REVIEW: DELIVER US FROM EVIL

CAST

Eric Bana (Hulk)
Edgar Ramirez (Joy)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Sean Harris (Serena)
Joel McHale (Ted)
Chris Coy (The Walking Dead)
Lulu Wilson (The MIllers)
Dorian Missick (The Cape)

The film opens in a 2010 firefight in a palm grove in the Diyala Province of Iraq. Three Marines discover an underground cavern and start to scream as their helmet video feed goes black. In The Bronx in 2013, veteran NYPD officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) stands over the corpse of an infant in a darkened alley. He and his partner Butler (Joel McHale) resume their nocturnal patrol for the 46th Precinct. A domestic disturbance call comes in over the radio. Sarchie probes the dispatcher for more information and finds out that the male at the address is a former Marine. He tells Butler that his “radar” is going off because maybe the former Marine still thinks he is fighting in the war.At the site of the complaint, Sarchie and Butler encounter the shirtless and heavily tattooed former Marine Jimmy Tratner (Chris Coy), who insists his wife is okay. When his wife lifts her head, the officers see that she has been badly beaten. They notice deep scratch marks on the floor and are wary of a dog as they make the arrest. Jimmy resists them ferociously, eventually drawing a knife on Butler and fleeing the house on foot. Sarchie catches up to Jimmy and makes the arrest; although, not without suffering a sizable wound to his forearm that will require stitches. The officers notice that Jimmy’s fingernails are cracked and bleeding, and they assume that he is mentally ill or high on drugs.Sarchie and Butler are called to the Bronx Zoo after a woman has thrown her toddler into the moat surrounding the lion enclosure. They find the woman in a lemur pen. She is furiously scraping at the ground, and after they apprehend her, she rapidly recites the lyrics to “Break On Through (To the Other Side)”. Sarchie notices a painter inside the lion enclosure. He enters the pen to interrogate the mysterious man, but he is attacked by the lions and barely escapes. When the deranged woman, Jane Crenna, is transferred from the precinct to a mental health facility, a Jesuit priest named Mendoza (Édgar Ramírez) arrives at the family’s request. He asks the officers several pointed questions about Jane’s behavior at the zoo. When another domestic disturbance call comes in, Sarchie notices the complaint makes reference to doors and decides that he and Butler will respond. At the house, the family of three have been staying in the living room after a series of strange disturbances. There is one area of the house where light bulbs instantly burn out and candles will not remain lit.The family explain that there were two painters working the basement, where most of the disturbances occurred. In the basement, Sarchie discovers the badly decomposing body of one of the painters, David Griggs. At Griggs’ apartment, which is overrun by cockroaches and refuse, they find business cards for Alphonsus Painting company as well as a picture of Griggs with Jane Crenna and the child that she threw at the zoo. In another picture, Griggs is pictured in his Marine uniform with Jimmy Tratner and a third Marine named Santino (Sean Harris). They realize Santino must have been the painter at the zoo. Mendoza visits Sarchie at the precinct and asks to view the surveillance tapes of Jane at the zoo. He believes that Jane is possessed by demons, and he explains that there is secondary evil created by humans and primary evil which comes from demons. Sarchie is skeptical, but when he reviews the surveillance footage with Butler, he hears strange noises and sees things that Butler does not. Sarchie returns to Jimmy Tratner’s house and finds a wall that was being painted in Jimmy’s home office. He scrapes away the paint to find a pictograph of an owl. At Sarchie’s home, his daughter lies in bed as a stuffed owl stares ominously at her from a shelf in her bedroom. She is awakened by strange noises and frightened.Back at Tratner’s home, Sarchie has scraped off the paint from the rest of the wall to find a bizarre mix of Latin and ancient pictographs. Sarchie finds some hard drives with footage from Tratner’s deployments and watches the full footage from the palm grove in Diyala. In the cave, the soldiers found a carving of the same message that is on the wall in Tratner’s home. Sarchie revisits the basement where he found Griggs’ body, scrapes off the paint from a wall, and finds the message again. He reviews the zoo surveillance footage and sees the same message was being painted over by Santino in the lion enclosure. With Mendoza, he visits Jane Crenna in the mental hospital and shows her the message from the cave. She savagely bites Sarchie’s already wounded forearm. Mendoza decodes the message as a kind of bridge between Christian and pagan theology which would theoretically allow demons a door to the human world. He explains that certain people are more susceptible to such messages than others. He suggests that the voices and images Sarchie is seeing could be a result of his intuitive “radar”, which means that he is also susceptible to the archaic message. Mendoza and Sarchie gradually share more of their personal histories with each other. Mendoza goes with Sarchie and Butler to an apartment building where they are attacked by Santino and Jimmy Tratner. Tratner is subdued by Mendoza’s cross. Santino overwhelms and eventually kills Butler.At Sarchie’s home, his daughter is once again awoken during the night. Her stuffed owl rolls off the shelf and advances towards her bed. As she runs screaming from the room, she sees Santino in the hallway. Sarchie arrives home to find Santino in his living room. Santino warns that he has abducted Sarchie’s wife and daughter. Santino is brought to the precinct where Mendoza and Sarchie perform an exorcism on him. Sarchie’s wife and daughter are located in an Alphonsus Painting van at a storage facility. The film ends with the baptism of the Sarchies’ second child.If you enjoy horror flicks like I do, and the supernatural and demon stuff, defiantly check this out. Not much gore, just very dark and creepy with it’s share of make you jump moments.

