Baywatch

 

R 1hr 56min (2017)

Baywatch is an underfunded lifeguard program dedicated to saving lives. The head of the program is Mitch (Dwayne Johnson), and his seasoned lifeguards are second in command Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and CJ Parker (Kelly Rohrbach). Mitch from tower one on the beach, senses trouble in the water. Mitch sees a man that was windsurfing. Suddenly, he hits a big wave that throws him, and he falls deep in the water and hits his head. Mitch rushes to his rescue, dives in and saves and gets him treatment. After saving the man, Mitch noticed a couple small baggies on the beach near the water. He went in for a closer look, and it was baggies of a newer version of bath salts called flakka. It is essentially half heroin and half crack. You can see this troubled Mitch. Mitch then goes for a run. Everyone in the Bay loves and respects Mitch. He has saved or rescued several of them. Meanwhile a Baywatch recruit hopeful, who has a huge crush on CJ, named Ronnie Greenbaum (Jon Bass) is eating a carrot and begins to choke. CJ is close by and see him and performs the Heimlich, and saves him. Later is the annual try out, to test cadets to see if they have what it takes to be on the Baywatch team. A motorcycle pulls up and a guy named Matt Brody (Zac Efron) steps off, and oozes with self-confidence. He tries to hit on a girl named Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario). But even with all his boy band charm she shuts him down. Brody walks up to Mitch, and Mitch tells him good luck on the tryout. Brody tells him that he doesn’t have to tryout, that he already has the job. Mitch asks Stephanie what she thinks and she tells Brody, everyone tries out. Brody hands Mitch a note. It reads that Brody is to be assigned to the Baywatch team, from Captain Thorp (Rob Huebel). Mitch crumples up the note and throws it, and reaffirms their earlier statement no one gets in Baywatch without trying out. The next scene Brody is going through a Ninja Warrior type course, and Mitch tells him that was probably record time. Then Mitch said, but that wasn’t the course and you have to beat me. Then the two were flipping giant tractor tires, and each caring two refrigerators on each side of a bar on their shoulders, and then doing pullups. Mitch destroys Brody at all the events. When suddenly a woman on the pier screams for her children then jumps in the water after them. All the team jumps on ATVs, except Brody who is confused about what to do. Brody sees a motorcycle, then commandeers it and passes the team. Then he drives up on the pier to the end and dives off the bike into the water. He tries to rescue the mother, but she fights him. Mitch tells him there are two kids. Mitch saves the kids and the girls save the mother. Mitch tells him you can’t just rush up to a victim, you have to know what you’re doing. Later Mitch announces that the three new recruits will be Brody, Summer and Ronnie. The next day the team gets called to a boat on fire. The coast guard is on the way but it will be too long before they get there. The water is on fire around the boat, and the boat is also on fire. Mitch dives in and swims past the water fire. He saves three young women on the boat and sees a man lying on the boat. Mitch grabs him and jumps in the water before the boat explodes. While on the rescue boat, the man doesn’t make it, and one of the three women has flakka stuffed in her swimsuit. Mitch tells his team that they need to figure out where all flakka is coming from, and stop its distribution. Will Brody ever get over himself and become part of the team? Will the team get to the bottom of the murder and drug problem on the beach? You will have to watch and find out.

The director of this motion picture is Seth Gordon. Some of Seth’s other notable directing accolades are some tv series like Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Modern Family, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and The Goldbergs. He has also directed some films such as Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses, and Identity Theft. Seth’s vision for this film was not a remake of the series, but a reimagining. It was filled with slapstick comedy while hinting at breaking through the fourth wall.

The plot to the film was actually pretty good considering the nature of the original series, and the fact that it was changed to a comedy. The storyline was full of jokes and one liners, but not a lot of useful content. But again, it was a comedy. The CGI was terrible, and I’m not sure if the budget was just that low, or maybe it was supposed to be satirical, or it just could have been that bad. The props, and sets were really well done. The locations were perfect for the film. The wardrobe (or lack thereof) and makeup was just right for this film. You really couldn’t expect much else from this movie. The soundtrack was pretty good, with modern hip-hop songs and even the original song from the series. The acting was not bad, even when it was satire and sarcastic. The cast was fully capable of realistic acting, and did a pretty good job in the face of this knee slapping comedy. The new comer Jon Bass was very funny and I laughed quite a bit at his acting and character. Alexandra Addario did a great job in her role. I enjoyed her character in the film. Zac Efron did an ok job in his part. I’ve seen him in other parts where he was funnier, but seemed a little flat in the film. Maybe I was expecting too much. Dwayne Johnson played his charismatic lead role, to a T. His character was a little overacted, but I still enjoyed his performance. The film also had some cameos with some of the original cast. The film itself was not fantastic. But it was funny throughout most of it, and parts did make me laugh out loud. This one is a tough one for recommendations. As the standpoint of the film it was not great, but as a comedy it was good. If you are in the mood for a spectacular film with eyepopping effect, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a fun and silly comedy to make you laugh, then this film is a good one.

