REVIEW: SHARK TALE

CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Robert De Niro (Joy)
Renee Zellweger (Jerry Maguire)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Angelina Jolie (Salt)
Michael Imperioli (Goodfellas)
Vincent Pastore (Revolver)
Peter Falk (The Princess Bride)
Lenny Venito (The Neighbours)
Saverio Guerra (Buffy: TVS)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)

In Reef City, an underachieving bluestreak cleaner wrasse named Oscar fantasizes about being rich and famous while making his way to work as a tongue scrubber at the local Whale Wash, a job in which he is following in his father’s footsteps. Soon after arriving he is called to the office of his boss, a pufferfish named Sykes, to discuss the fact that he owes “five thousand clams” and has to pay it back by the next day. After explaining this to his angelfish best friend Angie, she offers him a chance to pay back the money by pawning a pink pearl that was a gift from her grandmother. Oscar brings the money to the race track to meet Sykes, but becomes distracted by his dreams of grandeur. Upon hearing that the race is rigged, he places it all on a long-shot bet by the name of “Lucky Day”. Such a million dollar bet is noticed nearby by a beautiful lionfish named Lola, who flagrantly seduces an excited Oscar, but Oscar is disappointed when she leaves upon learning that he is a whale washer. Sykes is furious that Oscar bet the money but nonetheless agrees to see how the race turns out. Moments before their betted “horse” crosses the finish line, he trips and falls on the line.Meanwhile, on another side of the ocean in the wreck of the R.M.S Titanic, a family of criminally-inclined great white sharks has a problem with one of their sons, Lenny, who is a vegetarian and refuses to act the part of a killer, wishing not to have to live up to those expectations. His crime lord father, Don Edward Lino, orders Lenny’s more savage older brother Frankie to tutor Lenny in the family business. After the two sharks depart their father, Frankie sees Oscar being electrocuted by Sykes’ two jellyfish enforcers Ernie and Bernie and sends Lenny off to attack. The jellyfish spot Lenny and flee, leaving Oscar alone with him. Instead of attacking Oscar, Lenny frees him, upsetting Frankie who becomes annoyed and charges at Oscar. However, Frankie is killed when an anchor falls on him. Lenny flees, overcome with grief and guilt. As no other witnesses were present and Oscar was seen near the body, everyone comes to believe that he killed Frankie, an opportunity that Oscar decides to exploit for fame.Oscar returns to the city with a new title of the Sharkslayer. Sykes becomes his manager, Lola becomes his girlfriend, and Oscar moves to the “top of the reef” to live in luxury. At the same time, after Frankie’s funeral, Don Lino has everyone out looking for Lenny. When several sharks get close to Oscar’s neighborhood, Oscar’s neighbors expect him to drive them away so he goes and runs into Lenny. Since he does not wish to return home, Lenny forces Oscar to let him stay with him since he is aware of Oscar’s lie. Soon, Angie finds out about the lie as well and threatens to tell everyone. Oscar and Lenny convince her to keep quiet, though she is heartbroken by Oscar’s dishonesty. Oscar’s situation is not helped by the shallowed Lola, who indicates to him that her interest in him extends only as far as he remains famous. With Don Lino planning revenge, Oscar and Lenny stage an event in which Lenny pretends to terrorize the town and Oscar must defeat him throwing him into the depths of the ocean. Though this further cements Oscar as the Sharkslayer, it greatly angers Don Lino. Oscar leaves Lola for Angie after Angie reveals that she had feelings for Oscar even before he became famous, but this leaves the rebuffed Lola determined to get revengeOscar buys some Valentine’s Day gifts for Angie, but before he can present them to her, he finds that Don Lino has kidnapped Angie to force a sit-down. Lenny comes along now disguised as a dolphin named Sebastian. They arrive at the meeting to find Lola next to Don Lino, while Angie is tied up and gagged and presented to Don Lino on a plate who prepares to eat her if Oscar does not comply. Lenny grabs Angie into his mouth, but later regurgitates her. When Don Lino realizes that “Sebastian” is really Lenny, he chases Oscar through the reef. Oscar heads for the Whale Wash and ends up trapping both sharks. He is given an ovation by the other fish, but Oscar confesses that he is not a “Sharkslayer” and reveals the truth behind Frankie’s death. He then tells Don Lino that everyone likes Lenny for who he is and strongly urges him not to prejudge people before he knows them properly and make the mistakes he made in prejudging his wealth. Realizing that Oscar is right, Don Lino apologizes to Lenny and reconciles with him while making peace with Oscar, stating that he and his gang bear him no ill will. Oscar forsakes all the wealth he has acquired, makes peace with the sharks, becomes co-manager of the Whale Wash (now frequented by sharks, killer whales, and swordfish), and starts dating Angie and enjoys a happy, honest life. During the credits, Lola tries to find Oscar to make amends, but all she finds is a hermit crab named Crazy Joe, one of Oscar’s friends.Although this is a cartoon movie, it suggests it is for children, however, it is most definatly for all ages. I really enjoyed the humour of this film. Will Smith & Robert De Niro as the main characters was an excellent choice for voice overs for their respective characters. Great Film.

