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ROSHAN’s ELEVEN : Michael Fassbender Movies

Hello again, I’m back again with another list. This time it’s movies that Michael Fassbender has starred in. Now I have only picked movies in which he has a prominent role, lead or supporting.

  • Alien : Covenent
  • Blood Creek
  • X-Men: First Class
  • Haywire
  • Prometheus
  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Steve Jobs
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • Centurion
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • A Dangerous Method
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Alien : Covenant

Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. A sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the film is the second installment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, as well as the third directed by Scott. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of a ship that lands on an uncharted planet before making a terrifying discovery.

The year is 2104, 10 years after the events of Prometheus – but before we meet the crew of Covenant, we are shown a scene from the past in which a younger looking Peter Weyland addresses a synthetic android who would become part of the mission. Weyland asks the android his name; the android selects “David” after looking upon Michelangelo’s statue of the same name. During a moment of the exchange we also see that David, despite his devotion to Weyland, remarks that in a way he is better than his creator/father because Weyland will grow old and die while he, being an android, will not. Now, back to our crew who are in stasis on the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with some 2000 colonists and over 1400 embryos on-board, monitored by an upgraded android resembling the earlier David, named Walter.

Enroute,  the a neutrino shockwave severely damages the ship, killing its captain and waking the crew from stasis. As the crew repairs the damage, a radio transmission is intercepted from a nearby planet. It’s a recording of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, singing “Country Roads” in a forlorn voice. As the planet, which is deemed inhabitable for humans is just a few days away, acting captain Oram decides to investigate, as the transmission is human in origin, despite the protests of acting second officer, and wife of the deceased captain, Daniels.  The rest of the crew agree with Oram as Origae-6 is 7 years away and no one wants to get back into stasis. As they arrive, a smaller group stays in orbit while the rest, led by Oram and Daniels descend to the surface. Karine sets up an ecological survey station, while the others track the signal’s source. They discover it originates from an Engineer ship, piloted by Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission. Two security team members, Ledward and Hallett, are inadvertently infected with an alien spore. Karine attempts to assist them, but Faris locks them inside the landing vehicle’s med-bay as a quarantine precaution.

A Neomorph bursts from Ledward’s back, killing him, then mauls Karine to death. Faris tries to kill Ledward’s Neomorph and fails, but accidentally destroys the lander in the process in a large explosion. The ground team witnesses the explosion and, seconds later, another Neomorph bursts from Hallett’s throat. Forced to retreat, the remnants of the landing party are attacked by the neomorphs. Mayhem ensues and one of the Neomorphs is killed. Walter loses a hand saving Daniels before the crew are rescued by David, the sole survivor of the Prometheus mission, as they attempt to radio Covenant for help. David claims that, upon his arrival with Shaw, the Engineer ship accidentally released its cargo of “black goo”, a bioweapon recovered during the Prometheus mission, killing the native population of Engineers. In the ensuing chaos, the ship crashed, killing Shaw. On the surface, the surviving Neomorph attacks and decapitates Rosenthal, who was separated from the main group. David attempts to tame the alien, but is horrified when Oram kills it.

At Oram’s demand, David reveals his activities on the planet. Using the “black goo” as a catalyst, he created the earliest Neomorphs after experimenting with a parasitic wasp that laid eggs inside its prey; upon being born, the larvae ate the prey from the inside out. David shows Oram a chamber he has used to incubate his latest creation, Facehuggers, which implant Oram with an embryo. The embryo later erupts into a Xenomorph—an evolution of the Neomorph—killing Oram. As the crew search for Oram, Walter confronts David after learning the truth of his experiments; David had deliberately unleashed the black goo upon the planet’s population. Elizabeth Shaw became the first victim of a Facehugger, murdered by David in what he considers a necessary sacrifice. David disables Walter and confronts Daniels, telling her that he would do to her what he did to Shaw. Saved by a reactivated Walter, the crew attempt to evacuate. Against objections due to a severe weather storm, Tennessee, the pilot of the Covenant, arrives to extract the survivors of the team. They are attacked by an adult Xenomorph as Covenant arrives.

he remaining survivors kill the Xenomorph and they escape the planet. Crew member Lope, however, had been implanted by a Xenomorph embryo, which has gestated, and is now loose aboard Covenant. The Xenomorph kills all the human crew members besides Daniels and Tennessee. With Walter’s guidance, they funnel the Xenomorph to the terraforming bay, flushing it into space.

With the ship safe, the crew return to their original mission plan, and re-enter stasis. As Walter puts them under one by one, Daniels asks him if he will help her realize her dead husband’s dream of building a log cabin once they arrive on their new homeworld. Walter, with whom Daniels had previously confided this information, does not appear to understand this, and Daniels realizes she is talking to David, who had disguised himself as Walter. As Daniels enters stasis, David gains access to the colonists’ embryo cryogenic chambers and regurgitates two Facehugger embryos. He leaves them with the frozen human embryos, intending to use the humans aboard the covenant as hosts to continue his experiments.

I thought this film was awesome and good enough to rank as high as the first 2 films in the franchise which were classics of the horror/action/scifi genres. Fassbender in particular along with Waterston were excellent in their roles. Also I am not in the bracket of people who hated Prometheus – I loved it – and this movie is even better and a worthy sequel to it. I’ve give it an 8.5 outta 10!

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American Sniper

American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical war drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is loosely based on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (2012) by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The film follows the life of Kyle, who became the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history with 255 kills from four tours in the Iraq War, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. The film was produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, and Peter Morgan. It stars Bradley Cooper as Kyle and Sienna Miller as his wife Taya, with Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban, and Keir O’Donnell in supporting roles.

The acting is pretty good especially by lead Cooper and supported by Miller. You see a story of a Texas boy, who is taught to shoot by his dad, living in a god-fearing, Bible reading family. Kyle goes on to become a rodeo cowboy and ranch hand, competing in events around Texas and returns home early, to find his girlfriend in bed with another man. The Jesus & Bible loving, gun shooting cowboy thing is there for all to see. Anyways, after telling her to leave, he is mulling it over with his brother when he sees news coverage of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and decides to enlist in the Navy. He qualifies for special training and becomes a U.S. Navy SEALs sniper. He meets Taya Studebaker at a bar, and the two soon marry. He is sent to Iraq after the September 11 attacks.

We see the stuff that killing people does to the mind of a sniper, one of his major kills is a young boy and his mother who attacked U.S. Marines with a Russian made RKG-3 anti-tank grenade. Assigned to hunt for the al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Chris interrogates a family whose father offers to lead the SEALs to “The Butcher”, al-Zarqawi’s second-in-command. The plan goes awry when The Butcher captures the father and his son, killing them while Chris is pinned down by a sniper using a Romanian PSL sniper rifle. This sniper goes by the name Mustafa and is an Olympic Games medalist from Syria. Meanwhile, the insurgents issue a bounty on Chris. Meanwhile back home, a pregnat Taya delivers a baby boy and Chis comes back home to spend time with his family. Kyle leaves for a second tour and is promoted to Chief Petty Officer. Involved in a shootout with The Butcher, he helps in killing him. When he returns home to a newborn daughter, Chris becomes increasingly distant from his family.

