REVIEW: MACHETE KILLS

CAST

Danny Trejo (Bullet)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Mel Gibson (Mad Max)
Sofia Vergara (The Smurfs)
Amber Heard (Aquaman)
Demián Bichir (Solo)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Walton Goggins (American Ultra)
Cuba Gooding Jr.(Jerry Maguire)
Lady Gaga (Sin City 2)
Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro)
Jessica Alba (Dark Angel)
Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless)
Alexa Vega (Spy Kids)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Electra and Elise Avellan (Death Proof)
Callie Hernandez (La La Land)
Corey Burton (Transformers)

Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) and Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) attempt to capture weapon dealers who have been supplying the Mexican drug cartels. The military men are then all killed by the gangsters, who in turn are wiped out by another intervening party. Its leader murders Sartana while Machete is arrested by corrupt Sheriff Doakes (William Sadler) and Deputy Clebourne (Samuel Davis). Doakes unsuccessfully tries to hang Machete but the President of the US, Rathcock (Charlie Sheen), intervenes. Machete is brought to the White House, where the president offers him US citizenship if he eliminates Marcos Mendez (Demián Bichir), a psychopath who is threatening to fire a nuclear missile at Washington, D.C. if the American government does not intervene to stop the rampant drug cartels in Mexico and the corruption of its government.Machete agrees and travels to San Antonio, where he meets his handler Blanca Vasquez (Amber Heard), an undercover beauty pageant competitor. She sends him to Acapulco to meet a young woman, Cereza (Vanessa Hudgens), who can lead him to Mendez. Machete finds her in a brothel run by her mother, Madame Desdemona (Sofía Vergara), who attempts to kill Machete before he escapes with Cereza. She takes him to Mendez’s associate, Zaror (Marko Zaror), who kills Cereza before taking Machete to Mendez’s base of operations.There, Machete learns that Mendez has wired the missile’s launch device to his heart and triggered its launch in 24 hours. If he dies, the missile fires. After killing Zaror he captures Mendez, intending to escort him to US and find a way to disarm the missile. Machete learns that Mendez is an ex-secret agent who tried to expose his corrupt superiors, only to be betrayed and forced to watch his family being tortured. The trauma drove him insane, creating his split personalities and leading him to join forces with the missile’s creator.Shortly thereafter, a hit is put out on them. Machete is targeted by Madame Desdemona and her prostitute assassins, including a shapeshifting hitman called El Camaleón (Lady Gaga), as well as Doakes. Machete and Mendez manage to reach the US and kill Doakes and Clebourne only to be caught by a reborn Zaror and the same mercenaries who killed Sartana. Zaror decapitates Mendez and Machete is riddled with bullets.Machete wakes up to find himself in a healing tank. He is taken to meet Zaror’s benefactor—corrupt businessman, inventor and Star Wars fan Luther Voz (Mel Gibson). He shows Machete Mendez’s beating heart, preserved in a jar, and informs him of his plan to manipulate extremists throughout the world to detonate nuclear weapons while planning to escape in a spaceship to rebuild society in space. Machete then escapes with help from Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), who had heard about the hit on Machete. She informs him that the only one who can disarm Mendez’s heart is Machete’s old enemy, Osiris Amanpour (Tom Savini). Machete contacts Vasquez, who instructs him to meet her at a rendezvous point.MV5BOWM0MTk3NDYtNTE3ZC00NTkxLWEyOWMtZWYwYzE0ZTU5M2I4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjM2NTIzMTI@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_Arriving there, Machete is betrayed and ambushed by Vasquez, who is in league with Voz. As she is escaping into the desert, Machete gives chase and jumps onto the top of her vehicle but falls off after gunfire comes through the roof. Machete is then given a ride by El Camaleón, who tries to kill him one last time. But he escapes and El Camaleón ends up being shot to death by a group of racist rednecks just inside the US border. Machete then reunites with Luz and her group, the Network. They infiltrate a fundraiser at Voz’s base of operations, where Voz kills Osiris. Machete realizes Voz was the one who killed Sartana and fights him. He severely burns Voz’s face, disfiguring him to the extent that Voz is forced to wear a metallic, silver mask. Meanwhile, Vasquez shoots Luz in her good eye, completely blinding her. Luz kills Vasquez in return but is captured by Voz, frozen in Carbonite and taken aboard his ship.Machete jumps on the missile as it launches and disarms it in mid-air, while Voz boards the ship and departs with the Zaror clones, his supporters, as well as Luz. The disarmed missile then plunges into the Rio Grande and Machete is rescued by President Rathcock, who asks him to follow Voz into space and kill him. Machete agrees and uses a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.0 rocket to depart to Voz’s Station in Earth’s orbit, where he is given a laser machete to start his mission.If you saw the first one, you pretty much know what to expect and what the basic concept is. Just times that times ten and you have Machete Kills. It is just a movie where you sit and don’t think about it. Let it all happen and enjoy it. That is, of course, you like action movies where the hero chops every bad guy up and Sofia Vergara with her bra machine gun.