REVIEW: ALEXANDER

CAST
Colin Farrell (Phone Booth)
Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of The Lambs)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil TV)
Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider)
Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang bang)
Christopher Plummer (Up)
Brian Blessed (Flash Gordon)
Jared Leto (Requiem For a Dream)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula)
Neil Jackson (Blade: The Series)
Rory McCann (Game of Thrones)
Toby Kebbell (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Nina Forever)
Elliot Cowan (The Spanish Princess)
Ian Beattie (Game of Thrones)
The film is based on the life of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, who conquered Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia and part of ancient India. Shown are some of the key moments of Alexander’s youth, his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father Philip II of Macedonia, his strained feeling towards his mother Olympias, the unification of the Greek city-states and the two Kingdoms (Macedonia and Epirus) under the Hellenic League,[4] and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts he made to reach the end of the then known world. The story begins 40 years after 323 BC, around 283 BC, with Ptolemy I Soter, who narrates throughout the film. We see Alexander’s daily life and the strained relationship between his parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias and his tutor Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honour, music, exploration, poetry and military combat. His relationship with his father is destroyed when Philip marries Attalus’s niece, Eurydice.
After Philip is assassinated, Alexander becomes King of Macedonia. Ptolemy mentions Alexander’s punitive campaign in which he razes Thebes and burns Persepolis, then gives an overview of Alexander’s west-Persian campaign, including his declaration as the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his great battle against the Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela and his eight-year campaign across Asia.
Also shown are Alexander’s private relationships with his childhood friend Hephaestion and later his wife Roxana. Hephaestion compares Alexander to Achilles, to which Alexander replies that, if he is Achilles, Hephaestion must be his Patroclus (Achilles’ best friend and lover). When Hephaestion mentions that Patroclus died first, Alexander pledges that, if Hephaestion should die first, he will follow him into the afterlife. Hephaestion shows extensive jealousy when he sees Alexander with Roxana and deep sadness when he marries her, going so far as to attempt to keep her away from him after Alexander murders Cleitus the Black in India.
After initial objection from his soldiers, Alexander convinces them to join him into his final and bloodiest battle, The Battle of Hydaspes. He is severely injured with an arrow but survives and is celebrated. Later on, Hephaestion succumbs to an unknown illness either by chance or perhaps poison, speculated in the movie to be Typhus carried with him from India. Alexander, full of grief and anger, distances himself from his wife, despite her pregnancy, believing that she has killed Hephaestion. He dies less than three months after Hephaestion, in the same manner, keeping his promise that he would follow him. On his deathbed, Bagoas grieves as Alexander’s generals begin to split up his kingdom and fight over the ownership of his body.
The story then returns to 283 BC, where Ptolemy admits to his scribe that he, along with all the other officers, had indeed poisoned Alexander just to spare themselves from any future conquests or consequences. He, however has it that it just be recorded that Alexander died due to illness compounding to his overall weakened condition. He then goes on to end his memoirs with praise to Alexander.
The story then ends with the note that Ptolemy’s memoirs of Alexander eventually burned, lost forever with the Library of Alexandria.
2616-2
An absolute epic. From the critical ravaging of the original release to this glorious masterpiece, it is an essential film for any serious film lover and DVD collector. Brilliant.