He takes a third tour and Taya wants him to now spend time with his family home in America but guilt over losing his unit members makes Chris take a 4th tour and Taya tells him that she may not be there when he returns. Back in Iraq, Chris is assigned to kill Mustafa, who has been sniping U.S. Army combat engineers building a barricade. Chris’ sniper team is placed on a rooftop inside enemy territory. Chris spots Mustafa and takes him out with a risky long distance shot at 2,100 yards (1,920 m), but this exposes his team’s position to numerous armed insurgents. In the midst of the firefight, and low on ammunition, Chris tearfully calls Taya and tells her he is ready to come home. A sandstorm provides cover for a chaotic escape in which Chris is injured and almost left behind. Back at home he struggles to adjust back to civil life, always seemingly on the edge. He is asked by a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist if he is haunted by all the things he did in war. When he replies that it is “all the guys [he] couldn’t save” that haunt him, the psychiatrist encourages him to help severely wounded veterans in the VA hospital. After that Kyle gradually begins to adjust to home life.

Years later, on February 2, 2013, Kyle says goodbye to his wife and family as he leaves in good spirits to spend time with a veteran at a shooting range. An on-screen subtitle reveals: “Chris Kyle was killed that day by a veteran he was trying to help”, followed by archive footage of crowds standing along the highway for his funeral procession. More are shown attending his memorial service. Now, I usually have a strong bias against war movies and particularly American ones even though the acting is good. I admit I was bored in several scenes of the film. And that plastic baby thingy – made me laugh. Still I’d give the film a 7.5 outta 10!

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

Ok, fresh off watching it last night I am disappointed in the film. It wasn’t as good as the first one. There are some good points and some bad points. Let’s look at the storyline first. After first helping Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, to protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster, the Guardians piss the Sovereign race off because Rocket stole some of the batteries for himself. Well, they did have it coming because they put them down and even questions Peter’s parentage but anyways….In invading the fight of the large unmanned drone vessels, the Guardians are aided by a mysterious figure but their ship crash lands on a planet. The mysterious figure turns out out to be Ego, who says he is Peter’s father! He invites Quill, accompanied by Gamora and Drax, to his home, while Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula.

Ego explains that he is one of the god-like Celestials, and exists as the planet on which they are standing. In his travels he took the guise that they see, of a human, and visited earth where he met and fell in love with Quill’s mother Meredith. He then had to leave but on learning of his mother dying, sent Yondu Udonta to fetch him but the Ravager never brought Peter to Ego. He has been looking for his son ever since and on hearing about the feats of Star Lord, he knew it has to be his son. Gamora & Drax interact with Mantis, an emapth who was raised by Ego and it’s clear that she wants to warn them of something but she keeps it to herself. Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his crew, who have been exiled from the greater Ravager community for child trafficking, to recapture the Guardians. They capture Rocket, but when Yondu shows reluctance to turn over Quill, his lieutenant Taserface leads a mutiny with help from Nebula. Taserface imprisons Rocket and Yondu aboard Yondu’s ship and executes his loyalists while Nebula leaves to track down and kill Gamora, whom she blames for all the torture inflicted on her by their father, Thanos.

While imprisoned, Rocket and Yondu bond. Groot, together with Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, frees Rocket and Yondu and they destroy the ship and its crew as they escape, though not before Taserface tips off the Sovereign fleet. Nebula arrives on Ego’s planet and attacks Gamora and the pair reach an uneasy alliance when they discover caverns filled with skeletal remains of various alien species. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels he planted seedlings upon thousands of worlds which can terraform them into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the combined power of two Celestials. To that end, he impregnated countless women and hired Yondu to collect the children; they all failed to use the Celestial power, so Ego killed them, until he found Quill. Ego uses Quill to activate the seedlings, which begin to consume every world. Quill is hypnotized into helping Ego, but fights back after Ego reveals that he deliberately caused Meredith’s death as his love for her distracted him from his purpose.

Rocket, Yondu, Groot and Kraglin arrive at the planet and the reunited Guardians reach the core of the planet, where Ego’s brain is housed, and fight the Sovereign’s arriving drones. Rocket makes a bomb out of the stolen batteries that Groot plants on Ego’s brain, while Quill battles Ego with his newfound Celestial powers to allow the other Guardians to escape. The bomb explodes, killing Ego and causing the planet to disintegrate. Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill, who comes to realize that Yondu did not deliver him to Ego in order to spare him from the fate of Ego’s other progeny, and that Yondu was Quill’s true “dad”. Having reconciled with Gamora, Nebula still chooses to set out and attempt to kill Thanos. The Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, which is attended by dozens of Ravager ships, acknowledging Yondu’s sacrifice and accepting him again as a Ravager.

Post credits scenes have Kraglin takes up Yondu’s telekinetic arrow and control fin; Ravager leader Stakar Ogord, inspired by Yondu’s sacrifice, reunites with his ex-teammates; Groot starts growing back to normal size, exhibiting typical teenage behavior in the process; Ayesha creates a new artificial being with whom she plans to destroy the Guardians, naming him Adam; and an astronaut discusses several experiences on Earth with a group of uninterested Watchers.

While it has it’s funny moments (mainly Groot, Mantis & Drax but others too) the film lost it’s charm on me due to the mystical powers of a god like creature. When they go down to the core of the planet and see a brain – oh sweet Satan! Having said that casting Kurt Russell in the role of Ego was a great choice though why Sly Stallone was in it for a bit I don’t know. Same for Michelle Yeoh who was in for 2 seconds. The mystical elements aside, it is a fun ride. The visual effects is awesome. I loved baby Groot and Mantis is so sweet that I fell in love with the French actress, Pom Klementieff, playing her. I will give it a…reluctant 8 outta 10!

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a 2016 American romantic comedy film directed by Kirk Jones and written by Nia Vardalos. The film stars Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, Ian Gomez and Elena Kampouris. It is the sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was released in 2002.

It’s 17 plus years after the events of the first movie and Toula & her husband Ian are the proud parents of a 17 year old smart daughter Paris, who is embarrassed by the suffocating attentions of her parents and extended family. Her travel agency and the family dry cleaners are closed due to the recession, and the only business still open is the restaurant that Gus, her father, owns. is now the principal at the school their daughter Paris attends, and Paris is preparing to leave for college. With all the smothering and Gus trying to find her a Greek boyfriend, Paris wants to go away to college. an and Toula find their marriage strained because Toula has the same obsessive drive to “fix” whatever goes wrong in her family, due to her daughter treating her like she no longer needs her and her family constantly asking Toula to do it, causing her and Ian to find little time for each other.

