strode comes face-to-face with Michael Myers for one final confrontation. With Jamie Lee Curtis back on board (and Carpenter serving as an executive producer and the film’s composer), one can’t feel but excited but I still feel that they are pissing on the sequels which made the franchise have such a strong and large fan following.

Anyways, I will be waiting for the film and if it comes in theatres here, I will buy a ticket and watch Mickey and Laurie face off for the final time.

The Whole Truth

The Whole Truth is a 2016 American thriller film directed by Courtney Hunt and written by Nicholas Kazan. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Gabriel Basso, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Renée Zellweger, and Jim Belushi. The film was shot and set in Louisiana.

The movie is about the trial of a murder – Mike, a 17 year old boy, has admitted to stabbing his father, wealthy lawyer father Boone Lassiter. Defense attorney Richard Ramsay, who has worked with Boone and is a family friend, is asked short term loans for students uk by Boone’s widow Loretta Lassiter, Mike’s mother, to defend her son. Problem is Mike won’t speak to anyone, even his mother and his lawyer and seems to react with hostility towards Richard. The trial starts and it is shown by the defense that Boone was a drunkard and abused his wife physically and verbally (in front of friends at a party as one neighbour admits to when called to the witness stand). The neighbour’s son, who has had a crush on Loretta, has seen her being roughly treated by Boone.

Ramsay enlists the help of a young lawyer Janelle as his assistant, who is determined to find out the truth about what happened.  Loretta now testifies that Boone did indeed verbally and physically abuse her many times, with the most recent time on the day of his death. After Boone assaulted her, she went into bathroom to have a shower. When she came out, she saw Boone was already dead and Mike was standing near his corpse. Ramsey presents a health report as evidence, which proves her injuries. Mike finally speaks and says he will speak in court but won’t tell Richard what he will say. Mike affirms in court that his father did frequently assault his mother, but that was not the reason he killed him.

Mike reveals that Boone had molested him many times throughout his teenage years, and he wanted alliance and leicester loans to go to a further university to escape from his father. He also states that Boone was angry over this decision and raped him on the flight, and was attempting to do so again before he left for college. This caused him to fight back at his father and lead to him stabbing Boone with a knife. The prosecutor requests the flight attendant to be recalled, who insists that she did not notice Mike being sexually assaulted by his father. However, Janelle (with suggestions from Mike) reveals that the flight attendant had an extramarital affair with the pilot, and lied in court to avoid being discovered. This information was enough to discredit her testimony and win support from the jury.

After reconsidering Mike’s testimony and his mother’s reactions, Janelle confronts Loretta outside the courtroom. She deduced that Loretta killed Boone after being assaulted, and Mike was merely trying to take the blame himself to protect his mother. Loretta angrily denies this accusation. Ramsey does not take Janelle’s theory seriously and dismisses it. The jury announce their decision: Mike Lassiter is found not guilty of murder. Ramsey congratulates Mike, but Mike asks to speak with him in private. Mike loans no credit check direct lenders approaches Ramsey outside of court and reveals that he saw Ramsey’s watch at the scene of the crime and angrily accuses Ramsey as the one who murdered his father.

After everyone leaves, Ramsey thinks about the actual events – he was having an affair with Loretta as she was unhappy in her abusive marriage and kills Boone who became suspicious of his wife’s infidelity. They planned to disguise it as self-defense and Loretta beats herself with a stone to fake injuries & bruises but  but before he and Loretta could tamper with the crime scene, Mike returned home. Ramsey hastily escaped from the Lassiter house, and Mike subsequently planned the series of events to protect his mother. He then leaves the courthouse.

Pretty tame movie, it looks very low budget and I am not sure what actors of the calibre of Reeves, Zellweger & Belushi found attractive in it. It could have been way, way more entertaining and better. 6 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : STAR TREK ALIEN SPECIES

As most readers and people who know me personally will know, I am a huge Star Trek fan aka Trekkie. I love the franchise to death and it is my favourite scfi & favourite anything of all time. So if I were not following humans in the future, what alien race would I like to see stories about? Here is my top 11 alien races from the Star Trek universe.