REVIEW: THE 33

 

CAST

Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Juliette Binoche (The English Patient)
James Brolin (The Amityville Horror)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Mario Casas (SMS)
Gabriel Byrne (End of Days)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil TV)
Adriana Barraza (Cake)
Kate del Castillo (No Good Deed)
Juan Pablo Raba (Agents of SHIELD)
Naomi Scott (Power Rangers)

Dozens of people from Copiapó, Chile, work in the San José mine. The owner ignores the warnings of the failing stability of the mine, which collapses a short time later. The only path inside the mine is completely blocked, and the thirty-three miners manage to get to the rescue chamber. They discover that the radio is useless, the medical kit is empty, the ventilation shafts lack the required ladders, and there is very little stored food. Mario Sepúlveda becomes the leader of the miners, dividing the foods rations and stopping the outbursts of violence and despair. The mine company does not attempt any rescue, and the relatives of the miners gather around the gates.The government of Chile decides on active intervention, and orders the use of drills to reach the chamber. The first exploratory boreholes move off-target, but a later one reaches the required destination. The miners attach a note to the drill bit to announce their survival. They receive new food and clothing, and television communication with the surface. A second, bigger, drill system is prepared to retrieve the miners one by one.The 33 is exceptional. Based on the book “Deep Down Dark” by Héctor Tobar, the film version takes few liberties with the facts and fashions a very compelling narrative. The screenplay succinctly, but effectively sets the stage and develops its characters – both above and below ground. We feel the desperation of both the miners and their families. As the miners’ story unfolds, concurrently with that of their families and those attempting to rescue them, Patricia Riggens directs with great pacing (which is helped by nearly perfect editing). She also gets great performances from her cast and blends the talents and experience of well-known and little-known actors wonderfully. Although the movie did drag a little as it neared its dramatic conclusion, this is a film which tells its story with drama, sensitivity and even some humor.

 

REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO

Starring

Antonio Banderas (Mask of Zorro)
Salma Hayek (Puss In Boots)
Johnny Depp (Ed Wood)
Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2)
Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Enrique Iglesias (How I Met Your Mother)
Marco Leonardi (All the Money in the World)
Cheech Marin (Coco)
Rubén Blades (Predator 2)
Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)