 

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REVIEW: SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS

CAST

Eric Bana (Hulk)
Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town)
Vera Margia (Bates Motel)
Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting)
Benjamin Bratt (Doctor Strange)
Kevin Pollak (Willow)
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Raúl Castillo (Looking)
Ari Cohen (Brusier)
Meghan Heffern (The Fog)

News radio journalist Frank Bonneville (Eric Bana) enters a murder scene posing as a cop. After getting the details of the crime, he is removed from the premises and, immediately after, reports the story live on the radio. When he returns to the station, Frank is applauded by colleagues on getting the story before any other press, but his boss Geoffrey Mallard (Kevin Pollak) warns that if he breaks the law one more time, he’ll be fired. That night, everyman Ian Finch (Ricky Gervais), who is also Frank’s sound technician, takes his wife Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) to the station’s annual ball, but has to leave for a stake-out with co-worker Claire Maddox (Kelly Macdonald). Eleanor then meets Frank, who sleeps with her, unaware she is married to Finch. The following day, Mallard puts Frank on a story about an uprising in Ecuador, and assigns Finch to accompany him. However, Finch tells Frank he can’t go as Eleanor has left him. He also says he’s written a letter, begging her not to end their marriage.Finch later changes his mind about Ecuador, and he and Frank pack for their trip. At the airport, the two realize Finch has accidentally thrown their passports and plane tickets in a garbage truck. Frank and Finch return to the city and hide out at a café owned by Spanish couple Brigida and Domingo (America Ferrera and Raúl Castillo), located across the street from the radio station. With Brigida and Domingo’s help, Frank and Finch fake their war reports in the couple’s spare room. After Finch and Frank decide they need to cover a bigger story, they invent a man named Emilio Santiago Alvarez, whom they claim is elusive and closely linked to the war. This report alerts the U.S. government, who now believe that Frank and Finch are targets for Alvarez’s men. Meanwhile, Frank and Finch watch as other media outlets report on Alvarez, including their TV rival John Baker (Benjamin Bratt). Mallard calls Frank, asking for the two men to go to the U.S. embassy in Quito, where they will then be flown home. Panicking that they’ll be found out, Frank and Finch destroy their SIM cards so they cannot be traced.The next morning, Frank fails to check in with Mallard, worrying the station. The media begins reporting about Finch and Frank’s disappearance. Claire visits Eleanor to offer her sympathy, but Eleanor seems more interested in getting her story out. Frank and Finch stage a hostage situation, and send out a message to the President, asking for a ransom or they will be executed. Later, Frank and Finch watch as Eleanor appears on TV. This prompts Frank to find out about her identity as Finch’s wife. She then performs a song, “Dollar for a Hero”, appealing for their safe return. Eleanor subsequently becomes a national sensation and sets up a charity for Finch and Frank. Mallard asks Claire to get to know Eleanor, who is using her husband’s plight so she can start a singing career. Finch accepts Eleanor’s selfishness in the situation and says he’s no longer upset that she left him. On Finch’s birthday, he admits he can’t keep up the charade any longer. Finch and Frank stop off at his apartment to take some of the donated money, but Eleanor catches them. The three decide to split the cash so they can all get what they want. Frank and Finch drive cross-country and sail illegally to Ecuador. They hitch a ride to Quito from a local, but first stop off at a rundown bar. There, they are held at gunpoint and taken to a small village, where they are locked up. Thinking they’re going to die, Frank admits to Finch that he slept with Eleanor.The next morning, the captors demand ransom from Eleanor but she refuses and tells them to kill Frank and Finch. When a captor returns, planning for them to fight to the death, Frank steals his gun and Finch ends up shooting him. They escape by stealing a car, make it to the U.S. embassy, and are flown home on a private jet. On returning home, they are greeted by the Secretary of State, press, friends and family. Frank makes a speech, and Finch bypasses Eleanor to greet Domingo and Brigida. Eleanor then speaks to press about her upcoming album, while Finch takes off his wedding ring. He approaches Claire, whom he realizes likes him for who he is. The pair happily walk off towards the city together.2016_05_26special-640x345-640x345Ignore the harsh reviews. The film isn’t hilarious but is quite funny in places, Ricky has tried his hand here at something else and I believe pulled it off well. Highly recommended if you like Ricky Gervais’s work and want to see him try something different then go for it.