REVIEW: LIFE OR, SOMETHING LIKE IT

CAST

Angelina Jolie (Gia)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Tony Shalhoub (The Last Shot)
Stockard Channing (Practical Magic)
James Gammon (The Cell)
Melissa Errico (Frequency)
Christian Kane (Angel)
Lisa Thornhill (Veronica Mars)
Gregory Itzin (The Ides of March)
Veena Sood (50/50)
Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary)
Christopher Shyer (The Core)

Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie), a successful reporter for a Seattle television station interviews a self-proclaimed prophet, Jack (Tony Shalhoub), to find out if he really can predict football scores. Instead, Prophet Jack not only predicts the football score, and that it would hail the next day, but also that she would die in seven days, meaning the following Thursday. When his first two prophecies turn out to be correct, Kerrigan panics and again meets with Jack, asking him for another prophecy so that she can prove it wrong, which would imply uncertainty of her death. Jack tells her that there will be a relatively significant earthquake in San Francisco at 9:06 am; she hopes that it will be wrong but again it also becomes reality. Now Lanie becomes sure of her upcoming death and is forced to reevaluate her life.  The remainder of the storyline, which runs for the week of the prophecy, revolves around her attempts at introspection. She seeks consolation in her famous baseball player boyfriend Cal Cooper (Christian Kane), and in her family, but finds little there.Pete (EDWARD BURNS) offers advice to a skeptical Lanie (ANGELINA JOLIE), whose once "perfect" life has been turned upside-down.Her lifelong ambition, that of appearing on network television, begins to look like a distant dream. In her desperation, she commits professional blunders, but ends up finding support in an unlikely source: her archenemy, the cameraman Pete Scanlon (Edward Burns), with whom she once had casual sex; he introduces her to a new approach to life. Pete tells her to live every moment of her life and to do whatever she always wanted to do. Lanie implements Pete’s advice; she moves in with Pete for a day, he introduces her to his son Tommy (Jesse James Rutherford) who lives with his mother who had separated with Pete, and they spend a whole day together with Tommy; that night they sleep together for the second time. The next day Lanie receives an opportunity for a job she always dreamed of in New York; she asks Pete to come with her, but he declines and tells her that her appetite for success and fame will never end. Lanie sadly leaves for New York.

Pete meets Jack and tells him how wrong he is, as Lanie got the job which Jack foretold she would not get. But Jack explains that he was right as Lanie will never be able to get the job as she’ll die before it begins; he again gives a prophecy of a death of a famous former baseball player in a plane crash. Pete receives the news of the death of the baseball player as foretold by Jack, and tries to call Lanie to warn her. When he cannot reach her, he also flies to New York. Lanie, unconcerned with Jack’s prophecy, interviews her idol, famous media personality Deborah Connors (Stockard Channing). Lanie realizes how petty the opening questions are and shares a heartfelt moment with Deborah live on air. The interview receives which receives huge television ratings. The network immediately offers her a position, but Lanie declines, realizing that she wants a life with Pete in Seattle. As she leaves the studio, a police officer gets into a conflict with a man, who shoots a bullet into the air. Pete tries to warn Lanie across the street, but she is shot in the crossfire. Luckily, Lanie survives, and Pete tells her in the hospital that he has loved her since the first time he saw her; Lanie says she loves him, too. Later, Pete, Lanie and Tommy watch Cal’s baseball game, where Lanie (in a voiceover) says that one part of her has died—the part which didn’t know how to live a life.