Meanwhile, Gus has ridiculously convinced himself that he is a direct descendant of Alexander the Great and wants an online ancestry site to confirm this. While sorting through his paper records, he discovers that his wedding certificate was never signed by the inexperience priest who married him and Maria 50 years ago in Greece. He is frustrated when his current priest refuses to just sign the paper, but is willing to renew their vows so their marriage can be “legal.” Maria scoffs at Gus’ insistence that they must marry again after fifty years together, but agrees to do it if Gus proposes to her properly. Gus refuses. Meanwhile, Toula tries to go on a date with Ian to try to rekindle their romance, but are unsuccessfully caught kissing in their car in the street by their family. Later on, Gus slips in the bath tub due to his bad hip; Toula calls an ambulance for Gus. When he needs to go to the hospital Maria refuses to go with him because she isn’t his wife, and he makes a public plea for her to marry him again. This time she agrees.

Maria wants the wedding she always wished she had and hired a wedding planner who quits due to constant madness surrounding her. The whole family, including Ian’s parents, Rodney and Harriet, and Angelo’s business partner, Patrick, pitch in to make it happen. Nick and Toula eventually realize that Patrick is also Angelo’s romantic partner, and welcome him into the family. Gus’s estranged brother, Panos, flies over from Greece for the ceremony as a surprise. Paris has been accepted by Northwestern University in Chicago and NYU in New York City. She begins to understand the intense love her mother has for her, and leans toward Northwestern. She changes her mind after sharing a moment with her great-grandmother and realizing she really wants to go to New York. She asks Bennett, a boy she has watched from afar and has crush on, to the prom, and he turns out to be Greek and has an equally crazy Greek family of his own. Prom is the same night as the wedding. Toula decides for Paris to go prom and promises to attend the reception later. On the way to the church, Gus, Panos, and Taki drink shots of ouzo and by the time they make it there, the three men are already drunk and stand giggling before the altar.

Maria is escorted down the aisle by Nick but storms off to the dressing room on seeing Gus drunk and giggling, seemingly not taking the wedding seriously. Panos tells Maria that the reason why Gus invited him to the wedding was because he confided to him as evidence of his love and need for her, and the ceremony takes place as planned. Ian and Toula watch Gus and Maria recite their vows, while Paris and Bennett slow-dance at the prom and share their first kiss. At the wedding reception, Gus receives a note from the ancestry site verifying that he is indeed a descendant of Alexander the Great. Ian then realizes and tells Toula that she forged it to make her father happy. The movie ends with the entire family dropping Paris off at her new college dorm in New York.

Though not as good as the original and having too many similar over-exaggerated jokes and situations that are more intune with the short lived sitcom, I still enjoyed this film on a night I was recovering from a fever. I will give it a 6.5 outta 10!

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RIP Vinod Khanna

Veteran actor and Gurudaspur MP Vinod Khanna passed away on Thursday in Mumbai after battling cancer. The actor had been ailing for long recently. Vinod Khanna acted in alliance and leicester loans lead roles in many superhit films and is best remembered for his performance in films like Mere Apne, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Gaddaar (1973 film), Jail Yatra, Imitihaan, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Inkaar, Kuchhe Dhaage, Amar Akbar Anthony, Rajput, Qurbani, Kudrat, Dayavan, Kaarnama,Suryaa: An Awakening and Jurm. After making his debut in 1968, Khanna first acted in small second lead roles or negative roles. His angry young man role in the superhit movie Mere Apne, his negative role as the main villain in the superhit movie Mera Gaon Mera Desh and his role in the crtically acclaimed movie Achanak as the military officer turned fugitive received tremendous applause from both- the film industry and his fans.

Khanna was born in a Punjabi family to Kamla and Kishanchand Khanna, a textiles, dyes and chemicals businessman, on 6 October 1946, in Peshawar, British India (now in Pakistan). He has three sisters and one brother. Shortly after his birth, India was partitioned and the family left Peshawar and reached Mumbai. In 1982, at the peak of his film career, Khanna temporarily quit the film industry to follow his spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh. After a 5 year hiatus, he returned to the Hindi film industry giving two back to back hit films Insaaf and Satyamev Jayate. Khanna is popularly hailed as one of the most handsome lead actors ever in Bollywood, along with Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor.

Between 1973 and 1982, Khanna played the lead role in solo hero movies which include Farebi and Hatyara with Moushumi Chatterjee; Qaid in 1975 and Zalim in 1980, both with Leena Chandavarkar; and Inkaar in 1978 opposite Vidya Sinha. He did successful movies like Gaddaar with Yogita Bali, Aap Ki Khatir and Raajmahal opposite Rekha, Main Tulsi Tere Angan Ki with Neeta Mehta, Khoon Ki Pukar , Shaque and Adha Din Aadhi Raat with Shabana Azmi,Aarop with Saira Banu, Taaqat with Rakhee and Parveen Babi, Jail Yatra opposite Reena Roy, Daulat with Zeenat Aman, The Burning Train with Praveen Babi. In 1980, he starred in Feroz Khan’s Qurbani (1980) which became the highest-grossing film of that year. He accepted supporting roles in films with Rajesh Khanna as the lead hero through out his career – Aan Milo Sajna had Vinod in antagonist role, Sachcha Jhoota, Kudrat, Rajput and Prem Kahani had Vinod in character roles.

Vinod also starred in 47 multi hero films. In Shankar Shambhu, Chor Sipahee and Ek Aur Ek Gyarah he co-starred with Shashi Kapoor, in Hera Pheri, Khoon Pasina, Amar Akbar Anthony, Zameer, Parvarish and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar Khanna appeared with Amitabh Bacchan; and in Haath Ki Safai and Aakhri Daku he co-starred with Randhir Kapoor. He appeared with Sunil Dutt in Daku Aur Jawan.He acted with Jeetendra in Ek Haseena Do Diwane, Ek Bechara, Parichay,Insaan, Anokhi Ada and Janam Kundali. He did Rakhwala,Paththar Aur Payal, The Burning Train, Batwara and Farishtey with Dharmendra.

In period 1974-1982 Vinod Khanna was paid more than Jeetendra in the film Insaan and more than Amitabh Bachchan in 4 films like Parvarish, Hera Pheri, Khoon Pasina, Amar Akbar Anthony. In post 1987 period, Vinod Khanna was paid more than Rishi Kapoor, Govinda, Sanjay Dutt, Rajnikanth, Salman Khan in the films he did with them from 1987-1995. Only in the films he co-starred with Shashi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Sunil Dutt, Raajkumar and Randhir Kapoor in period 1968-1982, Vinod was paid lesser than them.