REVIEW: STAR TREK (2009)

CAST

Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Zachary Quinto (Heroes)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Simon Pegg (Paul)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog)
Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
Ben Cross (Live Wire)
Winona Ryder (Little Women)
Clifton Collins, Jr. (Westworld)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Jennifer Morrison (How I Met Your Mother)
Rachel Nichols (GI. Joe)
Paul McGillion (Stargate: Atlantis)
Brad William Henke (Lost)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Tyler Perry (Gone Girl)
Majel Barrett (Earth: Final Conflict)
Amanda Foreman (Alias)

In the 23rd century, the Federation starship USS Kelvin is investigating a “lightning storm” in space. A Romulan ship, the Narada, emerges from the storm and attacks the Kelvin. Narada’s first officer, Ayel, demands that the Kelvin’s Captain Robau come aboard to negotiate a truce. Robau is questioned about the current stardate and an “Ambassador Spock”, whom he does not recognize. Narada’s commander, Nero, kills him, and resumes attacking the Kelvin. George Kirk, the Kelvin’s first officer, orders the ship’s personnel, including his pregnant wife Winona, to abandon ship while he pilots the Kelvin on a collision course with the Narada. Kirk sacrifices his life to ensure Winona’s survival as she gives birth to James T. Kirk.

Seventeen years later on the planet Vulcan, a young Spock is accepted to join the Vulcan Science Academy. Realizing the Academy views his human mother Amanda as a “disadvantage”, he joins Starfleet instead. On Earth, Kirk becomes a reckless but intelligent young adult. Following a bar fight with Starfleet cadets accompanying Nyota Uhura, Kirk meets Captain Christopher Pike, who encourages him to enlist in Starfleet Academy, where Kirk meets and befriends doctor Leonard McCoy.

Three years later, Commander Spock accuses Kirk of cheating during the Kobayashi Maru simulation. Kirk argues that cheating was acceptable because the simulation was designed to be unbeatable. The disciplinary hearing is interrupted by a distress signal from Vulcan. With the primary fleet out of range, the cadets are mobilized. McCoy and Kirk board Pike’s ship, the Enterprise. Realizing that the “lightning storm” observed near Vulcan is similar to the one that occurred when he was born, Kirk breaks protocol to convince Pike that the distress signal is a trap.

Enterprise finds the fleet destroyed and the Narada drilling into Vulcan’s core. The Narada attacks the Enterprise and Pike surrenders, delegating command of the ship to Spock and promoting Kirk to first officer. Kirk, Hikaru Sulu and Chief Engineer Olson perform a space jump onto the drilling platform. Olson is killed but Kirk and Sulu disable the drill. Despite their efforts, Nero launches “red matter” into Vulcan’s core, forming an artificial black hole that destroys Vulcan. Spock rescues the high council and his father Sarek, but Amanda dies.

