REVIEW: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

CAST

Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Diego Luna (Milk)
Alan Tudyk (Powerless)
Donnie Yen (Highlander: Endgame)
Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal)
Forest Whitaker (Arrival)
Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue)
Wen Jiang (Devils on The Doorstep)
Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises)
Guy Henry (V For Vendetta)
Riz Ahmed (Four Lions)
Genevieve O’Reilly (The Legend of Tarzan)
Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones)
James Earl Jones (Conan The Barbarian)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Ingvild Deila (This Is Not Happening)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Ned Dennehy (Good Omens)

Research scientist Galen Erso and his family are in hiding on the planet Lah’mu. Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to press him into completing the Death Star, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying planets. Galen’s wife Lyra is killed in the confrontation while their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Fifteen years later, cargo pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the desert moon Jedha. Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor frees Jyn from an Imperial labor camp at Wobani before bringing her to the Rebel leader Mon Mothma, who convinces her to find and rescue Galen so the Alliance can learn more about the Death Star. Cassian is covertly ordered by General Draven, an Alliance military officer, to kill Galen rather than extract him.
Jyn, Cassian, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is removing kyber crystals from the holy city to power the Death Star while Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who has been holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the message, in which Galen reveals he has secretly built a vulnerability into the Death Star and directs them to retrieve the schematics from a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif.
On the Death Star, Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the superlaser to destroy Jedha’s capital. Jyn and her group take Rook and flee the planet, but Gerrera remains to die with the city. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic before using Rook’s defection and security leak as a pretext to take control of the project.
Rook leads the group to Galen’s Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to kill Galen. When Krennic orders Galen’s team killed for causing the security leak, Galen confesses that he is responsible. The research team is executed anyway. Jyn makes her presence known moments before Rebel bombers attack the facility. Galen is wounded and dies in his daughter’s arms, before she escapes with her group on board a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Krennic is summoned by Darth Vader, to answer for the attack on Eadu. Krennic seeks his support for an audience with the Emperor, Vader ignores it and orders him instead to ensure no further leaks about the Death Star occur.
Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics using the Rebel fleet but fails to get approval from the Alliance Council, who feel victory against the Empire is now impossible. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn’s group is supported by a small squad of Rebel volunteers intent on raiding the databank themselves. Arriving at Scarif via the stolen Imperial ship, which Rook dubs “Rogue One”, a disguised Jyn and Cassian enter the base with K-2SO while the other Rebels attack the resident Imperial garrison as a distraction. The Rebel fleet learns about the raid from intercepted Imperial communications and deploy in support. K-2SO sacrifices himself so Jyn and Cassian can retrieve the data. Îmwe is killed after activating the master switch to allow communication with the Rebel fleet. Rook is killed by a grenade after informing the Rebel fleet that it must deactivate the shield surrounding the planet to allow the transmission of the schematics. Malbus dies in battle shortly after. Jyn and Cassian seize the schematics, but they are ambushed by Krennic, who shoots Cassian.
Krennic corners Jyn, declaring the Empire’s victory, but Cassian, who has survived, shoots and wounds Krennic. Jyn transmits the schematics to the Rebel command ship. The Death Star enters orbit above Scarif, where Tarkin uses another low-power shot from the superlaser to destroy the Empire’s base. Krennic is killed instantly, while Jyn and Cassian embrace on a beach before dying in the blastwave. The Rebel fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace but are intercepted by Vader’s flagship. Vader invades the command ship and kills many rebels in his pursuit of the schematics, but a small starship escapes with them on board. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the schematics will provide hope for the Rebellion.I would find it hard to believe anyone would not be impressed by this movie, if you are a serious Star Wars fan. Perhaps if you don’t take Star Wars seriously but prefer films that are all action and special effects you might find the slow build hard to take. But for me, and a large number of other Star Wars fans this is the best Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back. It may be a dark time for the Rebellion, but its a great time to be a fan of Star Wars.