Johnny Depp in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)El Mariachi is recruited by CIA officer Sheldon Jeffrey Sands to kill General Emiliano Marquez, a corrupt Mexican Army officer who has been hired by Mexican drug lord Armando Barillo to assassinate the President of Mexico and overthrow the government during a period of unrest in Culiacán (the capital of Sinaloa) which is testing the presidency. Many years before, El Mariachi and his wife Carolina confronted Marquez in a shootout and wounded the general; in retaliation, Marquez took the lives of Carolina and their daughter in an ambush. In addition to El Mariachi, Sands persuades former FBI agent Jorge Ramírez to come out of retirement and kill Barillo, who had murdered his partner Archuleta in the past. Furthermore, AFN operative Ajedrez is assigned by Sands to tail Barillo.Enrique Iglesias in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)While monitoring Barillo’s activities, Ramírez meets Billy Chambers, an American fugitive who has been living under the protection of Barillo, but can no longer stomach the horrible tasks he’s been forced to carry out for him. Ramírez convinces Chambers he will provide him protection in exchange for getting closer to Barillo by tagging Chambers’ pet chihuahua with a hidden microphone, and Chambers agrees to complete the deal by surrendering to U.S. authorities once Barillo has been taken down. Sands’ agent, Cucuy, originally hired to keep an eye on El Mariachi, instead turns and tranquilizes El Mariachi and turns him over to Barillo, also offering to reveal the details of Sands’s plan. Cucuy, however, is promptly killed by Chambers while El Mariachi escapes from captivity and calls his friends Lorenzo and Fideo to assist him in his mission.Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)While monitoring Barillo’s activity outside a hospital, Ramírez notices armed men storming the building and follows suit. He discovers that a group of doctors have been gunned down and Barillo has bled to death as a result of a botched facial reconstruction, but realizes that the corpse on the operating table is a body double before he is knocked out and kidnapped by the real Barillo and Ajedrez, who reveals herself to be Barillo’s daughter. Sands realizes that his mission has been compromised, but is too late, as he is captured by Barillo and Ajedrez — who drill out his eyes before sending him out. Despite his blindness, he manages to gun down a hitman tailing him with the aid of a chiclet boy.Antonio Banderas, Enrique Iglesias, and Marco Leonardi in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)As Culiacán celebrates the Day of the Dead during the President’s visit, Marquez and his army storm in and attack the presidential palace. Marquez’s troops, however, are met with resistance from not only the President’s bodyguards, but also the citizens of Culiacán and the Mariachis. Sands had instructed El Mariachi to allow the President to be killed before attacking Marquez, but the Mariachis, concluding that the President is a good man, intervene early and protect him. Marquez enters the presidential palace, only to once again confront El Mariachi, who shoots out his kneecaps before finishing him off with a headshot. Ramírez, who was released from captivity by Chambers, faces Barillo. After Barillo guns down Chambers, Ramírez and El Mariachi kill the drug lord. Sands manages to shoot the sadistic Ajedrez dead outside the presidential palace. Ultimately, Lorenzo and Fideo walk away with the cash that Barillo was using to pay Marquez, and help the president safely escape the attempted coup. Ramírez says goodbye to Sands and walks away, having avenged his partner’s death. El Mariachi then gives his share of the cash to his home village before walking into the sunset.A follow up to the Desperado film was not something I was expecting.So it came as a shock to see this third instalment in the El Mariachi series being made.But a pleasant surprise it is.It is high on sweltering Mexican style,with impressive camera style and angles.There is a complex and engaging story to follow,complimented by some riveting action scenes and classy dialogue.On the performances front,Antonio Banderas continues to personify Mariachi,with Salma Hayek well cast as his love interest and good support from Johnny Depp,Mickey Rourke and William Dafoe,not to mention Eva Mendes.A wholly worthwhile venture

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: DONKEY’S CHRISTMAS SHREKTACULAR

CAST

Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Antonio Banderas (Puss-In-Boots)
Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Jon Hamm (The A-Team 2010)

7691544cfca7c27ef4There’s little to be said about ‘Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular’, as it is merely a swift celebration of the ‘Shrek’ universe. Unlike the films, which have an emotional tie for Shrek’s character, this short is lacking a sense of story progression, which is a small shame in some way because ‘Christmas-tacular’ marks a return to eccentric, unrelenting humour in the manner of the original film and the first sequel; that is, a constant barrage of visual and verbal puns that the producers behind the third and fourth movies could not quite replicate, despite their best efforts.

Every one is catered for with screen time shared equally between Shrek’s ever-popular family and friends, the joy of which is found in discovering the festive season through the perspective of a flea-ridden cat, or a living party snack. It is characterisation like this that contributes to the endearing nature of the series. ‘Christmas-tacular’ doesn’t quite hit a home run like ‘Shrek the Halls’ before it, as that short successfully intertwined a simple plot that added the necessary weight to contain the sheer madness that punctuates nearly every moment of this franchise. However, Donkey’s festivities are a great way to kick-start your own Christmas season.