As the Narada moves toward Earth, Nero tortures Pike to gain access to Earth’s defense codes. Spock maroons Kirk on Delta Vega after Kirk attempts mutiny. Kirk encounters an older Spock, who explains that he and Nero are from 129 years in the future. In that future, Romulus was threatened by a supernova. Spock’s attempt to use “red matter” to create an artificial black hole and consume the supernova failed, and Nero’s family perished along with Romulus. The Narada and Spock’s vessel were caught in the black hole, sending them back in time. Nero stranded Spock on Delta Vega to watch Vulcan’s destruction.

Reaching a Starfleet outpost, Kirk and the elder Spock meet Montgomery Scott. With the elder Spock’s help, Kirk and Scott beam onto the Enterprise. Following the elder Spock’s advice, Kirk provokes younger Spock into attacking him, forcing Spock to recognize he is emotionally compromised and relinquish command to Kirk. After talking with Sarek, Spock decides to help Kirk. While the Enterprise hides itself within the gas clouds of Titan, Kirk and Spock beam aboard the Narada. Kirk fights with Nero and Ayel, killing the latter and rescuing Pike while Spock uses the elder Spock’s ship to destroy the drill. Spock leads the Narada away from Earth and sets his ship to collide with Nero’s ship. Enterprise beams Kirk, Pike and Spock aboard. The older Spock’s ship and the Narada collide, igniting the “red matter”. Kirk offers Nero help to escape, but Nero refuses, prompting Kirk to give the order to fire, dooming the Narada to be consumed in a black hole.

Kirk is promoted to Captain and given command of the Enterprise while Pike is promoted to Rear Admiral. Spock encounters his older self, who persuades his younger self to continue serving in Starfleet, encouraging him to do what feels right instead of what is logical. Spock remains in Starfleet, becoming first officer under Kirk’s command. The Enterprise goes to warp as the elder Spock speaks the “where no one has gone before” monologue.The story does what it needs to, the casting is great (especially Spock and McCoy), the effects are fantastic and Abrams manages to do character moments on the move so there’s hardly time to take a breath – oh and Simon Pegg is great as Scotty! Maybe the best thing is, die hards and newbies alike will all find something to like.

REVIEW: FUNNY PEOPLE

CAST

Adam Sandler (Mr. Deeds)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours 1 & 2)
Leslie Mann (17 Again)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
Aubrey Plaza (Life After Beth)
RZA (G.I. Retaliation)
Aziz Ansari (30 Minutes or Less)
Sarah Silverman (School for Scoundrels)
Norm Macdonald (Dr. Dolittle)
Paul Reiser (Aliens)
Andy Dick (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Ray Romano (Eulogy)
Justin Long (New Girl)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Carla Gallo (Bones)

George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a middle-aged former stand-up comedian turned movie star. Despite his millions he is sad and lonely and most of his recent film work is low-brow and dumb. He is diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and offered an experimental treatment that has only an eight-percent chance of therapeutic response. Believing he is about to die, he returns to his roots to do stand-up comedy.
Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) is an aspiring stand-up comedian in his twenties who shares an apartment with his two best friends, Mark and Leo (Jason Schwartzman and Jonah Hill). Mark is a lead in his own TV comedy series and makes good money. Leo is a rising comedy star and guest star or a recurring role on Mark’s TV show. George meets Ira at a small comedy club and hires him as his assistant. Ira becomes one of George’s only close relationships. The two travel around the country, George hires Ira as his personal assistant and joke writer and opens for him in the big comedy clubs, often meeting with real life comedians who play themselves and talk about the business of comedy.
George reconnects with his ex-fiancée, Laura (Leslie Mann) who is currently married to Clarke (Eric Bana). George′s physician tells him that the leukemia is in remission. George decides he wants Laura back. Laura invites George and Ira to her house in Marin County while her husband is away on business. George and Ira spend quality time with Laura and her two young daughters. George and Laura sneak off to have sex, but Clarke returns home and there is a huge argument.
The plot of the movie now concerns who Laura will choose, her current husband Clarke whom she suspects has cheated on her (he later confirms he received a happy ending at a massage parlor), or her former boyfriend George (who also cheated on her many times). Ira is not always on George’s side in the love triangle, so when it doesn’t go George’s way in the end, he fires Ira, who then calls George out on having learned nothing from his near-death experience.
Ira returns to his old food-service job. After some time has passed, George attends Ira’s stand-up act and sees that his old assistant has become a far more confident performer. The next day, George finds Ira at work and they reconnect as friends, telling each other jokes as equals.Not your average comedy, but certainly funny enough to get a fair few laughs in. Then, once you’ve stopped laughing, there’s enough human emotion to finish it off with to make it so you actually care about the characters.