  • Klingons
  • Vulcans
  • Ferengi
  • The Borg
  • Cardassians
  • Romulans
  • Ocampa
  • Xindi
  • Trill
  • Bajoran
  • Betazoid

Jealous Movie & TV Fan

I often have wished that I lived in another country, one in the West. This is due to many reasons. I know the saying that the grass is often greener on the other side but yeah it can’t be worse off than what I have now. Let me give you a few things that I am jealous of when I watch and compare with what I have versus what they have. I spend most of my free time on YouTube and I check out a lot of things like for example people’s collections of DVDs and Blu-rays. CDs are dead but these two physical media is still a great one to have.

I keep checking out various collection and overview videos, various new releases and boxsets and see the awesome displays, I get jealous. Not only are our choices here limited but it’s also too fucking expensive. A person can get a certain sci-fi shownboxset for around $100 or say even $80. The same set when I checked for Indian online prices they show up for 1/3rd to 1/2 or even more of my monthly salary! And I make a very good salary or let’s say a quite decent salary.

This divide is why people in India and other developing nation’s choose to go the Torrent route. It’s not even comparable. Same for collectibles and stuff – it’s just so much more better in the UK, Canada, the US, Germany and rest of the continental Europe. I wish this could change as I hate having to stoop to that level or go for cheap knockoffs or bootlegs.

The Strangers

The Strangers is a 2008 American slasher film written and directed by Bryan Bertino. Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) are expecting a relaxing weekend at a family vacation home, but their stay turns out to be anything but peaceful as three masked torturers leave Kristen and James struggling for survival. Writer-director Bertino was inspired by real-life events: the Manson family Tate murders, a multiple homicide; the Keddie Cabin Murders, that occurred in California in 1981; and a series of break-ins that occurred in his own neighborhood as a child. Made on a budget of $9 million, the film was shot on location in rural South Carolina in the fall of 2006.

This is the kind of movie that makes me ask the question; why do Americans build or buy houses that are either in the woods or in a secluded place? Nothing good comes out of it people! This is a home invasion film that happens to a couple, James and Kristen, who have come to James’s secluded family summer home after attending a friend’s wedding. They are both sad and irritable as James had planned a romantic night for them and proposed to Kristen but she apparently said no and they are breaking up. A strange girl knocks at their door at 4 am asking for Tamara and she leaves when they say she has the wrong house.

James goes to buy cigarettes and Kristen hears banging on the door that scares her. She knows someone is in the house when her charges goes missing and a smoke detector is removed and is startled by a man in a mask outside the window as well as the Dollface, the girl from earlier, trying to get in. She slams the door shut and calls James. James comes home and is spooked by Dollface and he and Kristen try to leave in his car but the strangers smash their truck into their car. Back inside the house, Kristen and James find a shotgun and wait for the intruders in a bedroom. Their friend Mike comes over as James had called him to come pick him up and James mistakes him for an intruder and shoots him dead by accident.

While trying to get outside and find help both of them are caught and attacked and they wake up to find themselves tied to chairs. Kristen asks, “Why are you doing this?”, Dollface replies, “Because you were home.” The strangers then unmask themselves to the couple offscreen, and take turns stabbing the couple before leaving the home. Two boys distributing religious pamphlets find the door open and Kristen, who isn’t dead, screams for help as the movie ends.

Disturbing for sure, scary in a non-supernatural way this film set over a night is effective in parts. I give it a 7 outta 10 for the scares.

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth is a 2018 Canadian-American post-apocalyptic science fiction/action film directed by Peter Howitt starring Gina Carano. Supporting cast include John Hannah, Ryan Robbins, Patrick Gilmore, Patrick Sabongui & Stephanie Bennett.