This motion picture was rated R and was definitely worth the rating. This film had adult language, crude humor, sexual innuendoes, mild blood, mild gore, death/murder, adult situation, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and violence. I do not recommend this film to anyone under the age of 18 years old.

Dan Jones

Eye in the Sky

 

R 1hr 42mins (2015)

This film starts out in Surrey, England with a Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) of the Britain Military being informed by the news that one of their co-op operatives had been executed by Somali extremists who go by Al-Shabab. Al-Shabab have been responsible for several terror attacks on civilians killing hundreds and injuring hundreds more. Col. Powell reports to work at the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood, London. Also gearing up in Parklands a suburb in Kenya, is the other end of the coalition working out of a van led by agent Jama Farah (Barkhad Abdi). Meanwhile in Las Vegas, Nevada Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) and Carrie Gershon (Phoebe Fox) report to duty. Steve flies the drone and Carrie works the camera. Both have only done surveillance missions. A British citizen that had joined Al-Shabab have arrived at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi. On another flight, another Al-Shabab recruit from America has also landed. A Kenyan Agent has verified they have all entered the country. Meanwhile the United States military has an Image Analysis Unit in Pearl Harbor Hawaii, that will assist in the apprehension of the Al-Shabad members. Intelligence has verified that there is a meeting with the two new recruits Muhammad Abdisalaam from America and Rasheed Hamud from Britain. The two will meet with Abdullah Al-Hady and his wife Ayesha Al-Hady in the suburbs of Parklands. Ayesha Al-Hady was formerly Susan Danford a British woman converted and radicalized.  The couple are numbers four and five on the East Africa Most Wanted list. The drone Pilate and sensor operator is to verify all members of the team and a foot soldier strike led by the Kenyan military will take place. The final part of the team is in the British Cabinet Offices in Whitehall, London. Where General Benson (Alan Rickman), former cabinet member that has just been appointed to this committee named Angela Northman, British Attorney General, Minister, meet in the Cabinet Offices Briefing Room ‘A’ (also known as Cobra). All the pieces were in play in Parklands. The Image Analysis Unit uses facial recognition to identify all but one of the extremists as they leave the compound. The terrorist drive to a compound in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya a heavily fortified area, as the drone keeps a watchful eye on them. Now that they have moved to this location the ground forces cannot move in, it would be a slaughter with many casualties. Now that the extremists are in the compound it is verified that all of members the coalition are after are there. There is also an explosive expert who is responsible for several suicide bombings, and two suicide vests. The only option on the table is a hellfire missile from the drone, taking out the Al-Shabad members. The only problem is the civilian casualties, including one little girl selling bread outside the compound. Will all the teams make the right or wrong decision? Will this innocent girl lose her life to save hundreds more? You will have to watch and see.

Gavin Hood is an actor, producer, and the director of this film. Some of Gavin’s other works are Rendition, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Ender’s Game. Gavin’s vision for this film is a political, legal, and military struggle of conscious. Thinking of my next line to type, I cannot get past a famous film quote that is actually relevant in this situation. Does the need of the many out-weigh the needs of the few? I may have changed the context of the quote slightly to fit the problem, but you get the idea.

Assessing the plot was difficult for me on this one. I do not like the use of children’s death or suffering to entertain. But this actually had a real-life type of scenario that makes a person have to contemplate both side of the argument. So, for this I will give it a pass. The storyline was very, very well written. The character development was fantastic, with having such a short time. The CGI was superb. It was almost impossible to discern what was real, and what was CGI. The props, and effects were amazing and lifelike. The sets, and locations were perfect and seemed to take you into the setting. The wardrobe was spot on for all the different settings, like political, military, militia, and third world Kenyan civilians. The score was perfect. It didn’t seem to overbearing, yet kept the pace and suspense of the film timed just right. The acting was marvelous. Helena Mirren played the perfect coldhearted military leader with questionable intensions. She was someone you loved to hate. Alan Rickman’s portrayal of a callused and decisive soldier was wonderful. Aaron Paul’s character had a passionate drive to him. And Aaron did a great job making you feel what his character was feeling. Barkhad Abdi surprised me in this role. I really enjoyed his character, and how he illustrated the part. I thought the film did a fantastic job of showing that there is not always a right and wrong, and sometimes being right is wrong. The movie really draws you in emotionally. I would recommend this film. It is not an easy film to watch, but definitely worth it.

The motion picture is rated R and for good reason. The film had adult language, violence, blood, death/murder, and adult situation. I do not recommend anyone under the age of 18 view this film.