 

REVIEW: BLACK HAWK DOWN

 

CAST

Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night)
Ewan McGregor (Mortdecai)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Tom Sizemore (Dreamcatcher)
Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Brian Van Holt (House of Wax)
Tom Hardy (Mad MAx( Fury Road)
Orlando Boom (Lord of The Rings)
Matthew Marsden (DOA)
Michael Roof (XXX)
Sam Shepard (True West)
Kim Coates (Goon)
Željko Ivanek (Heroes)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Jeremy Piven (Kiss Teh Girls)
Ty Burrell (Muppets Most wanted)

Following the ousting of the central government and start of a civil war, a major United Nations military operation in Somalia was authorized with a peacekeeping mandate. Following the withdrawal of the bulk of the peacekeepers, Mogadishu-based Mohamed Farrah Aidid militia loyalists declare war on remaining UN personnel. In response, U.S. Army Rangers, Delta Force counter-terrorist operators, and 160th SOAR aviators are deployed to Mogadishu to capture Aidid, who has proclaimed himself president. To cement his power and subdue the population in the south, Aided’s militia, led by Yousuf Dahir Mo’alim (Razaaq Adoti), is shown seizing Red Cross food shipments, killing anyone who get in their way.  A patrolling Black Hawk helicopter (‘Super Six-Four’ piloted by CWO Michael Durant played by Ron Eldard) requests permission to engage the militia after witnessing the massacre but he is told to stand down and return to base as the UN has jurisdiction. Outside Mogadishu, Delta Force operators capture Osman Ali Atto (George Harris), a faction leader selling arms to Aidid’s militia and bring him to their main base at the Mogadishu Airport.

Atto is interrogated by MG William F. Garrison (Sam Shepard) who states that they will not leave Somalia until they find Aidid. A mission is planned to capture Omar Salad Elmi and Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdiid, two of Aidid’s top advisers, the US force including experienced men as well as new recruits, including the young and naive PFC Todd Blackburn (Orlando Bloom), SPC John Grimes (Ewan McGregor) a desk clerk going on his first field mission. SSG Matthew Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) is given his first command – Ranger Chalk Four – by commanding officer CPT Mike Steele (Jason Isaacs) after his Lieutenant, 1LT Beales (Ioan Gruffudd), suffers an epileptic seizure. In Mogadishu, a paid informant gives the location of Aidid’s advisors to Garrison, who soon gives the code word (Irene) thus commencing the operation. Delta Force operators, led by SFC Norm “Hoot” Gibson (Eric Bana) and SFC Jeff Sanderson (William Fichtner), capture Aidid’s advisers inside the target building, but the Rangers and helicopters escorting the ground-extraction convoy take heavy fire, while Eversmann’s Chalk Four is dropped a block away in error.


