REVIEW: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3: SECRET OF THE TOMB

CAST

Ben Stiller (Zoolander)
Robin Williams (Hook)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Ricky Gervais (Muppets Most Wanted)
Jake Cherry (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice)
Rachael Harris (Barley Lethal)
Dan Stevens (The Guest)
Rebel Wilson (Grimsby)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Rami Malek (Battleship)
Patrick Gallagher (Sideways)
Mizuo Peck (A Case of You)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins)
Percy Hynes White (The Gifted)
Mickey Rooney (Revenge of The Red Baron)
Bill Cobbs (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Andrea Martin (Black Christmas)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Matt Frewer (Watchmen)
Anjali Jay (Izombie)
Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Hugh Jackman (Logan)
Brad Garrett (Finding Dory)
Matthew Harrison (Thirteen Ghosts)
Jody Racicot (Flash Gordon)
Louriza Tronco (The Order)

In 1938 Egypt, a team of archaeologists discover the tomb of pharaoh Ahkmenrah, including a young Cecil Fredericks, finding the magical Tablet of Ahkmenrah. The locals warn the group that removing the tablet will end its magic. In present day New York City, Larry Daley remains the night guard of the American Museum of Natural History. He, Theodore Roosevelt, Sacagawea, Attila the Hun, Jedediah, Octavius and Dexter the capuchin monkey help re-open the Hayden Planetarium. A new wax Neanderthal resembling Larry named Laaa is introduced, identifying Larry as his father. Ahkmenrah shows Larry that the tablet is corroding, which later causes the exhibits to act erratically, causing mayhem at the planetarium’s reopening. Afterwards, Larry catches his son Nick throwing a house party, who plans on taking a gap year to sort out his life.Larry reunites with Cecil, now in retirement, who realises the end of the tablet’s magic will cause the exhibits to become lifeless. Cecil explains Ahkmenrah’s parents, Merenkahre and Shepseheret, may be able to restore the tablet’s power, but are located in the British Museum. Larry convinces the museum’s curator, Dr. McPhee, to let him ship Ahkmenrah to London to restore the tablet, convinced that McPhee knows its secrets. Larry and Nick travel to the British Museum, bypassing the night guard Tilly. To Larry’s surprise, Roosevelt, Sacagawea, Attila, Jed, Octavius, Dexter, and Laaa have come as well. Laaa is left to stand guard while the others search the museum, the tablet bringing its own exhibits to life.They are joined by a wax Sir Lancelot who helps them fight off the aggressive museum exhibits like a Xiangliu statue and a Triceratops skeleton. Jedediah and Octavius fall through a ventilation shaft, but are rescued from an erupting Pompeii model by Dexter. The group find Ahkmenrah’s parents, learning the tablet’s power can be regenerated by moonlight, since it is empowered with the magic of Khonsu. Lancelot mistakes the tablet for the Holy Grail and steals it, leaving to find Camelot. Larry and Laaa are locked in the employee break room by Tilly but escape, Laaa remaining behind to distract Tilly, but they become attracted to each other.Lancelot crashes a performance of the musical Camelot, starring Hugh Jackman and Alice Eve as King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, but Larry and the others chase him to the theatre roof, where the New York exhibits begin to die. Lancelot then sees that the quest was about them and gives the tablet back. The moonlight restores the tablet’s power, saving the exhibits. They decide that Ahkmenrah and the tablet should stay with his parents, even if it means the New York exhibits will no longer come to life. Back in New York, Larry spends some final moments with his friends before sunrise. Three years later, Larry now works as a teacher, and a travelling British Museum exhibit comes to New York. Tilly becomes the new night guard, and gives the tablet to Dr. McPhee, showing him its power, and allowing the exhibits to awaken again. Outside, Larry watches them party inside.Fans of the franchise will be pleasantly surprised by the heartfelt and sentimental Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. The thoughtfulness and homages to ancient history are present and the jokes have a wide enough range to make any age giggle.

REVIEW: BAD EDUCATION (2019)

Allison Janney and Hugh Jackman in Bad Education (2019)

Starring

Hugh Jackman (Logan)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Ray Romano (Ice Age)
Geraldine Viswanathan (The Package)
Alex Wolff (Jumanji: The Next Level)
Kayli Carter (Mrs. America)
Rafael Casal (Blindspotting)
Stephen Spinella (Virtuosity)
Annaleigh Ashford (Late Night)
Hari Dhillon (Billions)
Jimmy Tatro (Super Troopers 2)
Pat Healy (The Post)
Jeremy Shamos (The Rebound)
Kathrine Narducci (The Irishman)