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ROSHAN’s Eleven : Fav Superhero Movies

In no particular order my fav superhero films of all time are:

  • Superman
  • Iron Man
  • Batman vs Superman
  • Batman : The Dark Knight
  • Deadpool
  • Thor
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy
  • X-Men : First Class
  • The Avengers
  • Captain America : Civil War
  • The Avengers : Age Of Ultron

This is the list for now though the way I feel about these movies the list can change at any time. I will relook at the list in the weeks to come.

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Allied

Allied is a 2016 romantic thriller film directed by Robert Zemeckis instant laons and written by Steven Knight set during World War 2. It stars Brad Pitt as a Canadian intelligence officer and Marion Cotillard as a French Resistance fighter and collaborator, who fall in love during a mission in Casablanca. Jared Harris, Simon McBurney and Lizzy Caplan also star.

It’s 1942 and World War 2 is ranging on in Europe. Royal Canadian Air Force Intelligence Officer Max Vatan travels to Casablanca in Morocco to assassinate the German ambassador. He is partnered with a French Resistance fighter named Marianne Beauséjour, who had escaped from France after her resistance group was compromised and killed. They are posing as a married couple and Marianne is introducing him to her new friends in the German camp. Trusted by the Germans, she secures Max an invitation to the party where they plan to conduct the assassination. The two become close despite the danger involved and become intimate the day of the assassination. At the party, aided by a planned distraction, the mission goes well and they kill the ambassador and escape to London. The two get married, settle down in Hampstead, and have a baby girl named Anna. Max takes a desk job for the Allied Forces.

A year later Max is called in by the Special Operations Executive and informed that Marianne is suspected of being a German spy, having adopted her identity after the real Marianne was killed in France. When Max presses, they tell him that two missions that passed his desk were spoiled by the Germans, possibly tipped off by a spy who also knew of the missions. Max having told his wife of the missions is appalled by the accusations but is forced to go along with the plan to write down a piece of false intelligence at home, where Marianne can find it. If the information is picked up from intercepted German transmissions, Max must personally execute her, or be hanged for treason. Max is told otherwise to act normally. He finds it difficult but goes along with the rouse. But he also contacts a former British officer who is said to have known Marrianne – but he is unable to confirm her identity as he has been blinded in a battle.

Max then seeks out a young pilot named Adam Hunter, gives him a picture of his wife, and instructs him to ask French resistance fighter Paul Delamare, a former team member of Marianne’s whether, she really is Marianne. However, the following night, Max’s commanding officer Frank Heslop informs him that Hunter was killed while waiting on the ground for the answer. The following night Max takes the place of a Lysander pilot and flies to France to meet with Delamare, who, it transpires, is being held at the local police station. Max and the resistance break into the jail to confront Delamare. He is drunk, but remembers that Marianne was a beautiful pianist. Max comes back home and takes Marianne to a pub in the morning, breaks in and demands that she play him something on the piano. She cannot and adits that she was a German spy who took on the identity of Marianne after the former was killed. She claims her feelings for Max are genuine and that she and her child were being threatened by German spies in London, including the woman who lives around the corner and often looks after Anna.

Convinced of her feelings for him Max takes Marianne with him, confronts and kills the two German handlers and drives to an airfield. At the airfield his superior, Frank Heslop, confronts Max and with more soldiers coming, doesn’t let Max leave. Marianne tells Max that she loves him, asks him to take care of Anna, then shoots herself. Heslop orders the soldiers present to report that Max executed Marianne as per his orders, so that Max himself will not be punished. After the war, Max moves to the ranch in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, that was always his ambition, and raises Anna. The film ends with Marianne reading the letter that she had earlier written to her daughter, anticipating that one day her real identity would be uncovered.

Slow moving at times, the movie could have been really intense but payadvance is instead a slow burner that is held well by the acting ability of the two main leads. The setting in Canary Islands made to look like 1940s Casablanca and in London are great as well. 7.5 outta 10!

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The Shallows

The Shallows is a 2016 American survival thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, written by Anthony Jaswinski and starring Blake Lively. In the film, a surfer gets stranded 200 yards from shore, and must use her wits and determination to survive a great white shark attack. I guess you could label it a horror / creature feature film of sorts.

Well despite being set most on the ocean or is it the sea on a pretty beautiful but secluded beach and featuring our actress heroine trying to just stay alive, it is still is a very good film. Medical student Nancy Adams travels to a remote part of Mexico to a beach which was her late mother’s favourite place. Her mother was pregnant with Nancy at the time and she wants to see the place. From her hotel, a friendly local named Carlos drives her to the location and leaves as he lives nearby. Nancy joins two other locals in surfing through the day and stopping only for a bite to eat, during which she video chats with her younger sister and her estranged dad.

After the two men leave, Nancy stays behind to see the carcass of a large humpback whale nearby and catch the last waves but is bumped off her board by a great white who also bites her leg. She then climbs the carcass of the dying whale but the shark rams it from underneath, forcing her to swim to an isolated rock. She only has a wounded seagull for company as the shark keeps circling the whale carcass and the rock meaning she is stuck there. A drunken local sees her but thinks she is waving hello and so he waves back. He tries to steal her bag but sees her board and in trying to get that he is attacked and killed by the shark. The next morning the two locals from the previous day also return and try to reach Nancy to help her but both are killed by the shark. The headcamera on one of the surfers floats nearby so Nancy risks her life to get it. She leaves a recorded message for her sister and father.

With high tide coming, Nancy knows that the rock will be submerged and the shark will get at her so she sends the seagull whom she names Steven toward shore on a piece of surfboard, and timing the shark’s circles from the whale carcass to the rock, Nancy swims to a nearby buoy, narrowly avoiding the shark by swimming through a group of jellyfish, which sting both the shark and her. She finds a flare gun on the bouy and shoots a flare at a passing ship but they fail to see her. She shoots another flare at the shark, setting the oil from the whale carcass alight and angering it, but otherwise having no effect. The shark attacks the buoy and rips out the chains securing it to the ocean bed. Nancy straps herself to the last remaining chain and as it is ripped from the buoy, she is pulled down to the ocean floor, pursued by the shark. At the last moment, Nancy pulls out of the dive, and the shark impales itself on some rebar from the buoy’s anchor.

By morning, Carlos’s son Miguel who was playing on the beach finds the camera and plays it. He runs to his father who is able to get Nancy out of the water and to a hospital. A year later we see Nancy with her sister on a beach in Texas going to surf on boards with their dad watching nearby. A good survival film and it even has some fun moments. Not since Jaws & Deep Blue have I seen a shark that I wanted dead so much. I thought it was well done. And oh so satisfying when sharky shark bit the dust! 7 outta 10!

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Missing Sequels

If you could create a sequel to one favorite (standalone) movie, which would it be? How would it build on the original?

Event Horizon. One of the best and most underrated science fiction + horror films out there. It absolutely rocks and is dynamite in it’s story telling. It has an awesome premise and plot and some really good actors in it. If you are unaware of the movie it’s about a crew of astronauts sent on a mission to get in touch with a starship that has reappeared suddenly after it’s disappearance 7 years ago on it’s maiden voyage. The ship had an experimental engine that opened a rift in the space time continuum.