Blackburn is severely injured after falling from one of the Black Hawk helicopters, so three Humvees led by SSG Jeff Struecker (Brian Van Holt) are detached from the convoy to return Blackburn to base. With many Rangers occupied by incoming militia forces, Hoot and his Delta Team volunteer to escort the Humvees. SGT Dominick Pilla (Danny Hoch) is shot and killed just as Struecker’s column departs while manning one of the humvees’ M2 Browning .50-caliber machine gun, and shortly thereafter Black Hawk Super Six One, piloted by CWO Clifton “Elvis” Wolcott (Jeremy Piven), is shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), crashing deep within the militia-controlled city. Both Wolcott and his co-pilot are killed on impact and both crew chiefs critically injured. Delta Force sniper SSG Daniel Busch (Richard Tyson) pulls himself out of the wreckage and attempts to defend the crash site from incoming militia, but is severely wounded by gunfire. Eversmann and the rest of Chalk Four reach the crash site on foot, providing covering fire while Busch is evacuated by a Little Bird scout/attack helicopter. Meanwhile, a vehicle convoy rerouted to evacuate them is stopped by militia roadblocks. Somali forces inflict heavy casualties, but two more Ranger units manage to reach the site on foot and occupy several nearby houses, awaiting evacuation.
Durant is ordered to Super Six One’s previous position but it is also shot down by an RPG. Having witnessed the crash, Mo’alim leads an enormous mob, consisting of his own militiamen and many angry locals, to the second crash site. Durant, sole survivor of the crash, attempts to exit the downed helicopter, but discovers that his leg is broken and he is unable to escape, so defends himself from incoming militia as best he can with his MP5. With CPT Steele’s Rangers pinned down and sustaining heavy casualties no ground forces can reach Super Six-Four’s crash site, nor reinforce the Rangers defending Super Six One. Onboard Super Six Two, a pair of Delta Force snipers, SFC Randy Shughart (Johnny Strong) and MSG Gary Gordon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), volunteer to defend the crash site for the time being. Their requests are denied by command, as Mo’alim’s mob has massed into the hundreds and there is no guarantee when reinforcements will arrive. Eventually, their third request is approved and the pair are landed at the site, where they find Durant still alive. Pulling him from the wreckage, Shughart and Gordon hold off the incoming Somali insurgents until Gordon is killed with a shot to the head. Shughart hands Gordon’s CAR-15 to Durant, then kills several more insurgents before he is surrounded and shot to death by the mob when one gets close enough to dump his entire pistol magazine into Shughart. Durant is then found and nearly beaten to death before Mo’alim arrives to have the mob stand down so he can take Durant alive as a prisoner of war.McKnight’s column gives up the attempt to reach the first crash site, returning to base with their prisoners and the casualties. Garrison begins assembling a second convoy to rescue those still trapped in Mogadishu, this time including tanks and APCs from Malaysian and Pakistani UN forces operating with the 10th Mountain Division. As night falls, Aidid’s militia, led again by Mo’alim, launch a sustained assault on the trapped Americans at the first crash site. On route to Super Six One, Gibson receives an update on the status of the second crash site and is given permission to secure it, taking his Delta Team and a single Ranger with him. When he reaches Durant’s crash site, he finds and scares away the remaining members of the mob, who have begun to strip the crashed helicopter of its parts as well as any remaining gear and ammunition on board. While they are unable to find the bodies of Gordon, Shughart and the rest of Six-Four’s crew, Hoot finds a badly damaged Delta helmet and takes a brief moment to mourn his fallen comrades before destroying the remains of the helicopter to ensure the classified equipment on board cannot be salvaged by Aidid’s militia.

Meanwhile, a badly beaten Durant is being interrogated by one of Aidid’s lieutenants, Firimbi (Treva Etienne), who, when Durant insists that the U.S. government will never trade him for Aidid’s captured advisors, tells him even if Aidid himself is taken or killed, nothing will stop the killing. Throughout the night, militia attacks are fended off by strafing runs and rocket attacks from AH-6J Little Bird helicopter gunships of the Nightstalkers. The next morning, a joint Pakistani-Malay-American relief column is able to reach and save the American forces. Hoot and his team eventually regroup with Eversmann’s “Chalk-Four”, finally killing Mo’alim in the process with one of his own technicals. While casualties are evacuated inside the armored vehicles, a handful of Rangers and Delta Force soldiers are forced to run from the crash site back to the Pakistani compound, a sports stadium inside the UN Safe Zone, while under fire from the militia as they retreat back to friendly territory. The closing credits detail the results of the raid. Nineteen American soldiers were killed; over 1,000 Somali militants and civilians died. After 11 days of captivity Durant was released; Delta Force snipers Gordon and Shughart were the first soldiers to be awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously since the Vietnam War, and two weeks later President Bill Clinton withdrew Delta Force and the Rangers from Somalia. Major General William F. Garrison accepted full responsibility for the outcome of the raid. On August 1, 1996, Aidid was killed in a battle with a rival faction. General Garrison retired the following day.Black Hawk Down is a great movie that is both an eye opener that sticks to the facts as well as a quality film. I recommend this movie to any war-film fan, as well as anyone that likes watching movies in general.