REVIEW: KILLER ELITE

Starring

Jason Statham (Spy)
Clive Owen (Sin City)
Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck)
Robert De Niro (Limitless)
Lachy Hulme (The Matrix Reloaded)
Dominic Purcell (Legends of Tomorrow)
Aden Young (Sniper)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad)
Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One)
Grant Bowler (Defiance)
Matthew Nable (Arrow)
Michael Dorman (Triangle)
Firass Dirani (Power Rangers Mystic Force)

Jason Statham and Yvonne Strahovski in Killer Elite (2011)In 1980, mercenaries Danny Bryce (Jason Statham), Hunter (Robert De Niro), Davies (Dominic Purcell), and Meier (Aden Young) are in Mexico to assassinate a man. Danny is shot when he becomes distracted after realizing he has killed the man in front of the target’s young daughter. Affected by this, Danny retires and returns to his native Australia.Jason Statham in Killer Elite (2011)The following year, Danny is summoned to Oman to meet The Agent (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). He learns that Hunter failed a $6 million job. If Danny does not complete Hunter’s mission, Hunter will be executed. Sheikh Amr, a deposed king of a small region of Oman, wants Danny to kill three former SAS troopers—Steven Harris (Lachy Hulme), Steven Cregg (Grant Bowler), and Simon McCann (Daniel Roberts)—for killing his three eldest sons during the Dhofar Rebellion. Danny must videotape their confessions and make their deaths look like accidents, all before the terminally ill sheikh dies. This will allow the sheikh’s fourth son, Bakhait (Firass Dirani), to regain control of his father’s desert region. Davies and Meier agree to help Danny for a share of the money.Jason Statham and Clive Owen in Killer Elite (2011)Danny and Meier sneak into Harris’s house. After Harris confesses on videotape, they take him to the bathroom, intending to make it look like he slipped and hit his head. However, Harris’s girlfriend knocks on the door. While Harris and Meier are distracted, Harris attempts to break free, causing Meier to kill him. In England, Davies questions bar patrons about former SAS members. This is reported to the Feather Men, a secret society of former operatives protecting their own. Their head enforcer, Spike Logan (Clive Owen), is sent to investigate.Robert De Niro and Jason Statham in Killer Elite (2011)Davies discovers Cregg preparing for a long nighttime march in wintry weather on the Brecon Beacons mountain range. Danny infiltrates the base, disguised in uniform, and drugs Cregg’s coffee. Danny follows Cregg on the march and makes him confess before the drug sends him into shock to die of hypothermia. For their last target, their plan is to crash a remote-controlled truck into McCann’s car. With the help of the inexperienced Jake (Michael Dorman), Meier kills McCann; however, Logan and his men were watching over McCann. A gunfight ensues, and Jake accidentally kills Meier. Danny and Davies part ways. Davies is tracked down by Logan’s men, and is hit by a truck and killed while trying to escape.Robert De Niro and Jason Statham in Killer Elite (2011)Danny returns to Oman and gives the sheikh the last confession, which he has faked. Hunter is released, while Danny heads back to Australia and reunites with Anne (Yvonne Strahovski), a childhood acquaintance. Soon, he is informed by the Agent that there is one last man who participated in the sheikh’s sons’ murders and that this man, Ranulph Fiennes, is about to release a book about his experiences in the SAS. Danny sends Anne to France so Hunter can protect her. The sheikh’s son confirms that Harris was innocent. Logan, meanwhile, traces Danny through the Agent and sends a team to protect the author, but Jake distracts them, allowing Danny to shoot Fiennes. He only wounds the man, however, taking pictures that appear to show him dead. Logan captures Danny, taking him to an abandoned warehouse, but then a government agent arrives and reveals that the British government is behind the events because of the sheikh’s valuable oil reserves. A three-way battle ensues, with Danny escaping and Logan shooting the government agent.image-13-for-the-ticket-23-september-2011-gallery-490592626In Paris, the Agent tries to kidnap Anne for ransom, but Hunter beats the henchman and shoots the Agent in the leg. Hunter seems threatening at first, but spares his life. Danny and Hunter head to Oman to give the sheikh the pictures. However, Logan arrives first, tells the sheikh the pictures are fake and then stabs him to death. The sheikh’s son does not care; he gives Logan the money. Hunter spots Logan leaving, and they chase after him, along with the sheikh’s men. After stopping the sheikh’s men, Danny and Hunter confront Logan on a desert road. Hunter takes some of the money for his expenses and his family. They leave the remainder, telling Logan that he will need it to start a new life after killing the government agent and acting against the wishes of the Feather Men and the British government. Danny says that it is over for him and that Logan must make up his own mind what to do. Danny reunites with Anne.Killer-Elite-StathamThe action sequences are well done and realistic. The fact that it all happens in the 80’s gives it even more grit. What I found even nicer is that both de Niro and Statham act better than they did in a long time.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