Joining the crew is the scientist who invented the engine and when they get to the ship, the Event Horizon, they discover that the ship had opened a portal to a hell dimension and whatever got through had killed and mutilated the crew of the Event Horizon and now wants these men and women too. The characters must try and escape but the entity that has taken control of the Event Horizon won’t let them go. In the end everything from the forward section of the Event Horizon is destroyed and heads onto earth like a lifeboat carrying just three of the crew while the rest are dead and the rest of the ship is pulled back into the hell dimension by means of the black hole that was opened. However we are led to believe that all is not right as the remaining 3 are found by rescue crew from earth. Is the closing of the doors ominously mean that the evil still remains?

I dunno and it is speculated as a possible outcome. I would love to see a sequel for this 1997 movie which remains a favourite of mine. Someone please get to it.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Although I have seen the original, it was so long, long ago (Over 25 years I think) that I do not remember anything about it. The Magnificent Seven is a 2016 American Western action film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. It is a remake of the 1960 western film of the same name, which in turn was a reimagination of the Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai. The film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.

The film pretty much follows the script of the original and the Hollywood remake classic (which makes you wonder why they bothered in the first place). A small mining town named Rose Creek, is looted by robber baron Bartholomew Bogue and his horde of criminals and when the good folk try to stand up to him, some of the men are killed on the street. Emma Cullen, who’se husband Matthew was one of those murdered, goes to the next town with her friend Teddy to get help and runs into warrant officer Sam Chisolm who was there on legal business. Along with gambler and Joshua Faraday, who is impressed with Sam’s skills, Sam agrees to defend the town on hearing that Bogue is the one who is harrassing the townsfolk. They are later joined by sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux, knife-wielding Billy Rocks, notorious Mexican outlaw Vasquez, skilled tracker Jack Horne, and Comanche warrior Red Harvest.

After they arrive in Rose Creek they confront and shoot dead enforcer McCann and his men, shoot dead 22 of them, and drive the corrupt sheriff away with a warning to leave Rose Creek alone. Surmising that Bogue and his forces will return in a week, the seven train the townspeople to defend their home and grow fond of them. Robicheaux, haunted by the horrors of the Civil War and fearing the killing he will be a part of, abandons the group and is replaced by Cullen. Bogue and his huge army of men arrive and attack the town but find that the people have rigged traps and bombs all over. A massive shootout ensues, during which Robicheaux rejoins the group. Bogue then unveils his secret weapon, a Gatling gun, with which he decimates the town and kills many of both sides. Realizing they’re outgunned, the seven evacuate the townspeople and mount their last stand. Horne is killed by Bogue’s Comanche assassin Denali, who is later killed by Red Harvest.

Robicheaux and Rocks are killed by a second round of gunfire. Faraday then rides up to the remainder of Bogue’s men and the Gatling gun. After he is riddled with bullets he makes a final attempt to destroy the Gatling gun, by detonating a stick of dynamite destroying the Gatling gun, the rest of Bogue’s men, and himself. Bogue flees into town, where he is confronted by Chisolm, who disarms and wounds Bogue. As Chisolm is strangling Bogue, he reveals that Bogue and his men raped and murdered his mother and sisters during a raid several years earlier, in which he himself survived being hanged. Bogue is then fatally shot by Cullen while attempting to shoot Chisolm with a hidden gun in his boot. Faraday, Robicheaux, Rocks and Horne are buried in town and honoured by the people of Rose Creek as heroes, while Chisolm, Vasquez and Red Harvest ride off. The film ends with Cullen remarking that their heroism made them legends and that it was “magnificent”.

I found the film boring in several places and then it picks up towards the final 3rd. The cast do a pretty short term loans for students uk good job but you won’t find the film memorable at all. I give it a…..7 outta 10!

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The Veil

Haven’t seen Jessica Alba in anything for a long while. So I definitely wanted to check out this film which was recommended in a Horror movie fan group as one of the best films of 2016 which most people may have skipped. And plus the film also stars one of my current darlings, Lily Rabe. The Veil is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by Phil Joanou and written by Robert Ben Garant. Jason Blum serves as a producer through his production company Blumhouse Productions and the movie also stars Aleksa Palladino, Reid Scott, and Thomas Jane.

25 years ago a religious cult named Heaven’s Veil, had all their members commit suicide in a ritual procedure. Documentary filmmaker Maggie Price contacts the sole survivor, Sarah Hope, to film a documentary about what really happened and she also has never seen before footage. Maggie and her brother Christian inform her that their father was the FBI who led the investigation that found the cult and saw the dead bodies. He soon committed suicide leaving his kids to be obsessed with finding the truth behind Heaven’s Veil. Maggie, Christian and their crew take Maggie with them to the remote site of the cult’s residence, which is deep in the woods. Sarah starts to see flashes of memories, visions of the dead and faints. After she recovers they set up camp for the night. The next morning one of the crew, Ed, is missing as well as their van.

Ann, the sound editor, and Nick, the gaffer, leave to find Ed. The others follow Sarah, who has remembered the location of a house hidden within the forest. Inside, they find the lost footage and missing cult member Karen Sweetzer’s decomposed corpse. In a tape found near her body, Karen rants about not being controlled and briefly addresses Sarah, who they learn is her daughter, before dying. They begin watching the remaining footage. In it, Jim Jacobs, the leader of Heaven’s Veil, describes how he has uncovered the secret to eternal life. By designing drugs with his knowledge of alchemy, he hopes to free his followers’ spirits from their bodies. Ann and Nick return, only to reveal that Ed has died in a high-speed car accident. Jill, the sound editor, argues they should leave, but Maggie and Sarah insist that they continue watching the tapes and the others reluctantly agree. In the later tapes, Jim experiments with dangerous drugs to help him temporarily cross over to the spirit realm.

During one trance, he possesses a cult member and announces that he has freed the first of three bindings from her soul. Ghosts kill Nick when he leaves to restart the house’s generator; he later rejoins the others and kills Ann when they are alone. Ann and Nick return together to continue watching the tapes. Jim reveals further experiments in the footage, where he administers poison to himself. He removes the second binding from his soul, then returns once the antidote is applied to him. Disturbed by ghostly whispers, Jill and Matt, the cameraman, leave. They find Ed apparently alive. As Jill applies first aid, Matt leaves to get help. Ed kills Jill, and they return to the house. Sarah holds a seance to communicate with her mother, who demands that she entice the documentary filmmakers to stay at the house. Sarah murders Christian, who rises and joins her to continue watching the footage with the others, all of whom but Maggie are now possessed.