It’s a post apocalyptic futurist movie where the earth has had brutal climate changes, colloquially known as the Cloud Fall. The combination of pollution and relentless mining of Earth’s resources through industrialism has left the environment nearly unlivable and extremely hostile to human habitation. People trade using the barter system and water purifers nd silver, ground up to line the interior of breathing masks, to keep out a painful and fatal airborne disease known as Black Lung. Cars are mostly banned and anyone caught driving such a vehicle was given the maximum sentence, and numerous people have become bounty hunters, bringing in drivers and other lawbreakers in exchange for tabs and silver, dead or alive.

Carano plays Atticus Gage, a bounty hunter who after killing Chavo, a female outlaw, freeing several pilgrims in the process. After she collects her bounty from Sheriff Grubbs in New Montana, and her mentor Doc he tells her of the massive sum on the head of Thomas Jackson, an unusually industrious outlaw who is building a shelter-town for criminals, calling it Defiance. She takes on the persona of Chavo, as everyone in her group have died. She makes an impression on Jackson though his right hand man Lear is suspicious of her. Gage endears herself to Jackson by saving his life when Grubbs and a posse sneak into Defiance to try taking him out. Jackson decides to include Gage in his plans, which includes enslaving the entire region to work in the silver mines near his town, he offers Gage 15% of the cut of the profits in exchange for her services as a gunfighter, and unintentionally revealing a scar on his forearm, which Gage’s sister had made when she bit him, before he killed her.

Shortly after, Jackson took Gage, Lear and several men to capture pilgrims with armored vehicles and armed escorts. Among the pilgrims is Beatrice, one of the women Gage saved from Chavo earlier. She warns the woman to be quiet and patient. While Jackson and his men celebrate, Gage urges Melena, Jackson’s girlfriend, to leave Defiance that night, revealing her identity as a bounty hunter. She apprehends Jackson, but is captured immediately, having been betrayed by Melena, and also identified by Womack, who was now terminally infected by black lung. They briefly torture Gage, then Womack drives her out into the wilderness, and dumps her in a gorge.

She survives the fall, and manages to get back to New Montana, but contracted a severe case of black lung. Doc revives her and tends her wounds, and together, the two plot to take down Jackson and the entire town of Defiance. They liberate Beatrice and the other captives from the silver mine, then engage the entire town. Gage severely wounds Lear, and is saved from a sniper by a repentant Melena. Gage pursues Jackson to the mines and fights with him, leaving him to die in an explosion using dynamites. She returns to the town, where a wounded Doc had managed to dispatch Lear for good, cuts down the corpses hanging in the town entrance, and transports Doc back to New Montana by stretcher.

It’s an average film, a one-time watch which I wanted to see just because of Gina but Ryan Robbins gleeful portrayal of a baddie is also a good reason to check it out. Nothing special. A 6 outta 10!

Hostel

Hostel is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Eli Roth. It stars Jay Hernandez and was produced by Mike Fleiss, Eli Roth, and Chris Briggs; Boaz Yakin, Scott Spiegel, and Quentin Tarantino are executive producers. It is the first installment of the Hostel trilogy, followed by Hostel: Part II (2007) and Hostel: Part payadvance III (2011). The film tells the story of two college students traveling across Europe, who find themselves preyed upon by a mysterious group that tortures and kills kidnapped back-packers.

Two American graduate students, Josh & Paxton, on holiday are backpacking across Europe along with their Icelandic friend Oli. They have a grand time in Amsterdam, acting like total douches and having sex with prostitutes in the read light district. One night, they meet Alexie, who tells them about  a hostel in Slovakia filled with beautiful women, who are willing to sleep with any foreigners. The three friends travel to Slovakia on a train and have a strange encounter with a middle-aged Dutch business man who places his hand on Josh’s knee.