Starring

Tom Holland (The Lost City of Z)
Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on A Plane)
Zendaya (Dune)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Jon Favreau (Chef)
J. B. Smoove (Top Five)
Jacob Batalon (Let It Snow)
Martin Starr (Adventureland)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko)
Tony Revolori (The 5th Wave)
Angourie Rice (THe Nice Guys)
Peter Billingsley (Iron Man)
J.K Simmons (Whiplash)
Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One)
Sharon Blynn (Captain Marvel)

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)In Ixtenco, Mexico, Nick Fury and Maria Hill investigate an unnatural storm and encounter the Earth Elemental. Quentin Beck, a super-powered individual, arrives to fight the creature. A week later, in New York City, the Midtown School of Science and Technology completes its academic year which was restarted to accommodate the students who disappeared during the five-year period known as “the Blip”. They had reappeared eight months earlier thanks to the actions of the Avengers. The school organizes a two-week summer field trip to Europe, where Peter Parker—still mourning the death of his mentor and father figure Tony Stark[N 1]—plans to confess his growing feelings for classmate MJ. Happy Hogan informs Parker that Fury intends to contact him, but Parker ignores the call.Parker and his classmates travel to Venice, Italy, where the Water Elemental attacks. Parker helps protect his classmates while Beck arrives and destroys the creature. Fury meets with Parker and gives him Stark’s glasses, which were meant for his successor. The glasses are equipped with the artificial intelligence E.D.I.T.H., which has access to Stark Industries’ databases and commands a large orbital weapons supply. Beck claims to hail from an alternate reality within the Multiverse, where the Elementals killed his family. He now predicts that the Fire Elemental will appear in Prague. Parker declines Fury’s invitation to join Beck’s fight against the Elementals and returns to his class trip.Zendaya and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)Fury secretly changes the school trip’s itinerary so Parker will be directed to Prague, and there Parker is forced to help fight the Fire Elemental to again protect his friends. Beck is able to destroy the Fire Elemental with Parker’s help. Fury and Hill invite Parker and Beck to Berlin to discuss the formation of a new superhero team, but Parker decides that Beck should go alone and bequeaths him the E.D.I.T.H. glasses. In actuality, Beck is secretly a former holographic-illusions specialist at Stark Industries who was fired for his unstable nature. He now leads a team of disgruntled ex-Stark employees, using advanced projector drones to simulate the Elemental attacks and masquerade as a hero; their plan was to gain access to E.D.I.T.H. so they could use the orbital weapons system’s drones to increase the scale of their illusions.Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)MJ deduces Parker is Spider-Man. They discover that a piece of debris she retrieved during the carnival battle is a projector that presents a simulation of the Air Elemental, leading the two to realize Beck is a fraud. Parker travels to Berlin to meet with Fury, but is actually in one of Beck’s illusions and accidentally reveals that some of his friends know about Beck’s plan. Distracted by the illusion, Parker is hit by a train and carried away to the Netherlands. From there Parker contacts Hogan, who flies them to London where his classmates are now on their way home. In London, Beck uses E.D.I.T.H. to orchestrate his biggest illusion yet, a fusion of all four Elementals, as a cover to kill Parker’s friends. Parker is able to disrupt the illusion, so Beck fully reveals the drones to attack him. Parker defeats Beck, regaining control of E.D.I.T.H. to call off the drone attacks. Beck dies from wounds sustained from misfired drone gunshots. An assistant of Beck’s escapes with data from the drones. After returning to New York City, Parker begins a relationship with MJ.Zendaya and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)In a mid-credits scene, J. Jonah Jameson of TheDailyBugle.net broadcasts doctored footage of the London incident in which Beck frames Spider-Man for the drone attack and his death, before exposing Spider-Man’s secret identity to the world. In a post-credits scene, Fury and Hill are revealed to be the Skrulls Talos and Soren in disguise, under orders from the real Fury who is seen commanding a Skrull spaceship.Jake Gyllenhaal, Numan Acar, and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)Tom Holland was born to play Spidey, hes a great Peter Parker. This movie along with effects was fantastic definetly one of the best Marvel movies.