Trust in our national institutions may be at an all-time low, but it’s not like there haven’t been plenty of events over the years to make us wary enough to demand attention and oversight. This story of the 2002 Nassau County Schools scandal is a prime example. This is director Corey Finley’s follow up to his clever and twisted THOROUGHBREDS (2018), and the script is from writer Mike Makowski, who was a student in the district when the scandal hit.Screen-Shot-2020-02-21-at-1.32.41-PMHugh Jackman plays Dr. Frank Tassone, the District Superintendent of Schools, while Oscar winner Allison Janney (I, TONYA) is Pam Gluckin, the Assistant Superintendent. Both are excellent, but Mr. Jackman delivers what might be his best ever performance. His Tassone is uber-charming, and clearly wants the best for the schools and students. We do notice some oddities about him. He seems to be overly concerned about his physical attractiveness – perfect business suits, facelifts, not a hair out of place, and big smiles to show the world he has it all under control. In contrast, if Ms. Janney’s Pam had a mustache, she would certainly twirl it as the story’s most obvious villain.Pooka-10The film opens by informing us that the district has been evaluated as doing excellent in terms of student test scores, student admissions to prestigious schools, raising property values in the area, and with financial success that leads to a new construction project – one that appears to be more of an ego project than substantive for education. Ray Romano plays the President of the School Board, and we get glimpses of life at the school, and the challenges faced by the administrators. As with many things, if all is well, few questions are asked.IJFWY4However, stuff hits the fan when a reporter for the school paper starts doing some basic research. Rachel (Geraldine Viswanathan, BLOCKERS) is writing a “fluff” piece on a new high dollar capital improvement project at the school, when she stumbles on irregularities in billing. It turns out Ms. Gluckin has been embezzling for years. When the discrepancies first come to light, the conversations with the school board and administrators is downright fascinating. The crime is obvious, but by going public, who does it help and who does it hurt? These people don’t want the kids to lose opportunities. They don’t want their property values to drop. And they don’t want the bad publicity that comes with being unaware fraud had been ongoing under their watch.

ITD_IJFWY_SEW_21292ROnce Ms. Gluckin’s scheme has been exposed, Jackman really kicks it into gear for Tassone. Any additional details would spoil the fun, but it becomes clear that he’s a master manipulator. Corrupt people have a way of convincing themselves their actions are justified, given the good work they do. You know the drill – underappreciated and underpaid. Solid support work comes from David Bhargava as Rachel’s father, who is also going through his own professional crisis. Alex Wolff is the editor of the school paper, and he faces his own moral dilemma in a scene where he knows the right thing to do will actually cause harm to his college opportunity. Finally, Rafael Casal stars as Kyle, a bartender/dancer and former student of Tassone, as they are reunited in Las Vegas.maxresdefaultDirector Finley and cinematographer Lyle Vincent (THROUGHBREDS, A GIRL WHO WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT) shoot in harsh light, never allowing the truth to hide behind soft filters. These are complex people with real lives and real families and real friends, all doing good things for the students. Watching a compromise of morals or a twisting of ethics is always a bit uncomfortable, but the film shows just how easy we can overlook the obvious. The film features brisk pacing with some dark humor in moments that least deserve humor. The trailer is a bit misleading, as the comedy is quite dark in nature. A low-key approach to filmmaking provides none of the over-the-top dramatic flair we expect. Instead it’s social commentary and a psychological study of pathological liars and manipulators … in positions that bring public trust.

REVIEW: MISSING LINK

Starring

Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Stephen Fry (Bones)
Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet)
Emma Thompson (Men In BLack: International)
Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones)
Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids)
David Walliams (Murder Mystery)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Bridget Hoffman (Herucles: TLJ)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)