Brushing that encounter off, the three men are joined by two beautiful women, Natalya and Svetlana, at their hostel who invite them to the spa, and later to the disco. Paxton and Josh have sex with Natalya and Svetlana, while Óli leaves with the desk girl, Vala. When they wake up Oli is missing and Kana, a Japanese girl, shows them a pic of him with her friend, saying that he has left with her. At a party that night both Josh & Paxton are given tranquilizers in their drinks and Josh is tied up in an old factory and tortured by the Dutch businessman who cuts his ankles, makes him crawl and then kills him. Paxton wakes up in a store room having fallen unconscious there and tries to find Josh. Svetlana takes him to the factory where he sees Josh’s mutilated body and the Dutch businessman and freaks out.

He is caught by thugs and tied up. A German man severs two of Paxton’s fingers and the American pleads for his life in German. His hand gets free in a tussle and when the German rushes at him, he trips on some blood and cuts his own leg. Paxton takes a gun and shoots the German dead and hides among some hen takes the elevator to the top floor and enters the dressing room, where he changes into business clothes, and finds a business card for the Elite Hunting club, an organization where rich people pay to kill tourists. He also meets an American client, who mistakes him for another customer, and picks up his gun. Paxton then helps Kana, who is being tortured by the American client, kills him and helps her to escape.

In a stolen car they leave the compound pursued by guards. While driving, Paxton sees Natalya, Svetlana, and Alexei, and runs them over, killing them. Paxton and Kana make it to the train station, but after seeing a reflection of her disfigured face, Kana leaps in front of an oncoming train and kills herself. This creates a distraction, allowing Paxton to board another train unnoticed. He then hears the Dutch businessman who is there with his daughter and at a toilet stall, Paxton abducts the young girl and takes her away with him in another train while the Dutch businessman searches frantically for her.

While the first part of this film is downright silly, American frat boys yelling and being obnoxious, drinking and being stupid about sex, the torture part is chilling. 6 outta 10!

The Amityville Horror (2005)

This review was written in 2006 on another blog that I had before this one. I’ve just made a few tweeks.

This is a movie based on the 1977 book which was ostensibly inspired by a real life mass murder in Long Island, New York. A movie was made in 1979, which is still one of my family’s favourite horror movies, although I can’t remember seeing it. And I didn’t know much about the story either, so that left me as a newbie to the movie. It stars Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz and Melissa George as Kathy Lutz. The couple, along with their three children, move into what they believe will be their dream home; unaware that it previously belonged to the DeFeo family, and that Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had murdered his parents and siblings with a rifle the year before. DeFeo had claimed it was the “voices” that caused him to do it. It doesn’t take long for the Lutz family to start hearing ghostly voices, and witnessing apparitions, including the ghost of Jodie DeFeo, who appears to little Chelsea as a friend.

George is the most affected, and he eventually becomes a danger to those around him. In the true story (at least, some believe it to be true) that inspired “The Amityville Horror,” George Lutz woke up demonized every night at 3:15 a.m., the exact time a boy living in his house a year earlier killed his family The local priest is called in to bless the house, and he fails, warning Kathy to leave the house before it’s too late.

There are some creepy moments in the film, which disappointing because it ends so quickly and without proper closure as such. There were so many angles that the movie makers could have tried, in order to really make this an excellent movie. I read that this version is more true to the book by Jay Anson and not the original movie of 1979. Hence people who saw & liked the first movie may have reservations after seeing the 2005 version. The kids in the movie do a terrific job, Melissa George plays a convincing young mother torn between protecting & raising her three kids and the love she has for her new husband.

But the top marks for the movie should go to Ryan Reynolds, who plays a good disturbed character. Reynolds is know more for his goofy characters and his funny roles like “Michael Bergin” in the sitcom series Two Guys & A Girl and as “Van Wilder” in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (and yeah Deadpool). A guy who normally makes us laugh and wince to hilarious & disgusting antics like farting & stuff, stuns in a total makeover role for him.

I give this film a 7 outta 10!