REVIEW: CAPTAIN MARVEL

Starring

Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful eight)
Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One)
Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies)
Lashana Lynch (Still Star-Crossed)
Gemma Chan (Mary Queen of Scots)
Annette Bening (American Beauty)
Clark Gregg (Much Ado About Nothing)
Jude Law (Spy)
Mckenna Grace (I, Tonya)
Vik Sahay (Chuck)
Kenneth Mitchell (Star Trek: Discovery)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Chris Evans (The Losers)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Mark Ruffalo (Just Like Heaven)
Don Cheadle (Traffic)
Nelson Franklin (New Girl)
Patrick Gallagher (Glee)
Colin Ford (Daybreak)

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019)In 1995, on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala, Starforce member Vers suffers from amnesia and recurring nightmares involving an older woman. Yon-Rogg, her mentor and commander, trains her to control her abilities while the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence that rules the Kree, urges her to keep her emotions in check.Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019)During a mission to rescue an undercover operative infiltrating a group of Skrulls, alien shapeshifters with whom the Kree are at war, Vers is captured by Skrull commander Talos. A probe of Vers’s memories leads them to Earth. Vers escapes and crash-lands in Los Angeles. Her presence attracts S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, whose investigation is interrupted by a Skrull attack. In the ensuing chase, Vers recovers a crystal containing her extracted memories while Fury kills a Skrull impersonating Coulson. Talos, disguised as Fury’s boss Keller, orders Fury to work with Vers and keep tabs on her.Jude Law, Brie Larson, and Rune Temte in Captain Marvel (2019)Using her extracted memories, Vers and Fury go to the Project Pegasus installation at a U.S. Air Force base. They discover Vers was a pilot presumed to have died in 1989 while testing an experimental light-speed engine designed by Dr. Wendy Lawson, whom Vers recognizes as the woman from her nightmares. After Fury informs S.H.I.E.L.D. of their location, a team led by Talos disguised as Keller arrives. Fury discovers Talos’s ruse and helps Vers escape in a cargo jet with Lawson’s stowaway cat Goose. They fly to Louisiana to meet former pilot Maria Rambeau, the last person to see Vers and Lawson alive.Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019)Rambeau and her daughter Monica reveal that Vers is Carol Danvers, who was once like family to them. Talos, arriving unarmed, explains that the Skrulls are refugees searching for a new home and that Lawson was Mar-Vell, a renegade Kree scientist helping them. Talos plays a recovered recording from Lawson’s jet, prompting Danvers to remember the crash: Lawson was killed by Yon-Rogg to prevent her from destroying the engine before the Kree could recover it. Destroying the engine herself, Danvers absorbed the energy from the ensuing explosion, gaining powers but losing her memory.Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019)Danvers, Talos, Fury, and Rambeau locate Lawson’s cloaked laboratory orbiting Earth, where Lawson hid several Skrulls, including Talos’s family, and the Tesseract, the power source of Lawson’s engine. There, Danvers is captured by Starforce and interfaces with the Supreme Intelligence. During their conversation, Danvers removes the Kree implant that was suppressing her powers, allowing her to reach her full potential. In the subsequent battle, Fury retrieves Goose, who is revealed to be an alien Flerken. Goose swallows the Tesseract and scratches Fury, blinding his left eye. Danvers destroys a Kree bomber, forcing Kree officer Ronan the Accuser and his squadron to retreat, before overpowering Yon-Rogg on Earth and sending him back to Hala with a warning to the Supreme Intelligence.Djimon Hounsou, Brie Larson, Rune Temte, Gemma Chan, and Algenis Perez Soto in Captain Marvel (2019)Danvers departs to help the Skrulls find a new homeworld, leaving Fury a modified pager to contact her in an emergency. Meanwhile, Fury drafts an initiative to locate heroes like Danvers, naming it after her Air Force call sign, “Avenger”. In a mid-credits scene, set in 2018, the activated pager is being monitored by the Avengers when Danvers appears. In a post-credits scene, Goose climbs onto Fury’s desk and regurgitates the Tesseract.Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019)This is actually one of the rare examples of a prequel that “gets it right”, and explains things that happens in later films while managing to tell its own story. It also explains why the highly publicized (and until now highly off-limits due to licensing) Skrulls are absent throughout the rest of the MCU’s history. It also manages to provide some color around Ronan’s obsession with power, even though he only has a few brief scenes. All in all Captain Marvel is a solid film on it’s own, while still connecting itself to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Certainly worth the price of admission

