HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE LAZARUS EFFECT

 

Starring

Mark Duplass (Tammy)
Olivia Wilde (In TIme)
Sarah Bolger (Crush)
Evan Peters (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Donald Glover (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Ray Wise (Agent Carter)
Amy Aquino (In My Sleep)
James Earl (Scream Queens)

Sarah Bolger, Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, and Donald Glover in The Lazarus Effect (2015)Medical researchers Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée, Zoe (Olivia Wilde), have developed a serum, code-named “Lazarus”. It was intended to assist coma patients but is shown to actually be able to bring the dead back to life.Olivia Wilde in The Lazarus Effect (2015)With the assistance of their friends, Niko (Donald Glover), Clay (Evan Peters), and videographer Eva (Sarah Bolger), they run a successful trial on a recently deceased dog. However, they notice that the dog is behaving differently than it did when it was alive: its cataracts disappear, it loses its appetite, and it demonstrates other strange abilities. Tests reveal that the serum, instead of dissipating, is constructing strange new synapses within the dog’s brain.When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is shut down. They are also informed that a major pharmaceutical corporation has bought out the company that funded their research. The company and their attorneys confiscate everything associated with the project.Frank and his team sneak back into their lab to duplicate the experiment so that they can prove that they created the serum. During this attempt, things go horribly wrong and Zoe is fatally electrocuted. Unwilling to let her go, Frank uses the serum to resurrect her. Initially, the procedure appears to be a success, but the team soon realizes that something is wrong with Zoe. She claims that when she died, she went to her version of Hell, which was a nightmare originating from her childhood: during a fire in her apartment building, she witnessed trapped neighbors burning to death. She also begins to demonstrate unusual psychic abilities.The serum causes brains to “evolve” incredibly rapidly, giving Zoe superhuman powers such as telekinesis and telepathy. It also causes increased aggression and insanity. Zoe eventually finds Eva and sends her into the Hell that she went to when she died. Inside the nightmare, it is revealed that Zoe was the one that caused the fire in the building, causing her to go to Hell upon death. Niko walks into a room and is surprised by Zoe. After he refuses to kiss her, she uses telekinesis to throw him into a locker and crush it with him inside, killing him. Using her new abilities, she cuts the power to the entire lab. When Clay demands to know where Niko is, she kills him as well by lodging an e-cigarette into his throat, resulting in him choking to death. Later, Zoe kills Frank after he attempts to inject her with poison. Zoe then injects herself with an entire bag of the serum, making her abilities stronger than before.Eva, who is still alive and trying to locate Zoe to inject her, is left in the dark. Zoe eventually finds Eva, who is able to escape and inject Zoe with the syringe, but that only happened in her mind and not reality; Zoe then kills Eva. Afterwards, she injects Frank with her own blood (which is saturated with the serum) in an attempt to bring him back from the dead, which successfully works for her.I think this is way underrated. While this is nothing intellectual, it is indeed an entertaining horror movie. Acting is quite good and it is overall pretty well made. I also don’t think it’s a weakness, that big parts of the background story are left to the viewers imagination. Did any horror story ever get better, when everything is explained? I don’t think so. We get to know enough for the story to unfold, and I think that’s totally OK for a scary movie. Yes, it’s more popcorn cinema than deep or demanding, but I think it’s thrilling and fun to watch.

 

REVIEW: MEN IN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL

Starring

Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Endgame)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Kumail Nanjiani (Life as We Know It)
Liam Neeson (Taken)
Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)
Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl On The Train)
Emma Thompson (Johnny English Strikes Again)
Kayvan Novak (Early Man)
Tim Blaney (The Muppets)
Spencer Wilding (Wrath of The Titans)
Stephen Wright (Hex)
Andy Beckwith (Game of Thrones)
Donald Glover (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat)