By Dan Jones

Grudge Match

 

PG-13 1hr 53mins (2013)

This is the story of the ultimate rivalry between two boxers named Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) in the early 80’s. In their first bout, Kid knocked out Razor for the championship title. Then there was the rematch, Razor dominated the fight and took the title. Shortly after the fight, Razor retired, before Kid could challenge him to a rematch. Kid was furious, and called Razor a coward. Their promoter Dante Slate Sr., skimmed most of their purse. Over the years the two squandered the rest of their earnings. Kid took every advantage to endorse every product that would have him. He also opened up a bar to help earn him some income. Razor went back to work at the factory that he worked, before he became a fighter. A boxing reporter analyzed the two fighter’s careers on a show, during the 30th reunion of their last fight. Razor still visits and helps care for his old trainer Louis “Lightning” Conlon (Alan Arkin). After Razor’s visit with Lightning he comes home to find Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin Hart) waiting for him. Dante tells Razor that after that story aired, Dante had gotten in touch with a video game company to put the two fighter’s likenesses in the game. Razor wanted nothing to do with it. Dante convinced him to do it for a large sum of cash and a guarantee that Kid would not be there. When Razor was in the suit for the video game rendering, Kid showed up and a fight ensued. Dante bailed them both out of jail. Now because of the video going viral online, a contract had been offered to them for one more fight. The three of them would make hundreds of thousands of dollars. Will the Kid and Razor be able to get handle the rigors of training again? Will this prove once and for all who is the better fighter? You will have to watch and see.

The director of this film was Peter Segal. Some of Peter’s other directorial achievements are: Naked Gun 33 1/3, Tommy Boy, My Fellow Americans, Nutty Professor, Anger Management, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard, and Get Smart. Peter’s vision for this motion picture was a smoky venue filled with nostalgia, with a hint of comedy.

The plot to the film was decent and had some merit. The storyline was ok, and the character development was good. The CGI was not very good. I can appreciate what they tried to do, and other films had done. But it just looked bad. The sets and props were all done very nice. Everything looked authentic. The wardrobe and makeup did a fantastic job. Each character had their own style and it evolved throughout the film. The sound track was awesome, it had some great songs. But the score was almost unnoticeable. The acting was pretty poor all around. Even the ones who could act, gave a less than stellar performance. Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, and Kim Basinger all really phoned in their performances. Granted, it was a comedy, and none of these actors are still in their glory days. But I really expected more from them. On the plus side Alan Arkin did a pretty good job, and I enjoyed his performance. I thought he was the best part of the film. Also, Jon Bernthal did a marvelous job playing the bastard son of Kid. Jon’s performance was very deep emotionally driven, and was the best acting in the film. The film had the potential to be great, but it seemed like there was a lot lacking. That being said I didn’t hate it, but don’t rush out to rent this one.

This motion picture was rated PG-13. The film had alcohol abuse, adult language, crude humor, sexual references, blood, violence, and adult situation. I recommend that parent or guardians view this film before letting anyone under the age of 18 watch it, and definitely no one under 13 should view this film.

By Dan Jones

The Captive

 

R 1hr 52mins (2014)

This film starts out with a sophisticated man with a nice house, putting on Opera. The man’s name is Mika (Kevin Durand). He walks through his pristine house and down three flights of stairs to the bottom floor, possibly a den in the basement. In the den are several monitors, that appear to be a home security system. In one of the monitors is a maid cleaning a bathroom. He slides what looks like a wall back, revealing a large metal door with a keypad lock. He types in the code and the door opens. There sat a late teens girl, playing a keyboard and singing. The room inside looks like a small studio apartment. The girl looks up at Mika, and he tells her maybe just this once. Then cut to a boy about the same age as the girl, on an ice rink. He is practicing figure skating, as a rugged man named Matthew (Ryan Reynolds) watches him. They see each other and Matthew signals a greeting to him. The maid in the camera named Tina (Mireille Enos) calls Matthew, and tells him he needs to meet with her and detective Nicole (Rosario Dawson). But Matthew tells her the weather is too bad for him to meet her. She tells him that its typical for him to make any excuse to not meet. When the abduction first took place, Nicole and her partner Jeffery (Scott Speedman) in a roundabout way accused Matthew of being involved. Tina then meets with Nicole, and she still insinuates that Matthew could have something to do with it. But Tina defends Matthew saying he loves her more than anyone, and he is out on the road searching for Cass. Now comes a flashback. Tina and Matthew are married and at the ice rink watching their young daughter figure skate with a young boy. Afterwards Tina leaves for work, and Matthew and young Cass go to a diner to get pie. She is tired and lays down in the back seat of the truck, while Matthew goes into the diner. When Matthew returns to the truck Cass is gone. Matthew searches for Cass vigorously. Later he is at the police station where Tina blames him for losing her and the police don’t trust him. Cut back to the present. Tina is cleaning a hotel rooms and every few days finds thing left in the rooms, that are similar to things that Cass had in her childhood. The strain is too much on Tina and she breaks down crying often, but never shares it with the police or Matthew. One day there is a break during an online search, Jeffery finds a couple recent pictures of Cass at a portal to an online sex ring. They bring Tina in and she verifies that it is Cass. They have a first step, but will the police be smart enough or fast enough to find her in time? Will Matthew find his little girl? You will have to watch to find out.