REVIEW: AUSTRALIA

CAST

Nicole Kidman (Stoker)
Hugh Jackman (Chappie)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Bryan Brown (F/X)
Jack Thompson (Leatherheads)
Ben Mendelsohn (the Dark Knight Rises)
Essie Davis (Burning Man)
Barry Otto (The Punisher 1989)
John Jarrett (Wolf Creek)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2)
Nathin Butler (Black November)

In 1939, Lady Sarah Ashley travels from England to northern Australia to force her philandering husband to sell his faltering cattle station, Faraway Downs. Her husband sends an independent cattle drover, called “Drover”, to transport her to Faraway Downs. Lady Sarah’s husband is murdered shortly before she arrives, and the authorities tell her that the killer is an Aboriginal elder, “King George”. Meanwhile, cattle station manager Neil Fletcher is trying to gain control of Faraway Downs, so that Lesley ‘King’ Carney will have a complete cattle monopoly, giving him negotiating leverage with an Australian army officer, Captain Dutton, who wants to buy the cattle.

The childless Lady Sarah is captivated by the boy Nullah, who has an Aboriginal mother and a white father. Nullah tells her that he has seen her cattle being driven onto Carney’s land — in other words, stolen from her. Because of this Fletcher mistreats Nullah and threatens him and his mother, so Lady Sarah fires Fletcher and decides to try to run the cattle station herself. When Nullah and his mother hide from the authorities in a water tower, his mother drowns. Lady Sarah comforts Nullah by singing the song “Over the Rainbow” from the film The Wizard of Oz. Nullah tells her that “King George” is his grandfather, and that like the Wizard, he too is a “magic man”.
Lady Sarah persuades Drover to take the cattle to Darwin for sale. Drover is friendly with the Aborigines, and therefore shunned by many of the other whites in the territory. It is revealed that he was married to an Aboriginal woman, who died after being refused medical treatment in a hospital because of her race. Lady Sarah also reveals she is unable to have children. Drover leads a team of six other riders, including Lady Sarah, Drover’s Aboriginal brother-in-law Magarri, Nullah, and the station’s accountant Kipling Flynn, to drive the 1,500 cattle to Darwin. They encounter various obstacles along the way, including a fire set by Carney’s men that scares the cattle, resulting in the death of Flynn when the group tries to stop the cattle from stampeding over a cliff. Lady Sarah and Drover fall in love, and she gains a new appreciation for the Australian territory. The team drive the cattle through the dangerous Never Never desert. Then, when at last delivering the cattle in Darwin, the group has to race them onto the ship before Carney’s cattle are loaded.Afterwards, Lady Sarah, Nullah, and Drover live together happily at Faraway Downs for two years. Meanwhile, Fletcher kills Carney, marries his daughter Cath Carney, takes over Carney’s cattle empire, and continues to menace Lady Sarah. It is established that Fletcher was the actual murderer of Lady Sarah’s husband, and is also Nullah’s father. Nullah is drawn to go on a walkabout (a rite of passage) with his grandfather “King George”, but is instead taken by the authorities and sent to live on Mission Island (a fictitious island, but inspired by Bathurst Island) with the other half-Aboriginal children (dubbed the “Stolen Generations”). Lady Sarah, who has come to regard Nullah as her adopted son, vows to rescue him. Meanwhile, she works as a radio operator in Darwin during the escalation of World War II. When the Japanese attack the island and Darwin in 1942, Lady Sarah fears that Nullah has been killed. Drover, who had quarrelled with Lady Sarah and left, returns to Darwin and hears (mistakenly) that she has been killed in the bombing. Drover learns of Nullah’s abduction to Mission Island, and goes with Magarri and a young priest to rescue him and the other children. Meanwhile, Lady Sarah is about to be evacuated, but when Drover and the children sail back into port at Darwin, and Nullah plays “Over the Rainbow” on his harmonica, Lady Sarah hears the music and the three are