Chris Hemsworth in Men in Black: International (2019)In 2016, Agents H and High T of the MiB travel to Paris to stop an invasion of the Hive – a parasitic race who invade planets by merging with the DNA of the conquered species – at the Eiffel Tower using a wormhole included in the original migration to Earth. Twenty years earlier in 1996 Brooklyn, Molly Wright witnesses her parents being neuralysed by agents of Men in Black while she helps an alien escape, avoiding neuralysation herself. Twenty-three years later in 2019, rejected from FBI and CIA due to her “delusions” regarding alien life, Molly tracks down an alien landing and follows MiB agents to MiB headquarters in New York City. Caught entering the agency, Molly makes an impression on Agent O, arguing that she has proven her skills and has no life outside her search for the agency. She is awarded probationary agent status as “Agent M” and assigned to the organisation’s London branch.Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black: International (2019)There, M meets High T, head of the London branch, and Agent H. M learns about H and T’s past; H has since developed a God complex, unconcerned with his duties and only keeping his job due to High T covering for him. M arranges for herself to be assigned to assist H in his meeting with Vungus the Ugly, his close friend and alien royalty. During their night out with Vungus, they are accosted by mysterious alien twins able to manifest as pure energy. These energy aliens fatally injure Vungus, who gives M a strange crystal before he dies, claiming that H has changed since they last met and cannot be trusted. M points out that few people knew Vungus’ location, and that he was likely betrayed by one of the agents present when High T assigned H to guard him. Nervous at the possibility of a traitor within MiB, High T assigns Agents C and M to conduct an investigation while H is demoted to desk duty, with evidence suggesting that the alien energy twins had DNA traces of the Hive.Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black: International (2019)H convinces M to join him in following a lead to Marrakesh, where they recover “Pawny”, the last survivor of a small group of aliens attacked by the Twins. In averting his honour suicide, Pawny subsequently pledges his loyalty to M. They are trapped by MiB agents coordinated by C, who recovered video footage of Vungus passing the crystal to M and believes she is the traitor. With the aid of alien contacts Nasr and Bassam, H escapes with M and Pawny on a rocket-powered bike, and they learn that Vungus’ crystal is an ultimate weapon powered by a compressed blue giant. After the crash during their escape, they repair the damaged bike. Bassam steals the weapon and takes it to Riza Stavros, an alien arms dealer and H’s ex-girlfriend. Travelling to Riza’s island fortress near Naples, the trio attempts to infiltrate the base, but are caught by Riza and Luca Brasi, now Riza’s second-in-command. Luca is discovered as the alien M rescued as a child. Luca returns the favour by allowing them to leave with the weapon while he keeps Riza contained. The three are then cornered by the Twins, who are killed by High T and a group of agents who had been trailing M and H.Although the case appears solved, H and M review the evidence and realise that the Twins’ phrases of doing anything to save their planet suggests they required the weapon to use not as their allies but ‘‘against’’ the Hive, especially when the only evidence of Hive DNA was provided by High T. They discover High T has deleted the case file and did not send the weapon to evidence. C also realises High T’s deception and allows H and M to follow High T to the Eiffel Tower. As they travel to the wormhole, M’s questioning of H’s memory of the Hive’s defeat reveals he was neuralysed. High T reveals himself as the converted mole of the Hive and activates a wormhole to draw them to Earth. However H draws out High T’s true personality long enough for him to relinquish the ultimate weapon, allowing M to acquire the weapon, destroying High T, the wormhole and the Hive infestation trying to reach Earth. With the truth and tragedy of High T’s assimilation into a Hive spy exposed, Agent O joins H and M in Paris, where she grants M full agent status and appoints H probationary head of MiB’s London branch.Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black: International (2019)I regret not seeing this in theaters. I went by some low scores because people shouted about to much CGI, silly looking aliens, dumb downed story, plot hole issues…etc. Turns out none of that was really an issue. If anything most of this is normal for MIB movies. Weird aliens, CGI fest, loopholes…etc. No one goes to see these movies for deep story or Oscary worth performances. I wasn’t sure also about seeing it because I wanted Will and Tommy. But that story officially ended in the last movie. This takes place in the London branch of MIB. Though you do see “parts” that have to do with NYC briefly. Chris and Tessa have really great chemistry. Probably because of them acting together in Thor Ragnarok. It’s a fun story set in the Men In Black universe.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

CAST

Tom Holland  (How I Live Now)
Michael Keaton (Batman)
Jon Favreau (Swingers)
Zendaya (The greatest Snowman)
Donald Glover (The Martian)
Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal)
Bokeem Woodbine (Riddick)
Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus)
Kerry Condon (Better Call Saul)
Chris Evans (Captain Ameirca: The First Avenger)
Jacob Batalon (Every Day)
Michael Chernus (The Bourne Legacy)
Laura Harrier (The Last Five years)
Tony Revolori (The Perfect Game)
Garcelle Beauvais (White House Down)
Jennifer Connelly (Inkheart)
Hemky Madera (The Lost City)
Michael Mando (Orphan Black)
Kenenth Choi (The Last Man on Earth)
Hannibal Buress (Baywatch)
Martin Starr (Adventureland)
Stan Lee (The Avengers)

Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute, but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker nearly drowns intervening, and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against involvement with the dangerous criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is overpowered and trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers before admonishing him for his recklessness and taking away his suit.Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Liz is Toomes’ daughter. Deducing Parker’s secret identity, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters. He dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes’ lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz, but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker escapes the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes engage in an open confrontation that ends with Parker saving Toomes’ life from his own unstable equipment, and leaving him for the police along with the plane’s cargo. After her father’s arrest, Liz moves away, and Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full time. Stark returns Parker’s suit, which he puts on at his apartment just as his Aunt May walks in. In a mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s real identity, but Toomes denies this.Spider-Man is literally the most loved Marvel hero of all time! At last, this reboot perfectly captured the balance between Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the comics! Peter’s awkward nature in high school and his attempts at being a cool superhero are both relatable and funny. Tom Holland played a good Peter Parker with the nerdy, awkward way and he manifested one of Spider-Man’s significant traits: his sense of humor. The movie is full of Easter eggs and references to the comics, the previous Spidey movies, and the MCU as a whole. Not only does this movie look really good, but the villain (Vulture) looks menacing as a great villain should

 

 

 

REVIEW: SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

CAST

Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!)
Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Donald Glover (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Man Up)
Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity)
Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Lind Hunt (Kindergarten Cop)
John Tui (Power Rangers SPD)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Kiran Shah (Legend)
Sam Witwer (Smallville)
Ray Park (X-Men)

Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)On the planet Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. Lovers Han and Qi’ra make an escape from the clutches of a local gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with stolen coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his surname, Han says he is alone with no family, so the recruiter gives him the last name “Solo”.Three years later, Han is expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination and is serving as an infantryman on Mimban. He encounters a group of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett. Han attempts to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast—a Wookiee named Chewbacca. Able to understand Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to cooperate to escape. Beckett, aware of the usefulness of a Wookiee’s strength, rescues and enlists them in the gang to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up, led by Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife Val, and the destruction of the coaxium.Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’ yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and is Vos’s top lieutenant. Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits.Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)After reaching Kessel in the Millennium Falcon and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. In the confusion, they steal the coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship through the dangerous and uncharted Kessel Run to elude an Imperial blockade. The Falcon, badly damaged, lands on the planet Savareen to process the coaxium.Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)During a confrontation with Enfys, who tracked the team from Vandor, Lando flees in the Falcon. Enfys explains to Han that she and her crew are not pirates, but rebels trying to prevent the syndicates and Empire from gaining power. Han becomes sympathetic to their cause and tries to trick Vos, but Beckett has already alerted him to the double-cross. Vos sends his guards to kill Enfys, but the Cloud Riders overpower them instead, leaving Vos defenseless. Having anticipated Vos’ strategy, Han tries to take the coaxium, only for Beckett to betray Vos, escaping with it and taking Chewbacca hostage. Qi’ra kills Vos and sends Han after Beckett; once alone, she contacts Vos’ superior, Maul, to inform him of the mission’s failure and claim Vos’s position. She avoids speaking of Han’s involvement, instead blaming everything on Beckett.Donald Glover, Alden Ehrenreich, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)Han catches up to Beckett and confronts him. Han shoots Beckett first before he can shoot him, and with his dying words Beckett tells Han he made the smart choice. Qi’ra leaves in Vos’ yacht, while Han and Chewbacca turn the coaxium over to Enfys. She offers Han a chance to join the rebellion against the Empire; when he declines, she gives him a vial of coaxium, enough to buy a ship of his own. Han and Chewbacca locate Lando and challenge him to a rematch in sabacc, once again wagering the Falcon. Han wins, having stolen the card Lando was keeping up his sleeve in order to cheat, and he and Chewbacca leave for Tatooine, where a “big-shot gangster” is putting together a job.Woody Harrelson, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)As expected, the film has been met with huge criticism, which in my opinion is wholly unjust and just another opportunity for so called ‘star wars’ fans to voice their disapproval for Disney. Solo is not the biggest and boldest SW feature by any stretch, but it is true to the original trilogy material without resorting to overly complicated plots, ropey CGI effects and forced comedy. It provides action , excitement, great dialogue, romance and a vast array of alien creatures and genuinely feels like a SW film, albeit with an interesting western inspired spin. Its Star Wars with everything we love about the saga.