The director of this film is Atom Egoyan. Atom has directed a few television series such as Friday the 13th, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Twilight Zone. Then he moved on to directing films such as The Adjuster, Exotica, Ararat, Where the Truth Lies, Chloe, and Devil’s Knot. Atom’s vision for this motion picture is a dark, perverse, and dingy look into abductions, and the destruction it causes.

I hated the plot to the film. Any film that glamourizes sexual abuse or murder of children for entertainment purposes, has a terrible plot. And this is one of those films. It never shows any of that happening, but it explains in the storyline that it happened. The sets and locations were excellent. It was snowing all through the film, and when I came up from my theater, I half expected there to be snow on the ground in the end of August. Kudos on that aspect of the film. The wardrobe and makeup were fantastic. For example, Ryan Reynolds plays a blue-collar worker, and his wardrobe was that of a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. The score was very intense and kept the suspense of the film at all times. The acting was really very good. Kevin Durand has this look about him and can look like a psychopath. Scott Speedman’s role was very good. Even though he was a good guy, you just wanted to punch him. Mireille Enos played a very dramatically emotional woman, driven by torment of a loss. Ryan Reynolds gave a very passionate performance and made you feel deeply for his character. As you may have already gathered, I was not a fan of this film. Everything about this film was great, except the actual storyline and plot. I do not recommend this film for that reason alone.

This motion picture was rated R and by the content it is justified. The film had adult language, implied rape, violence, death, blood, and adult situation. I do not recommend anyone under the age of 18 be permitted to view this film.

By Dan Jones

Free Fire

 

R 1hr 31mins (2016)

This film starts out in the 70’s, where a couple low level thugs riding in an RV are discussing Stevo’s (Sam Riley) black eye. Stevo asks Bernie (Enzo Cilenti) for some pain meds for his eye, but the only thing that Bernie has on him is a drug called smack. Stevo takes the smack and smokes it. Stevo has gotten his wife pregnant and her brother Frank (Michael Smiley) has gotten some questionable work for Stevo. They meet with Frank, Frank’s associate Chris (Cillian Murphy), as well as the liaison Justine (Brie Larson). They are waiting for their contact named Ord (Armie Hammer). Ord shows up, checks everyone for wires, and Frank tells Ord that he has a weapon on him. Ord tells Frank, he is about to have a whole lot more weapons. Chris and Frank are buying weapons to send to Ireland. Ord takes the crew in an old abandoned factory, and introduces the rest of his gang. Vernon (Sharlto Copley) is the one who is making the deal, Martin (Babou Ceesay) is the one counting and handling the money, the driver of the van with the weapons is Harry (Jack Reynor), and his cohort Gordon (Noah Taylor). The gun runners are trying to pawn off AR-70 rifles instead of M-16 rifles. In desperation of the weapons Frank and Chris agree to take the rifles. They give Ord and Vernon’s crew the money. The two crews start to unload the weapons, when Harry recognizes Stevo from the bar the night before. Harry is the one who gave Stevo the black eye, because Stevo broke a bottle on Harry’s cousins face and put her in the hospital. As retaliation Harry shoots Stevo in the side. Which starts firing from both sides and they all run for cover. After several shots, a couple unknown men take sniper positions and start shooting at everyone. Now it is a three-way battle. Who are the two snipers working for? What side will win this free for all? You will have to watch and see.

The director of this film is Ben Wheatley. Ben has some independent films under his belt, as well as a season of directing Dr. Who. His film accolades include The ABCs of Death, and High-Rise. Ben’s vision of this motion picture was an action packed, non-stop, who is on who’s side of a dingy battle torn fight to the last person.