reunited. Fletcher, distraught at the ruination of his plans and at the death of his wife killed during a Japanese air strike, attempts to shoot Nullah, but is speared by King George and falls dead. Lady Sarah, Drover, and Nullah return to the safety of remote Faraway Downs. There, King George calls for Nullah, who returns to the Outback with his grandfather.The reason this film got bad reviews was simple… people took it the wrong way. Some reviewers were saying that people were laughing in the cinema at the beginning, well so was I. Because it’s funny. It’s  intentionally  funny. Baz Luhrmann himself stated that he tried to put a bit of everything in this film including  comedy as well as drama. If you’ve seen Baz’s films before and loved them then you’ll love this. Like Moulin Rouge, it begins humorously before taking you through a roller coaster of emotions to moments of extreme sadness and tension. It looks beautiful and it’s played beautifully by all of the actors. Basically this is Baz Luhrmann’s nod to the old classics. If you think they don’t make films like they used to, this is highly recommended. Don’t take it as fact, just let yourself enjoy it and you’ll soon be swept along with the story.

REVIEW: KILLING THEM SOFTLY

 

CAST

Brad Pitt (Fight Club)
Ray Liotta (Hannibal)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In Teh Woods)
Scoot Mcnairy (Batman V Superman)
Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises)
James Gandolfini (8mm)
Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down)
Garret Dillahunt (Terminator: TSCC)

imagesIn the fall of 2008, during both the American financial crisis and the presidential election campaign, an older man named Johnny “Squirrel” Amato (Vincent Curatola) plans to rob an illegal poker game. He enlists two younger men to do the robbery: Frankie (Scoot McNairy), a former business associate, and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn), a heroin-addicted Australian expatriate who is stealing purebred dogs for money. Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta), the proprietor of the poker ring, is revealed to have previously orchestrated an inside job by paying two men to rob his own illegal poker room. He holds up under rough questioning by the hitman Dillon (Sam Shepard), though later he openly admits his involvement to various criminals who laugh it off, and Markie suffers no retaliation. Squirrel anticipates that the Mafia will automatically blame Markie for the heist.
MV5BMTc3NjEzMjMzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzg0MDkyNQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Frankie and Russell, though obviously amateurs, do the holdup and leave with the money. However, Driver (Richard Jenkins), an emissary for the Mafia, discusses the recent robbery with an acquaintance of Dillon, a hitman and mob enforcer named Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt). Although Jackie understands Markie was uninvolved in the recent heist, he believes Markie should be murdered in order to restore the mobsters’ confidence in the local illegal gambling scene. Upon completing the crime, Russell travels to Florida to sell the dogs. While in Florida, he inadvertently informs a man named Kenny Gill (Slaine) of his involvement in the heist while trying to recruit him as a drug dealer.MV5BMTQzZjNhZTItNjQ1MC00Yzg5LTgyZmItOWE1Y2I2Zjg3NDYxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_Kenny informs Jackie, who deduces that Russell, Frankie, and Squirrel are the perpetrators. All of this occurs during a backdrop of televised speeches about the financial crisis given by then-President George W. Bush and then-Senator Barack Obama made during the 2008 US Presidential election. Jackie carries out the hit on Markie himself, killing him in his car, but brings in another older hitman, Mickey Fallon (James Gandolfini), who is on parole in New York, to kill Squirrel. Jackie explains to Driver how he prefers “killing them softly”—shooting his victims from a distance, without warning, giving them no opportunity to experience fear or despair—and that his acquaintance with Squirrel risks complicating this approach.