25 DAYS CHRISTMAS REVIEW: SHREK THE HALLS

CAST

Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Cameron Diaz (Knight and Day)
Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro)

The special is set shortly after the events of Shrek the Third (and before the events of Shrek Forever After), as Shrek and Fiona’s children are still infants. Shrek (Mike Myers) is quietly living in the swamp with his family when the Christmas season arrives. Under Donkey’s (Eddie Murphy) urging, Shrek reluctantly promises Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) a special Christmas surprise. Shrek goes to the local bookstore in Far, Far Away to try to find a present for Fiona, but since he does not know what Christmas is all about, the shopkeeper (Marissa Jaret Winokur) gives Shrek a copy of Christmas For Village Idiots, a step-by-step guide to celebrating the holiday. Shrek proceeds to follow the book’s advice by decorating the house and getting a tree so he can spend a quiet Christmas Eve with his family, but Donkey brings the entire “family” to the swamp, ruining Shrek’s plans.
As Shrek tries to tell his own version of “A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas)”; Gingy (Conrad Vernon), Donkey, and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) interrupt and each tell their own version of a Christmas story. Donkey tells of floats coming to the swamp. At the end, Donkey tells of licking an enormous Santa figure that is made out of waffles, but in reality he accidentally starts licking Shrek’s leg. Puss tells his version of the story of Santa Claus, but ends up playing with the ball point of his Santa hat, while in reality he is playing with one of the baubles from the christmas tree. However, Gingy’s story is not happy, but horrifying, as he tells about how his girlfriend Suzy got eaten up by Santa Claus. To which Donkey finds it unbelievable, with Gingy screaming “You weren’t there!”. Donkey finds Shrek’s Christmas for Village Idiots book, and the ensuing fight over the book destroys all of Shrek’s decorations, furniture and the tree. Shrek then loses his temper and ends up ejecting his friends from his house.

With the Christmas spirit ruined, Fiona and Shrek have a talk, after which she takes the children and leaves the swamp to go and apologize to their friends. Shrek feels downhearted that Christmas Eve did not go as he hoped it would, and he looks at one of Donkey’s Christmas cards that says, From Donkey & family. Fiona catches up to their friends and explains to Donkey what Shrek had wanted for Christmas. Shrek catches up with the group, and apologizes for losing his temper. Donkey is shocked to learn that this is Shrek’s first Christmas, because “ogres don’t celebrate anything.” Donkey also apologizes for being annoying, and explains that Christmas never goes as planned and according to his mother, “‘Christmas ain’t Christmas until somebody cries’, and that’s usually me.” After a snowball fight, the friends return to the swamp, and Shrek tells his story, featuring Ogre Claus. Soon they hear bells and go outside to see Santa and his reindeer, although Gingy runs back inside screaming in terror.It’s a must for Shrek fans and anyone who just wants a different Christmas film to watch at xmas. I should also say this Dvd has loads of special features on it aswell as the film

REVIEW: THE EXPENDABLES 3

CAST

Sylvester Stallone (Judge Dredd)
Jason Statham (Safe)
Jet Li (War)
Mel Gibson (Mad Max)
Antonio Banderas (The 33)
Wesley Snipes (Blade)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Harrison Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Kelsey Grammer (X-Men: The Last Stand)
Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier)
Randy Couture (The Scorpion King 2)
Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules)
Ronda Rousey (Fast & Furious 7)
Glen Powell (Scream Queens)
Victor Ortiz (Southpaw)
Robert Davi (The Bad Pack)

Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, and Randy Couture in The Expendables 3 (2014)The Expendables—led by Barney Ross and formed by Lee Christmas, Gunner Jensen, and Toll Road—extract former member Doctor Death, a knives specialist and team medic, from a military prison during his transfer on a train. They recruit Doc to assist them in intercepting a shipment of bombs meant to be delivered to a warlord in Somalia. Arriving there, they reunite with Hale Caesar, who directs them to the drop point, where Ross is surprised to find out that the arms trader providing the bombs is Conrad Stonebanks, a former co-founder of the Expendables who went rogue and was presumed dead. In the ensuing firefight, The Expendables manage to kill all but Stonebanks, who shoots Caesar twice. As the team attempts to aid him, they are forced to retreat due to Stonebanks’ advanced weaponry, and Caesar is severely injured in the process.Harrison Ford in The Expendables 3 (2014)Back at the United States, CIA operative Max Drummer, the Expendables’ new missions manager, gives Ross a mission to capture Stonebanks in order to bring him to the International Criminal Court to be tried for war crimes. Blaming himself for Caesar’s injuries, Ross disbands the Expendables, not wanting his team to get killed following him, and leaves for Las Vegas where he enlists retired mercenary-turned-recruiter Bonaparte to help him find a new team of younger mercenaries to pursue Stonebanks. The recruits include former U.S. Marine John Smilee, nightclub bouncer Luna, computer expert Thorn, and weapons expert Mars. Skilled sharpshooter Galgo asks to be included in the team, but Ross turns him down.Harrison Ford and Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables 3 (2014)The new team members rendezvous with Ross’s rival Trench Mauser, returning a favor for Ross. Drummer has traced Stonebanks to Romania, where he is set to make an arms deal. Ross and the new recruits infiltrate an office building Stonebanks is using as a meeting place and, having to kill a few men in the process including arms buyer Goran Vata, manage to capture Stonebanks. In transit, Stonebanks begins to taunt Ross and explains why he betrayed The Expendables in the first place. Ross nearly kills him to shut him up but, despite Stonebanks egging him on, he stands down. Stonebanks’ men catch up to them, with the aid of his GPS Tracker, and fire a missile at the team’s van. Ross is thrown into a river, while Smilee, Luna, Thorn and Mars are captured by Stonebanks’ crew. Ross kills Stonebanks’ retrieval team and escapes.Dolph Lundgren in The Expendables 3 (2014)Stonebanks sends Ross a video, challenging Ross to come after him and giving him his location in the country of Azmenistan. While preparing to leave and mount a rescue alone, Ross is found by Galgo, who offers his services again. Ross gives him a chance, later accompanied by the veteran Expendables. They rescue the young mercenaries, only to learn from Stonebanks that he has rigged the place with explosives. As both the young and veteran Expendables begin to fight one another, Ross convinces them to work together in order to take down Stonebanks once and for all. As the final battle begins, Thorn is able to use a jammer device to delay the countdown, giving them just under half an hour before detonation. Stonebanks then orders the armed forces of Azmenistan to attack the building with full force, including tanks and attack helicopters. Drummer and Trench arrive in a helicopter to help, alongside returning Expendables member Yin Yang.Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham in The Expendables 3 (2014)The new and veteran members of the Expendables work together to kill Stonebanks’ men. When a second wave moves in, Drummer lands on the building to evacuate the team. As everyone makes it to Drummer’s chopper however, Stonebanks personally attacks Ross after shooting him down. Having been forced to remove the armor and his weapon, Ross and Stonebanks engage in hand-to-hand combat after Stonebanks drops his gun to challenge Ross. Both are evenly matched, but Ross manages to knock down Stonebanks before they both reach for their guns, Stonebanks starts shooting but Ross gets the better of him. At his mercy, Stonebanks questions Ross “What about the Hague?”. Having coldly answered “I am the Hague” Ross shoots Stonebanks with his Colt Single Action Army revolver, finally killing him. Seconds after Stonebanks’ death, the batteries of Thorn’s device run out and the building begins to explode and collapse. The team makes it to Drummer’s helicopter and flies away to safety, with Ross clinging to it from the outside. In the aftermath, Caesar recovers from his wounds, and Ross officially accepts Galgo, Smilee, Luna, Thorn, and Mars into the team. They all celebrate at a bar together.Dolph Lundgren in The Expendables 3 (2014)The movie is a little bit slow at the start, but it quickly picks up pace and then it just steamrolls continuously on towards the very end. Wesley Snipes was really a welcomed addition to the movie, because he played his role so well.If you enjoyed the previous two movies, then you will also enjoy The Expendables 3. No doubt about it.