REVIEW: TROY

CAST

Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Orlando Bloom (Lord of The Rings)
Diane Kruger (The Host)
Peter O’Toole (Venus)
Rose Byrne (Bad Neighbours)
Saffron Burrows (Peter Pan)
Brendan Gleeson (A.I.)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Julian Glover (The Young Victoria)
James Cosmo (Highlander)
Julie Christie (Doctor Zhivago)
Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy)
Vincent Regan (Lockout)
Tyler Mane (Halloween)

he opening scene shows the troops of King Agamemnon of Mycenae ready to fight against the troops of Triopas of Thessaly, a battle only avoided when the great warrior Achilles defeats Thessaly’s champion in single combat. Meanwhile, Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, King of Sparta. Paris, however, is having a secret love affair with Menelaus’ wife, Queen Helen, and smuggles her aboard their homebound vessel, much to Hector’s fury. Upon learning of this, Menelaus meets with Agamemnon, his elder brother, and asks his help in taking Troy. Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for a long time, agrees, since it will give him control of the Aegean Sea. On King Nestor’s advice, Agamemnon has Odysseus, King of Ithaca, persuade Achilles to join them. Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon, initially refuses, but eventually decides to go after his mother, Thetis, tells him that though he will die, he will be forever remembered.

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris bring Helen, but welcomes her as a guest and decides against sending her home, since Paris will likely follow her and be killed, choosing instead to meet the Greeks in open battle. The Greeks arrive shortly after and take the Trojan beach, mostly thanks to Achilles and his Myrmidons, among them his cousin Patroclus, who sack the temple of Apollo but allow Hector and the surviving Trojans to return to the city. Achilles claims Briseis, a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a war trophy, but is angered when Agamemnon spitefully takes her from him and decides that he will not aid Agamemnon when they lay siege to Troy.

The Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy. During a parley, Paris offers to duel Menelaus personally for Helen’s hand in exchange for the city being spared. Agamemnon, intending to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris and almost kills him, but is himself killed by Hector. In the ensuing battle, most of Agamemnon’s forces fall to Troy’s archers and Hector kills Ajax. On Odysseus’ insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. In order to keep their spirits up, he gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers for their amusement. When she is threatened with rape, she is saved by Achilles. The two fall in love, and Achilles decides that the war is a lost cause, resolving to leave Troy in the morning.

Despite Hector’s advice otherwise, Priam instructs him to retake the Trojan beach in the night and force the Greeks home. The attack brings the Greeks together and the Myrmidons enter the battle. Hector personally duels a man he believes to be Achilles and cuts his throat, only to discover it was actually Patroclus. Devastated, the armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Achilles is informed of his cousin’s death and vows revenge. Knowing of the coming retribution, Hector leads his wife, Andromache, to a secret tunnel beneath Troy and instructs her to take their child and any survivors she can out of the city should he die and the city fall.

The next day, Achilles arrives outside Troy and demands Hector come out. The two fight evenly for a while until Achilles wears Hector down and kills him, dragging his corpse back to the Trojan beach, straining his relationship with Briseis. Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and meets with Achilles, imploring him to let him take Hector’s body back to Troy for a proper funeral. Ashamed of his actions, Achilles agrees and allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam, promising a truce of twelve days so that Hector’s funeral rites may be held in peace. He also tells his men to return home without him, for he has a battle he must fight on his own.

Agamemnon becomes infuriated at Achilles’ actions and goes into a crazed rant that he will take Troy no matter what. Concerned that Agamemnon may lead them to destruction, Odysseus concocts a plan to get inside the city by having the Greeks build a gigantic wooden horse from their boat parts and abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove to make it seem as if they have left. Priam orders the horse brought inside the city as a gift from the Gods, over Paris’ objections. A Trojan scout finds the hidden ships in the cove but is killed by the Greek archers before he can alert the city. That night, Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge and open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. While Andromache and Helen are getting the Trojans to safety through the tunnel, Paris gives the Sword of Troy to Aeneas, instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Glaucus is killed by Odysseus. Agamemnon kills Priam, and then Agamemnon finds Briseis and taunts her, and she kills him. Achilles fights his way through the city and finds Briseis, but is shot through the heel by Paris, which makes him vulnerable. Paris puts several more arrows into Achilles’ chest until he finally collapses. With his dying breaths, Achilles implores Briseis to leave the city with Paris. They escape Troy before the Greeks find Achilles’ body. In the aftermath, with Troy finally taken, funerals are held for the slain and Odysseus personally cremates Achilles as the surviving Trojans head to Mount Ida.Troy is definitely an entertaining movie, and the production is remarkable, but a few major historical inaccuracies, strange casting choices and a particularly cliché Hollywood ending lower my appreciation for the film.