Mickey postpones going through with his assigned hit, instead indulging in drunkenness and sex with prostitutes in a hotel room. During conversation with Jackie, Mickey also reveals that he has violated his parole, and doesn’t seem to care about or really comprehend the consequences; instead he goes off on drunken tangents. It becomes clear to Jackie that the respected hitman has lost his nerve and ability to do his job. Jackie eventually decides to carry out the hit on Squirrel himself. He convinces Driver to arrange Mickey’s arrest before the job has been completed.

Russell is arrested on a drug possession charge and deported; meanwhile, Jackie confronts Frankie and convinces him to trade Squirrel’s whereabouts for his life. Jackie has Frankie drive him to Squirrel; upon reaching Squirrel’s apartment complex, he kills Squirrel with a shotgun. After confirming Squirrel is dead, Jackie has Frankie drive him to get his car several hours away. Frankie becomes very nervous and begins speeding. Unable to get Frankie to slow down, Jackie takes over driving. Once they arrive at the parking garage, Jackie shoots Frankie in the head without warning. Jackie then wipes down any fingerprints he might have left and leaves the scene.

On the night of the presidential election, Jackie meets with Driver to collect his fee for the three hits. On the TV in the bar, Barack Obama is giving his election victory speech. Jackie sees that he has been paid $30,000. He alleges that at $10,000 each, Driver has underpaid him for the jobs—on the argument that it would have cost $15,000 to have Mickey kill Squirrel. Driver responds that Dillon charges ten, and tells Jackie to take it up with Dillon. Jackie tells Driver that Dillon died that morning. Referring to Obama’s speech, Jackie says angrily, “This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America, you’re on your own. America is not a country; it’s just a business. Now fucking pay me.” The film smash-cuts to black, leaving the issue unresolved.MV5BMWFmMTEzMDUtY2Q4Yi00ODM4LTk4NGEtZDFhNjM1MWZkNWIyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,740_AL_The message of this film appears to be two fold. One: America is a business, just like the Mob. Two: the Mob and Politics are sometimes one and the same. When there is a financial Depression, the Mob suffers as much as the country. Make if this what you will. Superb acting by all. Plenty of blood and violence for all looking for this sort of thing.

REVIEW: EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS

Image result for exodus steelbook

CAST

 Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
Joel Edgerton (The Gift)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
John Turturro (Transformers)
Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises)
Maria Valverde (Cracks)
Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones)
Ewen Bremner (Snatch)

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones)

 