Enjoyable film which has both a strong satirical edge and an introspective, philosophical tone. Jolie is fab as the shallower than shallow career journalist who has her life changed by a modern day soothsayer

 

REVIEW: THE BONE COLLECTOR

CAST
Denzel Washington (Training Day)
Angelina Jolie (Wanted)
Queen Latifah (Bringing Down The House)
Michael Rooker (Mallrats)
Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
Luis Guzman (Waiting)
Leland Orser (Confidence)
John Benjamin Hickey (Alias)
Bobby Cannavle (Paul Blart Mall Cop)
Ted Whittall (Beauty and The Beast)
The film begins in late 1999. Tetraplegic forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) and a patrol cop, Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), team up to solve a string of murders all connected to a serial killer by his signature: a single shard of bone is removed from each of the victims. Rhyme was paralyzed from the neck down in an earlier accident and is bed-bound and completely reliant on machines and his nurse Thelma (Queen Latifah) to function. He communicates with Amelia via headset as she examines the various crime scenes and collects evidence and reports back to him.
MV5BMTI4ODA0MDMxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjkxNjE3._V1_The killer poses as a New York taxi driver, and abducts and kills those who get in his taxi. The first two victims are a married couple named Alan and Lindsay Rubin, who take a taxi home but then find themselves kidnapped by the killer. Amelia finds Alan’s body buried in a Civil War-era railroad bed. She also finds a collection of clues including a pile of piece-ground oyster shells, which eventually leads Amelia – now working with Rhyme – to Alan’s wife, and a scrap of paper. The detectives find Mrs. Rubin, too late, at a steam junction in a below-ground services area of a building in the financial district, secured using old antique handcuffs or shackles at the mouth of a pipe which emits steam. She has been scalded to death from the steam. The killer has also removed a bit of flesh and bone from her arm. Amelia finds another scrap of paper at the scene.
The killer then abducts an NYU student. He is taken to a derelict slaughterhouse where he is tied to a pole and part of his thigh bone is surgically removed, and left for rats to feed on. Amelia and Rhyme, using the clues left by the killer at the scene of Lindsay Rubin’s death (rat hairs embedded in a bone from a cow’s body), find the victim, but again too late to save him. Again, the killer has removed a piece of the victim’s bone. Amelia is able to collect the evidence, including another scrap of paper. The pressure of the tense investigation and bureaucratic challenges to both Amelia’s and Rhyme’s involvement with the case are having serious impacts on Rhyme’s health and stability.
After piecing together the message the killer was sending using the scraps of paper, Amelia and Rhyme are led to an old crime novel, whose crimes the killer was replicating. This leads them to his next victims, a grandfather and granddaughter tied to a pier as the tide rises. The girl is the first victim they manage to save, but her grandfather dies. At the scene, Amelia finds another bone, part of an old police badge, and an old subway map. These clues, and an earlier clue left by the killer at the scene of Mrs. Rubin’s death (asbestos) lead Amelia to an abandoned subway station, in which Amelia sees some numbers which have been tampered with to spell out Rhyme’s police badge number. Amelia then figures out that the killer is after Rhyme.
The killer arrives at Rhyme’s house, and after killing Rhyme’s nurse, Thelma, and Captain Howard Cheney (Michael Rooker), it is revealed that he is the medical technician who cares for Rhyme’s medical equipment, Richard Thompson (Leland Orser). Richard’s real name is Marcus Andrews. An ex-forensic cop whom Rhyme’s testimony helped convict of planting false evidence at crime scenes, Marcus intends to exact his revenge. Rhyme manages to crush Marcus’s right hand by suddenly dropping his bed horizontal, and in the struggle to free himself, Marcus pulls Rhyme with him and they both collapse to the floor. Rhyme then manages to bite Marcus in the neck, causing massive bleeding. Marcus once again manages to free himself, grabbing his knife. As Marcus raises the knife for a killing blow, Amelia suddenly arrives at the apartment and shoots Marcus who falls down dead.
The film ends at a Christmas celebration at Rhyme’s apartment. Rhyme, having given up his plans to commit suicide, faces his sister and niece coming to visit him along with Amelia and his other colleagues on Christmas Eve. It is implied that Rhyme and Amelia have a relationship.
A great film with a wonderfully dastardly bad guy who is on the same level of Hanibal Lector of Twisted genius. A well crafted story and movie.