 

REVIEW: HANNA

CAST

Saoirse Ronan (The Host)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit)
Vicky Krieps (Colonia)
John MacMillan (Fury)
Tim Beckmann (Foster)
Jessica Barden (The Lobster)

Hanna Heller (Saoirse Ronan) is a 15-year-old girl who lives with her father, Erik Heller (Eric Bana) in rural northern Finland, near Kuusamo. The film opens with her hunting and killing a reindeer. Since the age of two, Hanna has been trained by Erik, an ex-CIA operative from Germany, to be a skilled assassin. He teaches her hand-to-hand combat and drills her in target shooting. He left the agency, going incognito into the Arctic. Erik knows a secret that cannot become public, and Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), a senior CIA officer, searches for him in order to eliminate him. Erik has trained Hanna with the intent that she will kill Marissa. Due to her upbringing in the wilderness, she is unfamiliar with much of the modern civilisation although she has great encyclopedic knowledge.

One night, Hanna tells Erik that she is “ready” to face their enemies. Erik digs up a radio beacon that eventually will alert the CIA to their presence. Although he warns Hanna that a confrontation with Marissa will be fatal for either her or Marissa, he leaves the final decision to Hanna who activates on the beacon. Erik leaves, instructing her to meet him in Berlin. A special forces team arrives to capture Hanna and Erik, but Erik is already gone and while Hanna kills two soldiers, the rest of the soldiers assume Erik killed them before escaping. Hanna is taken to an underground CIA complex where Marissa, being suspicious, sends a body double (Michelle Dockery) to talk to Hanna. While talking to the double Hanna starts to cry and crawls sobbing into the lap of the double, which makes her captors uneasy. They send some guards to her cell to sedate her. As they enter the cell, Hanna kills the double along with some of the guards and escapes.
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In a flashback, Marissa is seen firing at a car that is carrying Hanna’s mother; two-year-old Hanna; and Erik. The car crashes but the trio flees. Marissa shoots Johanna, but Erik escapes with Hanna into the woods. Hanna finds herself on the run in the Moroccan desert, where she meets bohemian British people couple Sebastian (Jason Flemyng) and Rachel (Olivia Williams), who are on a camper-van holiday with their teenage daughter, Sophie (Jessica Barden), and their younger son, Miles (Aldo Maland). She stows away in the family’s camper-van on the ferry ride to Spain seeking to reach Berlin. The family is nice to her, and she and Sophie become friends. Marissa hires Isaacs (Tom Hollander), a former agent, to capture Hanna. Hanna travels with the family as they drive north. Isaacs and two skinheads trail them and eventually corner Hanna and the family in France, but she manages to escape, killing one of the assailants. Marissa catches up with the British family and during interrogation finds out that Hanna is heading to Berlin.

Arriving at the address that Erik had told her, Hanna meets with Knepfler (Martin Wuttke), an eccentric old magician and a friend of Erik’s, who lives in an abandoned amusement park. Hanna plans a rendezvous with her father. However, Marissa and Isaacs arrive. Hanna escapes, but overhears comments that suggest Erik is not her biological father. Later, Hanna goes to her grandomother’s apartment where she finds her grandmother murdered. In a conversation Erik admits to Hanna that he is not her biological father. Erik once recruited pregnant women into a program where their children’s DNA was enhanced in order to create super-soldiers. After the project was shut down, its subjects were eliminated. Marissa and Isaacs arrive, intent on killing them; Erik acts as a distraction to allow Hanna to escape. Erik kills Isaacs in a fight, but is shot by Marissa, who goes to Knepfler’s house. Hanna is there, having just discovered Knepfler dead. They wound each other and eventually Marissa becomes disoriented from her wound, slows down and loses her weapon. Hanna finds the weapon and kills Marissa, echoing the deer hunting scene from the start of the film.

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Quirky, dark, neat. Saoirse Ronan is terrific.  The cinematography is strong, the locations are diverse and far more imaginative than most films. The script is flawless. All in all an excellent movie.