 

REVIEW: THE LAUNDROMAT

Antonio Banderas, Gary Oldman, Meryl Streep, David Schwimmer, and Jeffrey Wright in The Laundromat (2019)

Starring

Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight)
Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro)
Sharon Stone (Catwoman)
David Schwimmer (Friends)
Matthias Schoenaerts (Red Sparrow)
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)
Will Forte (Fanboys)
Chris Parnell (Goosebumps 2)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory)
Larry Wilmore (Vamps)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: DS9)
Nikki Amuka-Bird (The Omen)
Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones)
Amy Pemberton (Legends of Tomorrow)
Charles Halford (Constantine)

Meryl Streep and Jeff Michalski in The Laundromat (2019)The film follows Ellen Martin (Streep), whose dream vacation takes a wrong turn and leads her down a rabbit hole of shady dealings that can all be traced to one Panama City law firm, run by financially seductive partners Jürgen Mossack (Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Banderas). In a shocking denouement she soon learns that her minor predicament is only a drop in the bucket of millions of files linking off-shore drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises to the world’s richest and most powerful political leaders.Antonio Banderas and Gary Oldman in The Laundromat (2019)The subplot of a wealthy man and his daughter bears strong reference to the events described in the April 2019 book, The Bouvier Affair: A True Story, involving a network of trusts under a Russian oligarch’s name in Cyprus. The book focuses on Dmitry Rybolovlev, his daughter, Ekaterina Rybolovleva, and his wife, ElenaMeryl Streep and Larry Clarke in The Laundromat (2019)I found the film better than I’d imagined. It has a refreshing style for sure and maybe watched by a lot of folks who need the truth put forth to be in this entertaining format. The title of the movie was not an attractive lure, though for me, and I almost passed watching it.

REVIEW: UNCHAINED (AKA Bullet Head)

 

Starring

Adrien Brody (King Kong)
Antonio Banderas (The Legend of Zorro)
John Malkovich (Red)
Rory Culkin (Scream 4)

Antonio Banderas in Bullet Head (2017)Three career criminals find themselves trapped in a warehouse with the law closing in and an even worse threat waiting inside – a nigh unstoppable killer dog.  After a car crash that kills the man behind the wheel, Stacy (Adrian Brody), Walker (John Malkovich) and Gage (Rory Culkin) find themselves in a car outside a warehouse. They go inside to try and find a different car to leave in so they are safe. They head inside and find themselves wandering in the warehouse before finding a locker room. Inside the locker room, Gage goes through a series of lockers and finds drugs, medical supplies, and testosterone. He then finds a dead body of the dog’s handler, and the monster Presa Canario who lives in this dogfighting warehouse. Meanwhile, interspersed flashbacks occur of a dog from a dog fighting ring and Blue (Antonio Banderas) who has abused the dog in order to make it fight. Sitting and waiting while trapped by the Mastiff, Walker tells the story of getting a pet for his child to Stacy.John Malkovich and Adrien Brody in Bullet Head (2017)Gage is revealed to be in the locker room trying to get the drugs, where he injects heroin. There is a brief chase when Gage asks to be let back in with his drugs and the animal attacks. Walker is injured, as is Gage, and Gage tells the story of his first dog. Gage then overdoses and dies. Stacy goes to find the keys to a vehicle in order to get Gage and Walker out of there with their injuries after Walker rejects Stacy calling an ambulance. They retrieve the keys and Stacy hides in a piano from the dog. The dog realizes that Stacy is in the piano and charges, but becomes trapped under the piano. Stacy debates leaving, but instead lifts the piano off the dog, who then leaves Stacy intact. Stacy fetches Walker and takes him to the vehicle, where Blue pulls up in a fancy car and shoots Walker. Stacy runs through the warehouse to escape Blue who keeps shooting at him, and then falls backwards to escape Blue. They end up in the dog fighting ring where Blue does an evil monologue before the Presa Canario shows up and recognizes both Blue, his evil owner who abused him, and Stacy, who saved him from a piano. He attacks Blue, and is mortally wounded, but not before killing Blue. Stacy pets the dog and tells him that it’s alright. Stacy is then seen walking across a beach with a puppy.This is a strange film, it’s more intriguing than entertaining. The story-line of the participants is the present and flashbacks. It veers from funny to serious. The actors are top rate in keeping you interested, the writer obviously feels strongly about the subplot running through the film as well. It’s well worth watching, my only gripe was it should have ended without the added ending.