REVIEW: GONE IN 60 SECONDS

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
William Lee Scott (The Butterfly Effect)
Scott Caan (Ocean’s Eleven)
Delroy Lindo (The Core)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Chi MCBride (Human Target)
Robert Duvall (The 6th Day)
Christopher Eccleston (Thor 2)
Vinnie Jones (The Cape)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Grace Zabriskie (Armageddon)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Brad William Henke (Lost)

Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi), an aspiring car thief from Long Beach, is cruising with Mirror Man (T.J Cros) and Toby (William Lee Scott), looking for a Porsche 911 Carrera to steal. After arriving at the showroom, Kip uses a brick to break in, and Mirror follows. Mirror reads the VIN and Kip gets the keys, and smashes out of the showroom with the Porsche. After stealing it, they provoke another man in a Honda Civic to race them, but Kip attracts the attention of the police. They arrive at the local garage with more stolen cars, where Atley (Will Patton), Tumbler (Scott Caan) and Freb (James Duval). However, they are forced to flee when the police arrive, and the cars are seized by Det. Castleback (Delroy Lindo) and Det. Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant):

The next day, Atley arrives at a gas station outside of town to speak to Randall “Memphis” Raines (Nicolas Cage), a retired professional car thief, who left town after serving 6 years in jail. Atley explains that Kip was stealing cars for Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston), a British gangster called “The Carpenter” (due to him creating wooden chairs and coffins), and when the cars were seized, Kip was abducted. Atley admits that he gave the job to Kip, since he works for Calitri. After some convincing, Memphis agrees to go with him, and they return to Long Beach and head to a junkyard owned by Calitri, where he meets with Calitri, who offers him the same job. Memphis refuses and offers a $10,000 bail for the troubles. Calitri refuses, but takes him to Kip, who has been strapped to a steering wheel of a car that is about to be crushed. After Memphis tries to save him, Calitri holds him at gunpoint, and Memphis is forced to accept the job. He goes home with Kip, who is not convincingly happy to see Memphis, and explains he doesn’t need to worry about it, but Memphis isn’t convinced.

Memphis visits Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall), a former chop shop owner and his mentor, who now runs a restoration garage and is retired from carjacking business. After reconciling, Otto informs him that he knows about Kip, and Memphis convinces him to help. Memphis also visits his mother to inform her that he is in town and tells her about Kip, and she gives him his blessing to do whatever it takes. However, as he leaves, he is cornered by Drycoff and Castlebeck, who informs him that he is watching him and will arrest him for only one minor infraction. Memphis goes back to Otto and they try to assemble a gang to steal the cars, but he only finds two people willing to join: Donny Astricky (Chi McBride) and Sphinx (Vinnie Jones). He tries to convince Sway, his former love interest, to join him, but she refuses, having gone straight after the carjacking phase.

Memphis, Otto, Kip and Sphinx devise the plan after being given the list of 50 cars they need to steal, and just then, Kip arrives with Mirror, Toby, Tumbler and Freb, wanting to join in. Otto and Donny are against it, but Memphis decides to accept them. Toby, a computer genius, hacks into the DMV database to find several cars on the list, while Donny manages to find the rest through insurance houses. Memphis decides to pull the job in one night to avoid police heat, and Sway changes her mind and joins the team. Memphis and Kip leave the garage and head back home, but they are ambushed by Johnny B. (Master P.), Memphis’s rival, who wants him dead since he is after the job himself. However, they manage to hide in a cafe where the police is placed, and Kip sneaks out and ties Johnny B’s car to a truck, and Johnny B’s car is pulled and smashed, and the cops surround him and his gang. Kip and Memphis escape.After scouting the cars, Memphis is worried about the new Mercedes cars, which are impossible to steal, but Tumbler informs him that he will provide them with the laser-cut transponder keys to get the cars. Castlebeck arrives in the garage with Drycoff, and while nothing can prove the possible car heist, Castlebeck finds the frequency numbers for police dispatches and realizes they are going in tonight. Memphis and the crew prepare themselves for the heist and start, first cleaning up a garage to steal several Ferrari cars, and then splitting up into pairs: Memphis and Sway, Kip and Tumbler, Donny and Freb, and Sphinx and Mirror. Also, Memphis and Sway reconcile their long-lost relationship while stealing a Lamborghini Diablo.