The plot to this film was somewhat simple, but the writing of the storyline was elaborate. Each character was given their own personality and the twists and turns were everywhere. The props and effects were spot on, and had an old school feel to them. The sets and locations were magnificent. I really like that they had so much going on in such a little space. It made for good suspense and constant action. The wardrobe and make up did a splendid job at making the characters look like it was in the 70s and as the movie progressed the characters got more covered in dirt and blood. The soundtrack was perfect for the time period, and fit in with the action. The acting was fantastic. Even the smaller characters gave great performances. There were too many to name, but I will list the top four. Brie Larson gave a fantastic performance in her supporting role. Sharlto Copley played his usual character, a loose cannon with a complex. And he nailed it. Armie Hammer has a sort of charisma about him that is hard not to like him. His portrayal of the muscle in the gang was entertaining and addicting to watch. Finally, we come to Cillian Murphy. He has really stepped up his game since I saw him in Red Eye back in 2005. I have loved watching his career take off and his acting evolve. His portrayal of the level-headed muscle of the Irish gang was gang busters! I loved his performance, and his calmness in the face of terror. Cillian really makes you want to cheer for him. I thought throughout the movie, how hard it would be to direct this film. Most films have one main character in one scene at a time. This was several main characters and seemed like all scenes were connected, like one long scene. It was fantastic, even though the box office didn’t reflect it. The film won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was different than most motion pictures, and it stood out to me. I highly recommend if you are into action packed, bullets flying, bloody, swearing, art driven films, then you will love this one. Worth the buck-fifty to rent.

This motion picture was rated R, and couldn’t be more right. This film had adult langue, sexual references, blood, gore, murder/death, and adult situations. I highly recommend no one under the age of 18 watch this film.

By Dan Jones

The Fate of the Furious

 

PG-13 (2017) 2hr 16min

The film started out in Cuba where a race broke out between Dominic Terreto (Vin Diesel) and a local, who had been causing problems with Dom’s cousin. Dom supes up an old rust bucket and narrowly defeats the local boy. Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Dom’s wife, greeted him at the finish line. The next morning Dom woke up and walked down the block to get coffee and saw a damsel in distress. Cipher’s (Charlize Theron) vehicle stalled, and Dom took a look at her car. But the car wasn’t really stalled, she knew Dom would be there at that time. She showed Dom her phone and told Dom he’s going to work for her. The government had recruited Agent Hobbs (Dewayne Johnson) to highjack a super powerful EMP from Berlin. But Hobbs was warned that this mission is off the books, and if caught would go to jail. Hobbs called up the team of Dom, Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Ramsey (Natalie Emmanuel). The mission was successful and the team split up to meet at HQ. Dom and Hobbs were driving and Dom smashed into Hobbs and takes the EMT. Hobbs called the team and told them that Dom had gone rogue. Hobbs told the team not to come back for him, and he was arrested. As Hobbs is escorted to prison he is propositioned by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russel) and a new agent (who would earn the nickname Little Nobody later) (Scott Eastwood). Hobbs didn’t like the deal offered and took his chances in prison. Hobb’s cell was directly across from his arch enemy Deckard (Jason Statham). The two exchanged harsh words. When the prison doors are all opened, Deckard began his rout through prison riot guards to the exit. Hobbs, looking to make good on the promise to kick Deckard’s ass, chases him down through guards and prisoners. When Hobbs finally caught Deckard at the door many agents with guns stopped them before the fight began. Mr. Nobody said it took them longer than he thought it would. Deckard and Hobbs were escorted to Mr. Nobody’s base where the rest of Hobb’s team was waiting. Mr. Nobody told all of them that like it or not, they would work with Deckard. Little Nobody told the team that Dom is working with Cipher to do some things to threaten national security. Roman suggested that they use the Gods Eye a device that uses all pieces of technology on earth to locate Dom. Tej and Ramsey used the Gods Eye and located Dom’s position. Mr. Nobody said it was strange, because that was the building they were in. A large explosion went off and little pieces of tech go sliding into the room and disabled the team. Dom and Cipher walked in and took the Gods Eye. Letty yelled out to Dom. He stopped and looked back at her and Cipher kissed Dom and they left. What was on that cell phone that made Dom turn on his family? How are the team going to find Dom and Cipher to stop them? You will have to watch and see.

The director of this film was F. Gary Gray. Other films that Gray has directed are: Friday, Set It Off, The Negotiator, A Man Apart, The Italian Job, Be Cool, Law Abiding Citizen, and Straight Out of Compton. Gray’s vision for this film is one of betrayal, in really fast cars. Slick paint jobs, supped up rides, and lots gadgets, and unbelievable action.

The plot to this film seems a little thin. It could be due to this being the eighth installment of the series. The storyline had good character development, yet could have used a little better story development. The CGI was well done, and very believable. The props and sets were also very real feeling. The wardrobe and makeup was very similar to the past few Fast and Furious films. The score and soundtrack were perfect for this film. They kept the suspense and action moving. The acting was corny in parts and very dramatic in parts. I suppose that is what keeps the franchise alive. Vin Diesel plays the main character in the film, and portrayed his role fairly decent. Jason Statham did a remarkable job in changing how his character was viewed. He plays a tough guy, but his character has a sense of loyalty to the cause. Charlize Theron took to her role with a passion the series was lacking, and was an uber badass. But I always have to give the big man his dues. I love almost everything Dewayne Johnson is in. Dewayne is such a charismatic actor and a person, it is hard not to like him. He always brings a toughness to the screen, and is no different in this film. This series has morphed from the original storyline into a giant action success train. Even though the story could have been a little more thought out, there was enough action and effects to make you forget the short comings. I really enjoyed this film. It was fun and exciting, and even paid homage once again to fallen teammate Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner). That chokes me up every time. I do recommend this film to all the diehard fans and anyone who is a fan of action films.