In the final reel, Jim reveals that the poison administered to the cult members was supposed to be counteracted by an antidote. Karen objects to giving poison to the children and allows Sarah to flee. Jim is revealed to be Sarah’s father and forces Karen to take the poison when she resists. Karen leaves with the footage for the house, where she dies. Before the cult can administer the antidote to themselves, the FBI arrive and interrupt the ceremony. Denied the antidote, the cult members all die. In the present, Sarah reveals that the cult members have possessed the documentary filmmakers, and Jim, possessing Ed, nails Maggie to a tree despite her protests that her father did not know about the antidote. The police arrive with Matt, only to be killed by the cult members, who now possess their bodies, too. Jim announces his plan to feed upon the souls of the rest of the world.

You can predict how things are going to unfold and it’s a bit boring with very little scary stuff but I did find parts of the film cool. I’d give it a 6.5 outta 10! Average run of the mill stuff.

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Life (2017)

Life is a 2017 American science fiction horror film directed by Daniel Espinosa, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds. The film follows a six-member crew of the International Space Station that uncovers what initially seems to be the first evidence of life on Mars; however, the crew finds their discovery might not be what it seems.

The 6 member team on the ISS are able to successfully capture of a space probe returning from Mars w loans no credit check direct lenders ith a soil sample. The crew is tasked with studying the sample, which contains the first proof of extraterrestrial life. After extracting a single-cell from the sample, Biologist Hugh Derry is able to revive the dormant organism with atmospheric adjustments and glucose. It grows into a multi-celled organism quickly evolving at a decent rate and getting named as “Calvin” by children who won a contest back on earth. After an atmospheric accident in the lab, Calvin becomes dormant and a concerned Hugh tried to revive it using a mild electric shock. Calvin reanimated and becomes aggressive, grabbing hold of Hugh’s right hand, ultimately crushing it as Hugh struggles to get free. It shows signs of advanced intelligence escapes the containment cube into the room with Hugh. While it devours a lab rat and immediately grows in size, engineer Rory Adams enters the room and rescues Hugh.

Calvin however attaches itself to Rory’s leg and crew captain, Dr. Miranda North, locks Rory inside the room to keep Calvin in containment. Rory manages to remove Calvin from his leg and begins to attack it with a handheld incinerator. Calvin shows remarkable resilience to fire and evades Rory’s attacks until the incinerator runs out of fuel. Calvin then attacks Rory and forces its way into his mouth, killing him from the inside. Emerging from Rory’s mouth, evolved and even larger, Calvin then manages to escape from the room through an emergency fire suppression vent. Hugh theorizes that the lack of breathable air on Mars is probably what kept the organism dormant until that point. Katarina goes out on a spacewalk to fix the antenna when they discover that communications to earth is down and she too is attacked by Calvin who consumes coolant as a source of nutrition and ruptures Katerina’s EVA suit’s coolant system, effectively drowning her inside her suit. Calvin attempts to enter the station through the thrusters. An attempt to stop Calvin results in the ISS entering a decaying orbit. Engineer and pilot Sho Murikami informs the crew that they need to use the remaining fuel to get back into a standard orbit, but that it would allow Calvin back into the station.

The crew try to suffocate Calvin by sealing themselves into one module and venting the atmosphere from the rest of the station. When Hugh suddenly enters cardiac arrest, the crew resuscitate only to realize that Calvin had attached itself to Hugh’s leg and was feeding off of him. Now having grown into a much larger tentacled creature, Calvin attacks the remainder of the crew. Sho hides in a sleeping pod while Miranda and David lure Calvin away using blood from Hugh’s body and trap it in the module to deprive it of oxygen. Earth Control send a Soyuz capsule as a fail-safe plan to push the station out towards deep space and prevent any chance of the organism entering Earth. The capsule docks imperfectly against the module where Calvin was contained. Presuming it to be a rescue attempt, Sho leaves his pod and rushes to board the arriving ship. He enters the module and attempts to manually open the hatch to enter the capsule. As soon as he opens the hatch, Calvin attacks him. The imperfect docking results in a breach and the resulting explosion sends the capsule spiralling and damages the ISS, as Calvin kills Sho.

Temperature and oxygen levels drop in the station & David and Miranda realize that the incident has also caused them to re-enter the decaying orbit that will culminate in re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Since they cannot allow Calvin to reach Earth, David plans to lure Calvin into one of the pods before manually overriding the system to fly deep space, thus letting Miranda escape in the other pod to return to Earth. This works initially as Calvin is inside the pod with David and Miranda leaves in her pod Her pod however hits space debris from the ISS and is knocked off course. Calvin attacks David as he struggles to send his pod into deep space. The earthbound pod lands in a body of water near two Vietnamese fishermen. As they approach the pod, it is revealed to be David’s, with David encased and trapped in a black substance. Meanwhile Miranda screams helplessly as her navigation system fails and her pod is hurled into deep space. David, still alive, tries to warn the fishermen to not attempt a rescue. As the fishermen open the pod door, more fishing boats arrive. The screen then cuts to black.

We are left to assume that Miranda dies alone in space, drifting along alone in the dark while Calvin escapes and creates havoc on earth. We don’t know what is the fate of the alien or the humans on earth. It’s a story that has been done before and the film offers nothing new but I still found it a good enough film and entertaining enough. Though my main complaint is that Reynolds is only in the film for 25 minutes, his character Rory having been the first to die. I’d give this film a 7.5 outta 10!

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Kong : Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, from a story by John Gatins. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and serves as the second film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse. It stars an ensemble cast consisting of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary and John C. Reilly.

Set mainly in 1973, U.S. government agent Bill Randa to guide an expedition to map out an island known as “Skull Island”. He gets funding from a senator to piggy back onto a scientific expedition by Monarch and hires former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad, a skilled tracker and his assistants San Lin, a young biologist working for Monarch & Houston Brooks, a young geologist and graduate of Yale University, recruited for the expedition by Monarch for his groundbreaking theories on seismology. Randa also recruits the Sky Devils, a Vietnam War veteran helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and prominently made up of his right-hand, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole to escort them to the island. The group is soon joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver, who plans to expose it, believing it’s a secret military operation with dark purposes.

The soldiers begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to determine if the ground is hollow, despite Conrad’s objections. The noise alerts and angers a 100 foot monster gorilla, named – you guessed it – Kong. He destroys many of the choppers killing many of the members of the expedition. The survivors must make their way on a three day trek to the north of the island which is the rendezvous site for them to be picked up in case of an emergency and avoid being killed by giant spiders and lizards the size of a bus. The soldiers and ciRanda reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch to Packard and the expedition’s real purpose: to acquire proof of the existence of forgotten monsters, fearing that they may soon return to take back the world from humanity. Randa also explains that he himself once served on a U.S. Navy ship that was destroyed by one of those monsters.