While the gang successfully steals many cars from the list, Memphis notices Castlebeck in a van next to a Mercedes, and calls the group back into the garage. After confronting Tumbler, he reveals that he got the keys after bribing a Mercedes shop employee, and realizes that Castlebeck blackmailed him into cooperation. Toby informs the group that they have the keys of the Mercedes cars from the last heist, but Donny notes that they are on the police impound. Memphis agrees to steal them, but they are forced to wait for it and steal another cars after Otto’s dog accidentally eats the keys. Toby and Freb walk the dog around until he defecates the keys out, and the group manages to steal the Mercedes cars from the impound while Mirror distracts the parking manager.

Castlebeck, defeated, returns to the police station with Drycoff, and is informed that they found shards of glass from a UV light bulb in the garage where they seized the carsfrom the original heist. He and Drycoff return to the garage, where they discover the list of cars under invisible ink. Castlebeck finds a 1967 Ford Shelby GT500, dubbed “Eleanor”, and theorizes this is the last car he will steal, due to him being “afraid” of it (since he never managed to successfully steal one). Meanwhile, Toby sneaked in for a ride with Kip and Tumbler to steal a car against their objections. They manage to steal the SUV from the house, but one of the occupants notices them and they are forced to flee. The police set up a roadblock and open fire on them, injuring Toby. They return to the garage, and Atley and Kip drive Toby to a private doctor, where Atley reveals to Kip that Memphis left the city because their mother told him to go to save Kip from the life of carjacking. Meanwhile, Memphis arrives at the location of Eleanor to steal it, but just then, Castlebeck and Drycoff arrive.MV5BMTc4MzIwNTM0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTAzNzc4._V1_A massive car chase ensues all over Long Beach, with Castlebeck’s attempts to apprehend Memphis at all times, but Memphis manages to escape after using a ramp to jump over a traffic jam on the Vincent Thomas Bridge. After escaping, Memphis arrives at the junkyard to deliver the last car to Calitri, but he assaults him and prepares to kill him, since he arrived after the deadline and the car is damaged (thus Calitri noting that he said to deliver 50 cars, not 49 and a half), but Kip arrives and subdues Calitri’s men. He corners Calitri in his office and assaults him, but Calitri escapes. Castlebeck and Drycoff arrive, being here to arrest Memphis, but Calitri notices Castlebeck and holds him at gunpoint. He prepares to kill him, but Memphis knocks him off the ledge, sending Calitri down below, where Calitri lands in his own coffin, killing him. Castlebeck thanks him for saving his life, and lets him go due to stealing cars to save Kip’s life. Afterwards, all of them are having a barbecue at Otto’s garage. Kip arrives and gives a pair of keys to Memphis, and Otto invites him in, and he and Kip reveal a rusty old Eleanor that Kip acquired. Memphis thinks that Kip stole him, but Kip informs him that he traded his chopper for the car as a token of appreciation, and the brothers embrace. Memphis and Sway go for a ride, while the rest of them escort them out. However, the engine fails as they leave, and Memphis fails to start it.Gone In 60 Seconds is a great action flick and still holds up today.