This film is rated PG-13 and is properly rated. The film had adult language, violence, murder, and adult situation. I would recommend any parent or guardian view this film, before letting anyone under the age of 13 view it.

By Dan Jones

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

 

PG-13 2hrs 6mins (2017)

This legend began with the kingdom of Camelot, the last stronghold of England left not to be conquered by the Mage armies. The kingdom was about to fall until the king Uther (Eric Bana) decided to end the war himself. He took his sword forged by Merlin the Mage, and killed the Mage king. King Uther had once again brought peace to Camelot. But King Uther’s brother Vortigern (Jude Law) had other plans for the kingdom, and put into action a coup. Vortigern had made a deal with a powerful demon to have great power and defeat Uther and his sword, but had to sacrifice someone he loves. Vortigern sacrificed his wife, and in return gained great strength and power. Vortigern killed Uther’s wife and tried to kill Uther’s young son Arthur. Uther saved his son and sacrificed himself, but the sword went deep into stone and sank into the water. The boy Arthur drifted in a boat until some ladies from a brothel discovered him. The women raised him to be independent, wise, strong, and respectful to those who deserve it. Arthur was trained to fight at a young age, by martial arts teacher George (Tom Wu). Arthur grew strong and fearless. The waters have lowered revealing the sword in the stone. King Vortigern consulted the siren that had given him his powers to defeat Uther, and she told him that the prophecy cannot be stopped. The boy who is heir to the throne would come to take it back. In a fearful move, the King had every man about the age of the heir to be rounded up. They have to try to pull the sword from the stone, then they are branded if not able. Arthur is caught and sent to the stone also. He walks up to the sword and pulls it from the stone, but the power of the sword is to great and renders Arthur unconscious. King Vortigern tells Arthur if he doesn’t turn away the sword and be executed, that all the women from the brothel would be killed. To show the kings resolve, he kills one of the women in front of Arthur. He is guided out to a crowd of thousands of subjects and is offered the sword. Arthur does not take it and is led to the chopping block, where he will be beheaded. Will Arthur be able to get out of this situation? Does Arthur accept the path that has been laid out before him, and take back his kingdom? You will have to watch and see.

Guy Ritchie is the director of this motion picture. Other films that Ritchie has directed consist of: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Revolver, RocknRolla, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: The Game of Shadows, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Ritchie’s vision for this film is that of gritty, magic filled film, and great storytelling set to a ballad of rock and roll music.

The plot to this film was pretty original telling of this legend. The storyline was well written. The CGI in the close-up fight scenes was very cartoonlike. It could have been a lot better. The props and sets were very realistic for the time period. The wardrobe was good and bad. The good was it felt like it fit in with the time period. The bad was some of the articles of clothing looked like they were from the 70s, not the 6th century. The main character wore a leather coat that looked like it was from a bad 70s film. The music was like a rock and roll video. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t feel like it fit the film. The acting was probably the best part of the film. Eric Bana played his role with great emotion, and I really liked his character. Djimon Hounsou, like most of his other roles, was a good side character. Jude Law at times seemed like he over acted his character, but Jude used every emotion he had at his disposal. Charlie Hunnam is not an academy award winning kind of actor. He does very well in films that have a tough lead character, and this was one of those kinds of films. I thought this film was ok. It could have been a lot better. I recognize what the director was trying to do, but it just didn’t work with this film. Some of the scenes were spectacular, and some of them seem like they bit off more that they could chew. I didn’t hate it.

This motion picture was rated PG-13 and was worth it. The film had adult langue, violence, murder, blood, and adult content. I do not recommend this film to anyone under the age of 13.

By Dan Jones

Underworld: Blood Wars

 

R 1hr 31mins (2016)