 

REVIEW: THE LEGEND OF ZORRO

CAST

Antonio Banderas (The 13th Warrior)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment)
Adrián Alonso (Cristiada)
Rufus Sewell (A knight’s Tale)
Nick Chinlund (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Julio Oscar Mechoso (Jurassic Park 3)
Michael Emerson (Lost)

In 1851, nine years after the events of the first film, Don Alejandro de la Vega is married to Elena and has a son, Joaquin. California is voting on whether to join the United States of America as a state. Zorro foils a plot to steal ballots. During the fight with a gunman named Jacob McGivens, he briefly loses his mask. A pair of Pinkerton agents sees his face and recognize him. The following day, the Pinkertons confront Elena and force her to divorce Alejandro. Three months later, Alejandro is living in a hotel. The separation from Elena and the feeling that the people no longer need Zorro are taking its toll on him. His childhood guardian, Father Felipe, convinces him to attend a party at French Count Armand’s new vineyard. There, Alejandro discovers that Elena is dating the count. After leaving the party, Alejandro witnesses a huge explosion close to Armand’s mansion and becomes suspicious of him.

McGivens leads an attack on the family of Guillermo Cortez, Alejandro’s friend, to seize their land deed. Donning his mask again, Zorro rescues Guillermo’s wife and son, but fails to save Guillermo and the deed. Zorro follows McGivens to at Armand’s mansion and discovers that Armand plans to build a railroad on Cortez’s land. Zorro encounters Elena, and learns of an upcoming shipment. He tracks McGivens to a cove where the cargo is delivered. Unbeknownst to him, Joaquin also hitched a ride on McGiven’s cart, having sneaked out of a class trip. Zorro saves his son from the bandits. Examing the shipment, he sees a piece of the cargo, a bar of soap, and the name Orbis Unum from a crate lid.

Felipe and Alejandro then learn that Armand is the head of a secret society, the Knights of Aragon, which has been secretly ruling Europe. The United States is deemed a threat to the Knights. Thus, they plans to throw the country into chaos before it can gain too much power. Alejandro is then captured by the Pinkertons. They reveal to him that they forced Elena to divorce Alejandro and get close to Armand and learn of his plans. Joaquin frees Alejandro from captivity. Zorro goes to Armand’s mansion, meets Elena, and eavesdrops on Armand’s meeting. He learns that the soap bars contain glycerin – a precursor to nitroglycerin. Armand plans to distribute the substance throughout the Confederate Army, with the help of Confederate Colonel Beauregard, to destroy the Union. Zorro and Elena reconcile, and Zorro prepares to destroy the train carrying the explosives. McGivens arrives at Felipe’s church to look for Zorro. Unable to find him, McGivens shoots the priest and kidnaps Joaquin.

At the mansion, Armand is informed by his butler, Ferroq, about Elena’s deception. He confronts her and showing her the bodies of the Pinkerton agents. He takes her and Joaquin hostage on the train carrying the explosives, making Zorro unable to destroy it. Zorro is captured and unmasked in front of his son, to Joaquin’s shock. Armand takes Joaquin and Elena away and orders McGivens to kill Alejandro. Felipe, having been saved from McGivens’s bullet by a cross he wears, arrives. He and Alejandro overpower and kill McGivens. Zorro catches up with Armand and they engage in a sword fight. Meanwhile, Elena has Joaquin escape into the back cars of the train, which she disconnects. Elena then fights Ferroq in the nitro storage car. He and Colonel Beauregard are then killed in an explosion.

Further along the tracks, witnessed by a huge crowd, the governor prepares to sign the bill to make California a state. Joaquin collects Tornado, Zorro’s horse, jumps off the train, and follows it. He hits a track switch, causing the train to harmlessly pass around the ceremony. Zorro and Armand’s duel takes them to the very front of the locomotive. Seeing the track is a dead end, Zorro hooks Armand to the train and escapes with Elena. The train crashes into the pile of rails at the end of the track, setting off the nitroglycerin, killing Armand. With Zorro as an official witness, the governor signs the bill, and California becomes the 31st state of the United States of America. Felipe remarries Alejandro and Elena with Joaquin as the only witness. Alejandro apologizes to his son for hiding his identity, and admits that Zorro’s identity is a family secret rather than just his own. With Elena’s support, Zorro rides off on Tornado to his next mission.