REVIEW SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

CAST

Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Jude Law (Spy)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow 1999)
Bai Ling (Southland Tales)
Omid Djalili (The Mummy)
In a technologically advanced 1939, the zeppelin Hindenburg III arrives in New York City, mooring atop the Empire State Building. Aboard the airship is Dr. Jorge Vargas (Julian Curry), a scientist who arranges for a package containing two vials to be delivered to Dr. Walter Jennings (Trevor Baxter). Moments later, as the courier looks back while leaving with the vials, Dr. Vargas is nowhere to be seen.
Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), a newspaper reporter for The Chronicle, is looking into the disappearances of Vargas and five other renowned scientists. She receives a cryptic message telling her to go to Radio City Music Hall. Ignoring the warning of her editor, Mr. Paley (Michael Gambon), she meets Dr. Jennings during a showing of The Wizard of Oz. Dr Jennings tells Polly that Dr. Totenkopf is coming for him next. Suddenly, air raid sirens go off as giant, seemingly indestructible robots attack the city. Clearly outmatched, the police and other authorities call for “Sky Captain” Joe Sullivan (Jude Law). Joe commands a private air force based in New York State known as the Flying Legion.
Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Polly shows little regard for her personal safety as she photographs the action from the street. Meanwhile, Joe engages the robots with his highly modified Curtiss P-40 pursuit fighter and eventually manages to disable one robot. The rest of the robots leave soon after. News reports show similar attacks around the globe. The disabled robot is taken back to the Legion’s air base so that its science and technology expert, Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), can examine it. Polly follows, hoping to get information for her story. She and Joe are ex-lovers who broke up three years earlier in China, where Joe was serving with the Flying Tigers. Since it appears Polly has useful information, Joe reluctantly agrees to let her in on the investigation. Her lead takes them to the ransacked laboratory of Dr. Jennings, with the scientist himself near death. The mysterious female assailant (Bai Ling) escapes. Just before he dies, Jennings gives Polly the two vials from Vargas, and says they are crucial to Dr. Totenkopf’s plans. Polly hides the vials and withholds the information from Joe. They return to the Legion’s base just before it comes under attack from squadrons of ornithopter drones. Dex manages to track the origin of the robot control signal, but is then captured. However, he leaves behind a part of a map marking the location of Dr. Totenkopf’s base.
Joe and Polly find Dex’s map and fly to Nepal. Traveling into the Himalayas and Tibet, they discover an abandoned mining outpost and meet up with Joe’s old friend Kaji (Omid Djalili). Two guides who turn out to be working for Totenkopf force Polly to turn over the vials and then lock her and Joe in a room full of explosives. The guides light fuses to the dynamite but Joe and Polly narrowly escape and are knocked unconscious by the explosion, which also destroys most of Polly’s camera film. They wake up together in the mythical Shangri-La. The Tibetan-speaking monks there tell of Dr. Totenkopf’s enslavement of their people, forcing them to work in the uranium mines. Most were killed by the radiation, but the final survivor (who was suffering from radiation poisoning) provides a clue to where Dr. Totenkopf is hiding. This leads them to another of Joe’s ex-flames, Commander Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), who commands a Royal Navy flying aircraft carrier with submarine aircraft.
Franky leads the attack on Dr. Totenkopf’s island lair while Joe and Polly enter through an underwater inlet. After surfacing, Polly notices that the reflection in the water of the identification number on Joe’s aircraft reads “Polly” when viewed upside-down. Joe and Polly find themselves on an island with dinosaur-like creatures, which Polly hesitates to photograph as she has only two shots left on her camera. They head to a mountain and find a secret underground facility, where robots are loading animals, as well as the mysterious vials, onto a large “Noah’s Ark” rocket. Joe and Polly are detected and nearly killed. Dex, piloting a flying barge, arrives in the nick of time with three of the missing scientists. Dex explains that Dr. Totenkopf has given up on humanity and seeks to start the world over again: the “World of Tomorrow”. The vials are genetic material for a male and female human: a new Adam and Eve.
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As the group attempts to enter Dr. Totenkopf’s lair, one scientist is electrocuted to death and ends up as a skeleton by the defense system. A hologram of Dr. Totenkopf (Laurence Olivier) appears and speaks about his hate for humanity and his evil plans to rebuild it as a new master race. Dex disables the defenses and the group discovers Dr. Totenkopf’s mummified corpse inside with a scrap of paper reading “forgive me” still clutched in his hand. He had died 20 years prior, but his machines continued his plan. Joe decides to sabotage the rocket from the inside while the others escape. Polly tries to tag along, but Joe kisses her and then knocks her out. Polly recovers and follows Joe, arriving in time to save him from Dr. Jennings’ mysterious female assassin, who turns out to be a robot. Joe and Polly then manage to board the rocket. Before the rocket reaches 100 km, when its second stage is scheduled to fire and thereby incinerate the Earth, Polly pushes an emergency button that ejects all the animals in escape pods. Joe tries to disable the rocket only to be interrupted by the same robot. He jolts the robot with its electric weapon and then uses it on the controls, disabling the rocket. They use the last pod to save themselves as the rocket safely explodes.
Joe and Polly watch the animal pods splash down around their escape pod. Polly then uses the last shot on her camera to take a picture of Joe rather than the animal pods. Joe grins and says: “Polly—lens cap.”
Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
One of the first movies to be shot completely via blue screen and a joy to behold on dvd. With a nod to german expressionism, the shadows and mise-en-scene of 30s/40s Hollywood film noir, and a plot reminiscent of the Flash Gordon/Buck Rodgers adventure serials this is terrific entertainment and a feast for the eyes.