Selene (Kate Beckinsale) had the first hybrid lycan vampire child. A daughter named Eve was born. Against her own wants, Selene hid her away from the world and herself. So, if captured not even her mother could give away her hiding place. But still, hunted Selene is confronted by a group of lycans, that she dispatches. All except one who she only wounds, and sends a message that not even she knows where her daughter is. One of the pack had changed from his human form to lycan form and was hit by a car. The car was driven by an old ally of Selene named David (Theo James). Before Selene released the messenger, he had shot David with a tracker. Meanwhile, Semira (Lara Pulver) one of the vampire council members, had summoned an elder council member named Thomas (Charles Dance). Thomas is David’s father, and most respected of the council members. Semira convinces Thomas to talk the rest of the council into giving amnesty to Selene and David to teach another army of Death Dealers to help eradicate the lycan hoard led by a Marius (Tobias Menzies). Selene and David head to a safehouse, and remove the tracker from David’s torso. Soon after a team of Semira’s sect searches and finds the two, and brings them back to the vampire Eastern stronghold. Unbeknownst to Selene and David, there was a coup afoot. Selene was tricked and taken prisoner, and was being drained of her blood to make Semira stronger and give her the ability to go into daylight. Thomas and David find out about the coup and go to save Selene before she is drained of all her blood resulting in her death. During the rescue, Semira and her servant attacked Thomas. Thomas told David to save Selene, and Thomas stalled for the escape. David watched Semira kill his father, as they narrowly get away. Where will Selene and David go, now that the lycan and Death Dealers are both after them? What will their next move be? You will have to watch and see.

Anna Foster is the director of this motion picture. This was the first film Anna had directed. She has had several directing jobs for television series, such as: Criminal Minds, Unforgettable, Army Wives, Madam Secretary, and Outlander. Anna’s vision for this film was dark and riddled with blood. This movie was a continuation with the sequel, and similar to the other films of the series.

The plot to the film was really well done, and had a couple new subplots. The storyline was well written. The CGI was not near as good as the first film, but slightly better that the second film. The sets and props were decent, and very reminiscent of the sequels. The wardrobe and makeup was fantastic. It was very futuristic, yet tethered to the present and past. The score was very similar to the other films, and kept a good pace for the films. The acting was great and very believable. I really liked Charles Dance’s role in the film. Older English actors give the film a sense that the vampires have been around for hundreds or thousands of years. I also enjoyed Theo James’ presentation of David. He did a better job in this film than in the previous film. The movie was also full of new villains. Lara Pulver was fantastic as a conniving leader of the vampires. Tobias Menzies portrayal of the new and improved leader of the lycan, was an improvement. Kate Beckinsale has been the staple of the series. Kate played a fantastic role of an emotionless vampire who is the key to the entire series. I really liked the first film in the series. I thought this movie was entertaining, but it definitely could have been better. It is one that you could watch when you have nothing else going on.

For good reason, this motion picture is rated R. The film had adult language, violence, gore, blood, murder, a scene of sexuality, and brief nudity. I do not recommend this film to anyone under the age of 18.

By Dan Jones

The Belko Experiment

 

R 1hr 29mins (2016)

It was a routine day at a company in South America named Belko Corporation. Going through security, a midlevel manager, named Mike Milch (John Gallagher Jr) noticed that the security detail was on high alert. Mike also noticed that the entire security detail was completely comprised of new guards. Some of the employees were directed to return home. Mike thought this was strange, but proceeded to work like any other day. Mike entered the building and greeted all his coworkers. Upper management was also heading through the building and greeted one another. Once in their offices all the employees started working and mingling like an average day. A man named Wendell Dukes (John C. McGinley) stared awkwardly at Leandra Florez (Adria Arjona). She messaged him through his computer to knock it off, because Wendell was creeping her out. Then Mike walked into Leandra’s office, and she shut the blinds. The two shared a kiss. The two had started dating after Leandra’s divorce. They kissed again but this time the site manager Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) poked his head through the door. Barry asked Leandra to look up some information for him, and gave the two a slight look of disapproval of PDA on company time. Dany Wikins (Melonie Diaz) had just started and the HR representative was asking her if she had gotten settled in to her new apartment, and double checked to see if she had gotten the microchip injected into her neck before starting at the company. He told her it was a little unorthodox but was great for tracking her, if she was to get kidnapped they can find her anywhere in an instant. The two maintenance workers named Lonny Crane (David Dastmalchian) and Bud Melks (Michael Rooker) reported to work in the basement of the building. Mike was sitting in his office, and noticed one of the new guards walked over to a large metal building across the parking lot. A voice came over the intercom and told all the workers that there are eighty employees in the building, and they must kill three of the employees or the captors will be forced to kill six employees. Thinking it was a prank but taking precautions, everyone started heading down to the lobby to evacuate the building. Just before the first person could walk through the door, large metal shudders slammed shut on all the doors and windows. They were all trapped inside, and on top of that the air conditioning has stopped. Will anyone do what is demanded of them? Will any of them get out alive? You will have to watch and see.

The director of this film is Greg McLean. Some of the other movies he has directed are Wolf Creek, Rogue, and The Darkness. Greg has a very dark and dismal style of directing. Greg’s vision for this film was a somewhat colorless and hopeless feeling.