Meanwhile, Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin, soldier Reg Slivko and Landsat employee Victor Nieves, among others, encounter the local Iwi natives and meet Hank Marlow, the American pilot who crashed on the island all those years ago. Marlow reveals that Kong is the island’s guardian and is worshipped as a god by the natives for protecting them from Skullcrawlers, reptilian underground monsters who have slaughtered Kong’s ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. He also mentions that a Skullcrawler killed the Japanese pilot he landed on the island with and became friends with. Marlow reveals Kong only attacked the helicopters to prevent the bombs from awakening the “Big One”, thus protecting the locals from it.

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The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys is a 2016 American mystery-crime thriller neo-noir action comedy film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Anthony Bagarozzi. The film stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David and Kim Basinger and follows a pair of 1977 Los Angeles private eyes who investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl.

From the first scene you understand that although there’s gonna be violence, this movie means to have a sense of humour. Its 1977 Los Angeles and a boy who steals a nudie mag from his dad’s collection ogles at pics of centerfold and adult film star Misty Mountains and a few seconds later a car crashes through his house. He goes to the woods behind his house to find a naked Misty dying in the ruins of the car and as she passes away he drapes his shirt over her body. Later that week, down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March is approached by Mrs. Glenn, the aunt of Misty Mountains who is obsessively claiming to have seen her niece alive after her supposed death. He does not believe the elderly woman but takes the job anyway when he finds out that teenager Amelia Kuttner, who is known to be missing, is somehow involved. Scared by his investigations and not knowing who he is Amelia, who is in fact in hiding, hires unethical enforcer Jackson Healy to intimidate March into staying away from her.

Healy himself is attacked by two thugs, Blue Face and Older Guy, who attempt to interrogate him about Amelia’s whereabouts. He manages to scare them away using a shotgun. He and March join forces to find Amelia and solve the mystery. Holly, March’s precocious and intelligent young daughter, despite her father’s fears, keeps following them despite dad’s attempts to keep her out of the case for her own safety. March and Healey find out that Amelia was working with Misty Mountains and an amateur filmmaker named Dean on an “experimental film”—equal parts pornography and investigative journalism—called How Do You Like My Car, Big Boy? about the smog in Los Angeles. Dean and film’s financier, Sid Shattack, a notorious pornography producer are found dead and Amelia runs into March. Holly, after attempting to investigate on her own, is tricked into a car by Blue Face and Older Guy. Healy fights with Older Guy, while Blue Face tries to kill Amelia from inside his car, only to be stopped by Holly, who warns Amelia and then escapes with her.

While chasing them down, Blue Face is seriously injured in a hit-and-run. Dying in the middle of the road, he reveals to Healy that their boss has dispatched a hit man named John Boy to kill Amelia, March and his family to prevent further witnesses. After a brief investigation, the two are greeted by Amelia’s mother, Judith Kuttner, a high-ranking official in the US Department of Justice, who claims her daughter is delusional and paranoid and points them towards the Las Vegas mob trying to expand into the Los Angeles pornography scene. At a hotel in search of Amelia they find the assassin killing men and sneak away only to have Amelia fall onto their car. They take Amelia back to March’s house, where she reveals that the people after her are working for a cabal of Detroit automakers. After uncovering evidence that they colluded to suppress the catalytic converter (which regulates exhaust emissions), Amelia created the film to expose their collusion. Judith has her assistant, Tally, arrange for March and Healy to deliver a briefcase that supposedly contains $100,000.

When March dozes while driving and accidentally crashes their car, the case flies open to reveal shredded magazines; the double-cross was a diversion to leave Amelia unprotected. John Boy attacks Holly before engaging in a shootout with March and Healy as soon as they return to the house. On hearing police sirens, John Boy drives off while an impatient Amelia has fled the house, only to be killed by John Boy on the street when he inadvertently comes across her attempting to catch a ride. March and Healy try to bring the matter to court, but are rejected, as they have no evidence, leading them again to search for the film. The two have Mrs. Glenn show them where she saw Misty Mountains alive. Inside they find a hidden projector – the nearsighted Mrs. Glenn having mistaken footage of Misty for her niece – and deduce that there was a reprint of the film. They realize that the projectionist, Chet, another protester they had questioned about Dean, is the projectionist for the film and had worked with Amelia to make the film public by splicing it into the presentation film for the Los Angeles Auto Show, which is being held at a hotel.

At the auto show, the two find that John Boy and Older Guy, along with a few other thugs are already there and have interrogated a drunken Chet, learning that the film will be projected automatically from a window of the building. Healy and March attempt to reach it first, only to be intercepted at gunpoint by Tally. Before she can kill them, Holly arrives while pretending to be room service and knocks Tally unconscious. In a subsequent fight, Older Guy falls to his death, while Healy subdues John Boy. He spares his life at Holly’s behest. They take the film to the police, and although Judith is arrested, the Detroit car companies escape punishment. Healy and March decide to continue working together as private eyes, naming their agency “The Nice Guys”.

Funny with a dark sense of humour and some action shots and fighting involved with some nudity, the movie is a surprising change from the usual kind of crime movies we have been getting from Hollywood the last several years. Chalk it out as a good movie to watch on a weekend afternoon. 8 outta 10!

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Logan

Logan, the 3rd solo Wolverine film and the 9th X-Men film that the character appears in (granted two were small cameos) is a 2017 superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman. The film, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is the tenth installment in the X-Men film series, as well as the third and final Wolverine film, following X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). It is directed by James Mangold, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Frank and Michael Green, from a story by Mangold, and also stars Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant and Dafne Keen.

This film is special as after 17 years of playing the same characters it will be the final appearance of both Jackman and Stewart as James “Logan” Howlett and Professor Charles Xavier. The film set in 2029 shows us an older Logan (based on the Old Man Logan comic book series) surviving by driving a limo for customers in Texas. With no new ones born for years the Mutants are on the verge of extinction and all the X-men are long dead. A heavily drinking Logan buys prescription drugs for Xavier who is now suffering from a neurodegenerative disease which causes him to lose control of his telepathic abilities to devastating effect. The professor is cared for by Logan with the help of the albino mutant Caliban, a tracker, and they live in an abandoned smelting plant across the border in Mexico. Logan himself is weakening due to the adatmantium within his body is now poisoning him and impeding his healing factor.

His life changes when a Mexican nurse from Transigen asks his help to get a young girl named Laura to the border and into Canada. At the same time Logan is approached byDonald Pierce, Transigen’s cybernetically-enhanced chief of security, who offers him a job, but he refuses as he too is looking for Laura. Logan agrees to help get Laura to safety but the nurse is killed and the girl sneaks into Logan’s car and goes to the plant with him. But Pierce and his cybernetically-enhanced enforcers, the Reavers , have made their way to the plant as well. We soon learn – in some awesome and brutal fight scenes – that Laura is a mutant too, with similar claws like Logan. Transigen was breeding mutant children with DNA samples from several mutants that are born from female employees for the “X-23” project, but found they were difficult to control as they grew up. Upon completion of the “X-24” project, the children were deemed unnecessary and were to be put to death. Laura is Logan’s “daughter having his dna. Logan must get Laura and Charles safely on a long trip from Texas to North Dakota where a  group of similar children have gathered.