REVIEW: MR. AND MRS. SMITH

CAST

Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
Angelina Jolie (Maleficent)
Vince Vaughn (Weddign Crashers)
Adam Brody (The OC)
Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Chris Weitz (American Pie)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss bang bang)
Stephanie March (The Invention of Lying)
Jennifer Morrison (Amityville: The Awakening)
Jeff Yagher (V)
Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)

Ravil Isyanov (Octopus)

 

MV5BMTI5MDg3NDQ1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTAxNjUyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1505,1000_AL_Mr. and Mrs. Smith, while not flawless, is a feature that works well despite the realization as the credits roll that there’s not a great deal to it. Of course, everyone knows by now that stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are a couple, the mere fact of which has somehow managed to be covered in every single edition of every single tabloid in every single country. The film, from “Bourne Identity” director Doug Liman, stars Pitt and Jolie as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a suburban couple who lives in a large, beautiful and ultra-modern house on a quiet street. The two met cute and got married, despite keeping a rather large secret from one another – that both are actually assassins who are working for rival organizations.a0acad5c7a89d5b7f3182585aad6c19dThe marriage has obviously cooled over the years, and now discussions over decorations and minor dinner changes are the only thing keeping things from falling into uncomfortable silences. Things get nasty, however, when the two are sent in on the same job – an operative (Adam Brody, from “The O.C.”) and find that their cover has been blown by the person they’d have least expected. From there, Smith turns into a more violent War of the Roses as the two, despite still being together, wage war on each other in their suburban estate.MV5BMTUyNzA3MzMwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTk5NTUyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1505,1000_AL_However, when it becomes clear that their bosses want them eliminated, they realize they have to turn to each other. Liman, who brought urgency and tension to even the quietest moments of “The Bourne Identity” manages to handle both the action and dark comedy of “Smith” wonderfully. Pitt, who proved he was a surprisingly sharp comedic talent in “Ocean’s 11” has the same off-beat delivery here, and it works well. More surprising is Jolie, who successfully gives the performance a bit more warmth and dark glee than she has in her roles in the past. Vince Vaughn also steals a few scenes as a co-worker who lives with his mother.Director Liman and writer Simon Kinsberg wisely keep things light for the most part,  and yet don’t go so breezy that the film loses urgency and we lose interest. The two stars also manage to portray their subtle inner feelings for each other well during the film’s few quiet moments. Technically, the film is superb, with well-choreographed action sequences, excellent production design, slick cinematography and a superb sound mix.Overall, Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s mixture of very dark comedy and action certainly walks a fine line, and yet Liman and the two leads have managed to work it out very well.