The plot to the film was actually pretty decent. I am not much into horror films, but I thought this one had a solid plot. The story line for the movie was also pretty well written. The CGI was not bad for a horror film. The sets and props looked real and were believable. The special effects were disgustingly realistic. The makeup and wardrobe were fantastic. The score helped make the movie intense, as well as the few songs throughout the film. The acting had a few characters that were corny, but for the most part the actors did very well. John C. McGinley had that crazy energy about him in most of his roles, and it suited him for this one as well. Michael Rooker brings that raspy cool demeanor to his character. Tony Goldwyn gave his character great management leadership feel to his performance. During Tony’s performance, I felt like I had worked for that guy before. Adria Arjona gave a well-rounded range of emotional performance. Finally, John Gallagher Jr. did a remarkable job, and made me cheer for the underdog. Like I said before I am usually not big on horror flicks, but I really enjoyed this film. It had a Saw film feel to it. I do recommend this film if you are into horror films.

This motion picture is rated R, and I would definitely second that rating. The film had adult language, adult situation, murder, blood, and gore. I definitely do not recommend this film to anyone under the age of 18 years old.

By Dan Jones

Macbeth

 

R 1hr 53mins (2015)

War has ravaged Scotland, and the King had sent the few reserves still loyal to him as one last counter strike. Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) led the battle, with his battle worn men and the young boys sent by the King to fight. With much loss of life on both sides, the King’s army had won the battle. News of the battle reached the King Duncan (David Thewlis). Thane of Cawdor had also been caught and confessed to treason to the King. King Duncan has ordered the execution of the Thane and his title and property be given to Macbeth for his victories. Macbeth and his second in command Banquo (Paddy Considine) were clearing the battle field of the dead, when a strange young girl and two women approached the two men. The witches gave greetings to the new Thane of Cawdor, but oddly no news had been sent of Macbeth’s promotion in status. Then the odd women give hale to King Macbeth. Macbeth asks the women to explain how the witches knew this future. But just as quietly as they appeared, the women had disappeared. The two men were confused about what they had just witnessed. Upon Macbeths return, he was welcomed as Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan. Macbeth returns to his home and is greeted by his wife. Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) has talked Macbeth into killing the King upon his visit. The King then travels to Macbeth’s village, and was welcomed by a plot to succeed the King by Macbeth. Later that evening, Macbeth being related to and loyal to King Duncan had second thoughts. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he would not go through with the murder. Lady Macbeth seduced her husband to fulfill his commitment, and take the kings life. Lady Macbeth drugged the King’s guards wine, to make the assassination easier. That night Macbeth had seen an apparition, who guided him to King Duncan’s quarters. Macbeth fulfilled his promise to Lady Macbeth, as he plunged two daggers from the drugged guards into the King. The King Duncan’s son Malcom (Jack Reynor) entered the King’s chamber to find a bloody Macbeth and his father dead. Macbeth let Malcom leave. The guards are put to death, and Macbeth was named King. While Macbeth took his place as King, in his mind he had goes mad. Macbeth thought his best friend Banquo would be his undoing, and had him murdered. Banquo’s son escaped with the help of the witches. Macbeth continued to go deep into madness. Will this madness be Macbeths undoing? Will Lady Macbeth follow him down the rabbit hole? If you don’t know the story of Macbeth, you will have to watch and see.

Justin Kurzel is fairly new to directing. Aside from Macbeth he also directed The Turning, and Assassin’s Creed. Since the film is in the original dialect from the play written by William Shakespeare, Kurzel had to tell a lot of the story through the visuals in the film, and the emotions of the actors.

The plot to the film was just as the William Shakespeare molded it to be. The storyline was a little hard to follow since it was performed in old English, was still very true to the original telling. The effects were fantastic, and helped tell the story. The sets and props were so authentic and made the film feel realistic. The wardrobe and makeup was very spot on with the time frame of the film. The score of the film was very haunting and had a lot of Scottish sound to it. The acting was key to the success of the telling of the story in the film, since it was filmed in its original script. The actors and actresses gave a flawless performance. Even though it was difficult to follow along with the old English, the actors and actresses did an amazing job and guiding you through the film with their emotionally driven performances. Marion Cotillard gave a great rendition of Lady Macbeth. I really liked Paddy Considine character and enjoyed his performance. Sean Harris gave a splendid supporting role, and packed his acting full of real gritty human emotions. I have to say that even though Macbeth was not someone to be admired, I am becoming more of a Michael Fassbender fan through every film I see him in. Michael gave a heartfelt performance, and you could feel his emotion while he was on the screen. I have to admit that I didn’t know the story of Macbeth very well before watching this film, but it was very well done. Shakespeare’s writing was hard to follow for the common man, yet it is very elegant and poetic. I thought the movie was very good, but if you are going to watch it you may want to turn on the closed captioning. Through the Scottish accents and old English, it is a little hard to tell what is being said.

This motion picture is rated R, and rightfully so. The film had violence, blood, gore, death, murder, adult language, and a clothed sex scene. I do not recommend the film to anyone under the age of 18 years of age.

By Dan Jones