Add to the mix is X-24, who is sent to kill Logan and capture Laura and the other children, who looks just like Logan but is more like a machine to do his master’s bidding having no emotions. Charles needs to be medicated to avoid the devastating effects of telepathic abilities as we see in one scene where several people in a large hotel get injured as he loses control but luckily among the injured are Reavers with guns. A family that gets the help from Logan and Laura in getting their horses back and offer a decent meal and beds for the night are also victims of the Reavers. Charles is killed by X-24. Logan and Laura find the hideout in North Dakota but the Reavers are able to track them and take them captive. Logan takes a heavy dose of a serum given to him by Rictor, the oldest of the kids, to restore his healing factor and fights off the Reavers and the kids use their powers as well. Logan then pleads the children to go and decides to remain, after which X-24 lifts up the truck and attacks Logan off-guard and drags him and then impales the latter on a tree branch before Laura is able to kill X-24 with an adamantium bullet. Logan feels love and family for the first time before dying in Laura’s arms and is mourned and buried by the kids before they move on.

Brutal and devastating this film is a fitting end to the legend of two characters. I have never been a fan of Hugh Jackman but this film is great. Patrick Stewart is awesome as ever and there is even talks of him getting a nod for best supporting actor in several award shows. I hope so. The kid, Daphne Keen, is excellent in her role and does great in her fight scenes. Though gritty there are moments of humour and thoughtful tenderness in the film. 9 outta 10!

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JeruZalem

JeruZalem is a 2015 Israeli supernatural horror film written, directed and produced by Doron Paz & Yoav Paz. The movie stars Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn & Tom Graziani. The film makes use of found footage style of filming but using Google Glass instead of a regular vlogging or filming camera.

The movie starts of with a Youtube video shot in 1972 where two priests  are called to record an event at Jerusalem. It is revealed that Jewish, Muslim, and Christian priests were all called to perform an exorcism on a woman who supposedly died three days before. Her son claims she was calm at first, but became violent later, injuring her husband. After failed attempts to cure her, the priests decide they have no choice but to kill the woman. In a final attempt, the woman screams while sprouting leather wings, just before a priest kills her with a gun. Now move to current times and Jewish Americans Rachel Klein and Sarah Pullman have planned a trip to Tel Aviv for vacation, a year after Sarah’s brother died. Sarah has been gifted a brand new Google Glass by her dad.

On the plane their meet Kevin, who is fascinated by religious mythology (especially the dark angel, the Golem and the undead or zombies). He suggests that Rachel and Sarah join him on his journey to Jerusalem, and mentions that he wants to spend Yom Kippur there. They join him and go to Jerusalem and stay in a hotel/hostel run by Oman and his father. While Rachel starts an affair with Omar, Kevin and Sarah grow closer. The four friends enjoy their time in Jerusalem, party, and tour the city. When they visit the Western Wall, Sarah wishes for her recently dead brother Joel to return. As soon as she puts the paper into the Western Wall, a swarm of black birds fly over the Western Wall. Next they visit Soloman quarries but Kevin sees drawings on the wall, feels nervous and says he wants to leave, Sarah joining hi. Kevin starts researching the drawings and starts to get paranoid saying that there won’t be a tomorrow. Kevin insists on leaving, but Omar and his father believe that Kevin is crazy (apparently this temporary insanity affects a few people who visit Jerusalem) and send him to a mental asylum.

At night they see planes bombing part of the city and initial reports make it out to be a terrorist attack. Israeli soldiers come and tell the citizens that they should leave the city and Sarah tries to set Kevin free from the asylum, but Rachel and Omar, being escorted by two Israeli soldiers, refuse to stop and insist that they keep moving. Sarah convinces the soldiers to help her free Kevin. In the hospital, Sarah finds and frees Kevin. While in the asylum she seems a zombie like figure with sharp wings. They manage to escape and meet Omar and Rachel at the city walls. However, the city walls are closed and the city is under quarantine. Anyone who tries to leave is brutally shot down. The four friends don’t want to give up on their escape, and Omar’s father suggests sneaking out through underwater caves he knew as a child. On their way there they are met by demons who attack the civilians, bite them, scratch them to infect them, and eat their flesh. Kevin believes that the doors to hell have been opened. Sarah soon realizes that Rachel has been infected as well.

In the caves Rachel starts to get worse and the demons start attacking the group. Sarah falls down and Rachel regains control over herself, warning Sarah to run before killing herself. Sarah accidentally kills Omar’s father with a sword taken from a statue, when Omar realizes what happened, he commits suicide leaving Kevin and Sarah alone. They meet a creature with black wings who turns out to be Sarah’s brother Joel returned to life. Joel leads them from the caves. Upon reaching the other side of the wall, Sarah realizes that she has many scratches similar to Rachel’s on her legs and arms. She turns into a demon and flies into the air, while Kevin watches on in shock. Thousands of demons are seen flying above Jerusalem as military helicopters surround the scene and fires burn throughout the city.

Shabbily done and to be truthful I never once cared about any of the characters. If you do not like the characters it is hard to get into a movie and root for them or feel bad when the horror befalls them. Not one character is likeable or relateable. Some of the dialogue is corny and you understand when you get to know that the cast is almost all Israeli (meaning the girls are pretending to be American for the movie) and I just found it a run of the mill supernatural stuff. A 6 outta 10!

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The 2017 Oscars Winners List

Here’s the complete list of the winners:

Best Picture – ‘Moonlight’ by Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

Best Actress in a Leading Role – Emma Stone for ‘La La Land’

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Casey Affleck for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Best Director – Damien Chazelle for ‘La La Land’

Best Adapted Screenplay – Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for ‘Moonlight’

Best Original Screenplay – Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Best Original Song – ‘City Of Stars’ from ‘La La Land’ by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Best Original Score – Justin Hurwitz for ‘La La Land’

Best Cinematography – Linus Sandgren for ‘La La Land’

Best Live Action Short – ‘Sing’ by Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy

Best Documentary Short – ‘The White Helmets’ by Orlando Von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best Film Editing – John Gilbert for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Best Visual Effects – Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R Jones and Dan Lemmon for ‘The Jungle Book’

Best Production Design – David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco for ‘La La Land’

Best Animated Feature – ‘Zootopia’ by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Best Animated Short – ‘Piper’ by Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Best Foreign Language Film – ‘The Salesman’ by Asghar Farhadi

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Viola Davis for ‘Fences’

Best Sound Mixing – Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Best Sound Editing – Sylvian Bellemare for ‘Arrival’

Best Documentary Feature – Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow for ‘O J: Made In America’

Best Costume Design – Colleen Atwood for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’

Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson for ‘Suicide Squad’

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) – Mahershala Ali for ‘Moonlight’