The Legend of Zorro has great action, if you like this kind of film don’t miss it and don’t pay attention to the critics.

REVIEW: THE MASK OF ZORRO

CAST

Antonio Banderas (The 13th Warrior)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment)
Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)
Stuart Wilson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Matt Letscher (Legends of Tomorrow)
Tony Amendola (Stargate SG.1)
Maury Chaykin (Iron Eagle II)

In 1821, Don Diego De La Vega (Anthony Hopkins), a Californio nobleman fights against the Spanish in the Mexican War of Independence as Zorro, a mysterious swordsman who defends the Mexican peasants and commoners of Las Californias. Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson), the corrupt governor of the region, learns of De La Vega’s alter ego, and attempts to arrest him. De La Vega’s wife is killed during the scuffle. Montero imprisons De La Vega and takes his infant daughter, Elena, as his own. Twenty years later Montero returns to California as a civilian, alongside Elena (Catherine Zeta Jones), who has grown into a beautiful woman. Montero’s reappearance motivates De La Vega to escape from prison. He encounters a thief, Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), who, as a child, once did Zorro a favor. De La Vega decides that fate has brought them together, and agrees to make Alejandro his protégé, grooming him to be the new Zorro. Alejandro agrees to undergo De La Vega’s training regimen in Zorro’s lair underneath the ruins of his family estate in order to be able to take revenge on Captain Harrison Love (Matt Letscher), Montero’s right-hand man, who was responsible for killing Alejandro’s brother, Joaquin.While still being trained, Alejandro steals a black stallion resembling Tornado from the local garrison. De La Vega scolds Alejandro, claiming that Zorro was a servant of the people, not a thief and adventurer. He challenges Alejandro to gain Montero’s trust instead. Alejandro poses as a visiting nobleman named Don Alejandro del Castillo y García, with De La Vega as his servant, and attends a party at Montero’s hacienda. At the party he gains Elena’s admiration and enough of Montero’s trust to be invited to a secret meeting where several other noblemen are present. Montero hints at a plan to retake California for the Dons by buying it from General Santa Anna, who needs money to fund his upcoming war with the United States.Montero takes Alejandro and the noblemen to a secret gold mine known as “El Dorado”, where peasants and prisoners are used for slave labor. Montero plans to buy California from Santa Anna using gold mined from Santa Anna’s own land. De La Vega uses this opportunity to become closer to Elena, though he identifies himself as “Bernardo” the servant, learning that Montero told Elena that her mother died in childbirth. While walking in a market, Elena meets the woman who was her nanny who tells Elena her parents’ real identity. De La Vega sends Alejandro, dressed as Zorro, to steal Montero’s map leading to the gold mine. Zorro duels Montero, Love, and their guards at the hacienda. When Zorro escapes, Elena attempts to retrieve Montero’s map from the swordsman, but he seduces her, leading to a passionate kiss before he flees.Terrified of Santa Anna’s retribution if he discovers that he is being paid with his own gold, Montero, at Love’s urging, decides to destroy the mine and kill the workers. De La Vega tells Alejandro to release the workers on his own so that De La Vega can reclaim Elena. Alejandro sets off, feeling betrayed by Diego’s vendetta. De La Vega corners Montero at the hacienda and reveals his identity, but Montero captures him by threatening Elena. As he is taken away, De La Vega tells Elena the name of the flowers she recognized upon her arrival in California, convincing her that he is her father. She releases De La Vega from his cell and they proceed to the mine, where Alejandro and De La Vega respectively defeat and slay Love and Montero. Elena and Alejandro free the workers before the explosives go off, and then find the mortally wounded De La Vega. He makes peace with Alejandro before dying, passing the mantle of Zorro to him, and gives his blessings for his marriage to Elena. In a closing sequence they are shown to be living together after rebuilding the De La Vega family manor with a son named Joaquín, in honor of Alejandro’s brother.Wonderful movie, visually rich and a nice blend of comedy, action and romance, well-written. Hopkins is great; so is Banderas as Zorro-in-training, and Zeta-Jones sparkles in her scenes with him.