In 1300 BC, Moses, a general and member of the royal family, prepares to attack the Hittite army with Prince Ramesses. A High Priestess of Sekhmet (the war goddess) divines a prophecy from animal intestines, which she relates to Ramesses’ father, Seti I. He tells the two men of the prophecy, in which one (of Moses and Ramesses) will save the other and become a leader. During the attack on the Hittites, Moses saves Ramesses’ life, leaving both men troubled. Later, Moses is sent to the city of Pithom to meet with the Viceroy Hegep, who oversees the Hebrew slaves. Upon his arrival, he encounters the slave Joshua, who is the descendant of Joseph, and Moses is appalled by the horrific conditions of the slaves. Shortly afterwards, Moses meets Nun, who informs him of his true lineage; he is the child of Hebrew parents who was sent by his sister Miriam to be raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses is stunned at the revelation and leaves angrily. However, two Hebrews also overhear Nun’s story and report their discovery to Hegep.
Seti dies soon after Moses’ return to Memphis, and Ramesses becomes the new Pharaoh (Ramesses II). Hegep arrives to reveal Moses’ true identity, but Ramesses is conflicted about whether to believe the story. At the urging of Queen Tuya, he interrogates the servant Miriam, who denies being Moses’ sister. When Ramesses threatens to cut off Miriam’s arm, Moses comes to her defense, revealing he is a Hebrew. Although Tuya wants Moses to be put to death, Ramesses decides to send him into exile. Before leaving Egypt, Moses meets with his adopted mother and Miriam, who refer to him by his birth name of Moishe. Following a journey into the desert, Moses comes to Midian where he meets Zipporah and her father, Jethro. Moses becomes a shepherd, marries Zipporah and has a son Gershom.
Nine years later, Moses gets injured during a rockslide. He comes face to face with a burning bush and a boy called Malak, who serves as a representative of the God of Abraham. While recovering, Moses confesses his past to Zipporah and reveals what God has asked him to do. This drives a wedge between the couple, because Zipporah fears he will leave their family. After he arrives in Egypt, Moses reunites with Nun and Joshua, as well as meeting his brother Aaron for the first time. Moses returns to confront Ramesses, demanding the Hebrews be released from servitude. Ramesses refuses to listen, insisting that to free the slaves would be economically impossible. Upon Moses threatening Ramesses’ life, Ramesses orders the death of Moses, executing random Hebrew families until he is found.
Using his military skills, Moses trains the slaves in the art of war. The Hebrews start attacking the Egyptians, prompting Ramesses to raid slave villages. Malak appears to Moses and explains that ten plagues will affect Egypt. All the water in the land turns to blood, and the Egyptians are further afflicted by the arrival of frogs, lice, and flies. The plagues of the death of livestock, boils, hail and thunder, locusts, and darkness continue to affect the Egyptians. While conversing with Malak, Moses is horrified at learning the tenth plague will be the death of all firstborn children. The Hebrews protect themselves by covering their doors with the blood of lambs, as instructed by Moses. Ramesses is devastated over his son’s death and relents, telling Moses and the Hebrews to leave.
During the exodus from Egypt, the Hebrews follow Moses’ original path through the desert and towards the Red Sea. Still grieving for his son, Ramesses decides to go after the Hebrews with his army. After making their way through a dangerous mountain pass, Moses and the Hebrews arrive at the edge of the sea, uncertain about what to do. Moses flings his sword into the water, which begins to recede. Ramesses and his army pursue the Hebrews, but Moses stays behind to confront them. The Red Sea reverts to its normal state, drowning the majority of the Egyptians (crossing the Red Sea). Moses survives and makes his way back to the Hebrews. Ramesses is revealed to have survived, but he is distraught over the destruction of his army. Moses leads the Hebrews back to Midian, where he reunites with Zipporah and Gershom. At Mount Sinai, after seeing Malak’s displeasure at the Hebrews’ construction of the Golden Calf, Moses transcribes the Ten Commandments. Years later, an elderly Moses riding with the Ark of the Covenant sees Malak walking with the Hebrews through the desert.
For those worried about the much-hyped portrayal of God as a young ‘brat’, I think this is in the most part a misunderstanding of what Scott was trying to do here. Yes, God is shown to ‘appear’ to Moses as a young child, but is it mere coincidence that the child is of roughly the same age as Moses’s son at the time? It can be argued that, in Scott’s depiction, God merely appears to Moses in a form he knows he will relate to. I think it also gives realism and a more human face to Moses that means we can relate to him – after all, it’s clear from the Biblical account that he has imperfections.
Exodus makes an interesting attempt to show his inner battles, frustrations and complexity of his relationship with God, those he grew up with and those he then leads. This includes the struggles of his family to accept God’s will for him (which is an interesting addition by Scott) and another interesting focus on Moses’s struggle to accept that God is in control and be humbled.

For me, Exodus harks back to the true Biblical epic in a way I’d not expected would be possible in this age. Unlike all the recent output and even going back to the Passion of the Christ, The Last Temptation… and others, there is no agenda here. It is a fair account done with impressive visual flair.