REVIEW: THE MARTIAN

MAIN CAST

Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity)
Jessica Chastain (Interstellar)
Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
Jeff Daniels (Allegiant)
Michael Peña (Fury)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Sebastian Stan (Captain America)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)

Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange)
Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049)
Lili Bordán (The Nun)

The crew of the Ares III manned mission to Mars is exploring the Acidalia Planitia on Martian solar day (sol) 18 of their 31-sol expedition. An unexpectedly strong dust storm threatens to topple their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), forcing them to hastily leave the planet. During the evacuation, astronaut Mark Watney is struck by debris and lost in the storm; the last telemetry from his suit indicates no signs of life. With the remaining crew in peril, mission commander Melissa Lewis gives the order to launch to return to their orbiting vessel Hermes without him.
Watney awakens after the storm to a low oxygen warning and makes his way to the “Hab”, the crew’s base of operations. He removes a piece of antenna from his torso and suit’s biomonitor, which caused the erroneous life-sign readings, and begins a video diary. He realizes that his only chance of rescue is the arrival of the Ares IV crew at the Schiaparelli crater, 3,200 kilometers away, in four years. Calculating that he has enough food to last only 300 sols (roughly 309 days), Watney, a botanist, improvises a farm with Martian soil fertilized with human waste, water produced by extracting hydrogen from leftover rocket fuel then oxidized by burning, and potatoes saved for a Thanksgiving meal. He begins to modify the only functional rover to make long journeys across Mars.
Reviewing satellite photos of Mars, mission director Vincent Kapoor and satellite planner Mindy Park realize Watney has survived. Despite the objections of Hermes flight director Mitch Henderson, NASA administrator Teddy Sanders decides not to inform the Ares III crew, believing it would distract them from their mission. Watney takes the rover to retrieve the Pathfinder probe, which fell silent in 1997. Using the lander’s camera, he establishes rudimentary communication with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team. NASA instructs Watney to modify the rover to link with Pathfinder so they can communicate via text. Watney becomes angry when he learns that the crew has not been told of his survival, and Sanders authorizes Henderson to inform them.
Henderson and JPL director Bruce Ng formulate a plan to send a space probe to Mars and resupply Watney with enough food to survive until Ares IV’s arrival. When the Hab’s airlock malfunctions and explosively decompresses, destroying Watney’s crop, Sanders orders the team to speed up the supply mission by skipping the safety inspections. The supply probe explodes shortly after liftoff. The China National Space Administration offers NASA the Taiyang Shen, a classified booster that can carry a payload to Mars. Meanwhile, JPL astrodynamicist Rich Purnell devises a trajectory to send Hermes back to Mars more quickly, using the Chinese booster to instead resupply it for an additional eighteen months. Sanders rejects the plan, refusing to risk the crew, but Henderson surreptitiously sends the details to Hermes. Lewis and her crew vote unanimously to execute the plan, and NASA—powerless to stop them—proceeds with the resupply as Hermes flies by Earth, using its gravity to slingshot them back to Mars.
After 461 sols, Watney begins the 90-sol journey to Schiaparelli, where the MAV for the Ares IV mission has been prepositioned. To rendezvous with Hermes, Watney makes drastic modifications to reduce the MAV’s mass, removing equipment including the windows, nose cone, and exterior panels. With Watney on board the gutted MAV, the Hermes crew launches it remotely, but it does not reach the planned speed and altitude. Lewis has Hermes use its maneuvering thrusters to change course and explosive decompression of its own internal atmosphere to adjust its speed. When even that is not enough, Lewis uses a Manned Maneuvering Unit to approach Watney’s vessel, but still cannot reach him. Watney pierces the glove of his pressure suit and uses the escaping air as a miniature thruster to reach Lewis. The crew is reunited, as crowds around the world cheer the news. After returning to Earth, Watney begins a new life as a
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Playing an astronaut abandoned on the desolate surface of Mars after being presumed dead, Damon must do all he can to endure the martian environment, supported by some stunning cinematography and fantastic visual effects, ‘The Martian’ is able to blend humour and emotion within it’s dramatic plot of survival. Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, just a few big names that support Damon wonderfully. If you are a fan of ‘Interstellar’ or any other science fiction survival tale or even some of Scott’s previous sci-fi adventures, then this is one to definitely add to your watch list.