Zach Galifianakis and Hugh Jackman in Missing Link (2019)In 1886, Sir Lionel Frost, a struggling investigator of mythical creatures, has continuously searched for different creatures to study and announce their presence in the world, which would allow him to be accepted into the “Society of Great Men,” which is led by Sir Lionel’s rival Lord Piggot-Dunceby. Lionel receives a letter acknowledging the presence of a Sasquatch, making a deal with Piggot-Dunceby that would allow him to join the society if he proved that the creature was real.Zach Galifianakis, Hugh Jackman, and Zoe Saldana in Missing Link (2019)Lionel travels to the Pacific Northwest, eventually stumbling upon the Sasquatch in a forest. After dubbing him “Mr. Link,” Lionel is told by the Sasquatch that he was, in fact, the one who sent the letter. Mr. Link requests Lionel’s help in finding his relatives, the Yetis, in the Himalayas. Lionel agrees to help him but is unaware of the fact that Piggot-Dunceby has hired a bounty hunter named Willard Stenk to track Lionel and kill him, ensuring that the pro-imperialist conservative views of the society remain unchallenged.Zach Galifianakis in Missing Link (2019)Lionel’s old lover Adelina Fortnight has a map to the Himalayas locked at her house in Santa Ana, California, in a safe that belonged to her late husband, one of Lionel’s past partners, so the two visit her mansion to acquire it. However, Adelina harbors resentment for Lionel missing her husband’s funeral and kicks him out when he offers to pay her for the map. Lionel and Mr. Link come back later at night and break-in, but Mr. Link’s noise-making awakens Adelina, and the safe eventually falls out of the top floor window, cracking open in the aftermath. Mr. Link and Lionel grab the map and escape but are discovered the next day by Adelina, who allows them to search for the Yetis as long as she is there to accompany them. Stenk arrives, and a shootout ensues, but the trio tricks their pursuer into hopping on the train to search for them.Zach Galifianakis in Missing Link (2019)The trio makes their journey via boat, and Adelina pressures Lionel into reaching out to Mr. Link to prove his sincerity. Lionel enjoys a heartwarming talk with Mr. Link on the boat’s deck, where Mr. Link gives himself the name “Susan” after a friendly prospector he once encountered. However, they are once again ambushed by Stenk. After various scuffles across different parts of the ship, the trio eventually locks Stenk in the boat’s boarding rooms while they make another escape.Zach Galifianakis in Missing Link (2019)The trio eventually makes their way to the Himalayas and is pointed in the direction of the Yeti temple, and led to their Queen, who reveals their secluded valley to the group. She then reveals their disdain for mankind extends to Susan, who’s interacted closely with them. They throw the trio in a pit for them to stay until they die. Susan gives Adelina a boost, and she knocks down a few Yeti guards, allowing them to stack them and escape. They run across the ice bridge, where an armed Piggot-Dunceby and Stenk are waiting at the center of the bridge. Lionel denounces his rival’s pride and defends Susan as more human than the society ever will be.Hugh Jackman in Missing Link (2019)As a result, the insane Piggot-Dunceby starts firing his rifle at the ice bridge to kill the trio, until Susan stops Piggot-Dunceby from getting any further, still causing it to crack and break. Piggot-Dunceby and his assistant Mr. Collick fall to their deaths while the trio and Stenk make a run for it. They are too late and are left hanging on the edge of the destroyed ice bridge. Stenk, who has made it all the way across, taunts Lionel, which leads to the two engaging in a slapping fight while hanging on the bridge. The trio works together to rid themselves of Stenk, who falls to his death after an icicle breaks and falls on him. Lionel appoints Susan as his new partner in investigations, who blows a raspberry at the Yeti leader.Zach Galifianakis and Hugh Jackman in Missing Link (2019)After arriving home, Adelina tells Lionel that she will be adventuring on her own for a while and departs, but not before the pair share a brief mutual acceptance of their feelings for each other. Susan and Lionel arrive back at the latter’s work-space and begin their next case to find Atlantis. After they leave, the end credits reveal maps and souvenirs of their subsequent adventures.Missing Link (2019)Missing Link is not missing anything, it has everything. A smart movie based on an old fashioned plot, but treated as it is brand new with some of the greatest characterizations of all time in animation-films stories and it gives us all a remarkable story, sensations and unique personality. Funny, amazingly designed and conceived (technically speaking), catchy direction on a pure-talented cast and again on an amazing story. One of the best animation films of all time, challenging and maybe winning the biggests we already saw.

REVIEW: THE FOUNTAIN

Starring

Hugh Jackson (The Wolverine)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist)
Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Fernando Hernandez (Apocalypto)
Cliff Curtis (Sunshine)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dance)
Donny Murphy (Spider-Man 2)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)

Hugh Jackman in The Fountain (2006)Conquistador Tomás Verde in New Spain fights a band of Mayans to gain entry into a pyramid, where he is attacked by a Mayan priest. The story intercuts to a similar looking man, tending a tall tree in a glass dome biosphere travelling through space, annoyed by a woman called Izzi. Finally, a third iteration, present-day doctor Tom Creo, is losing his wife Izzi to a brain tumor. Tom is working on a cure using samples from a tree found through exploration in Guatemala, which are being tested for medicinal use for degenerative brain diseases in his lab. Izzi has come to terms with her mortality, but Tom refuses to accept it, focused on his quest to find a cure for her.Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman in The Fountain (2006)She writes a story called “The Fountain” about Queen Isabella losing her kingdom to the Inquisition and a commission given by her to Tomás Verde to search for the Tree of Life in the Central American forest in Mayan territory. As she does not expect to finish her book, Izzi asks Tom to finish it for her. As they look up at the golden nebula of Xibalba, she imagines, as the Mayans did, that their souls will meet there after death and when the star goes supernova. She dies shortly thereafter and Tom dedicates himself to curing not only her disease but death itself after seeing experimental success in reversing aging. His colleagues fear that this drive has made him reckless, but they support him in his scientific work and emotionally at Izzi’s funeral. Tom plants a sweetgum seed at Izzi’s grave in the manner of a story she told him relating how a Mayan guide’s dead father lived on in a tree nourished by the organic nutrients of the buried body.Hugh Jackman in The Fountain (2006)In the Mayan jungle, Tomás finds that most of his fellow knights are exhausted and refuse to continue searching for the Tree of Life. He takes the few who remain loyal with him to a pyramid, carrying a ceremonial dagger. Once he arrives at the pyramid, the first scene repeats and Tomás engages in combat with the Mayan priest. The space traveller (whether this character is a version of Tom, an element of Izzy’s story, or Tom himself in the future is unclear) spends much of his time performing physical or mental exercises, including a form of meditation allowing him to perceive and interact with the past. In that past, Tomás is stabbed in the stomach but, just as the priest is about to kill him, he appears before the figurehead. The priest now believes Tomás is the “First Father” who birthed all life.the-fountain-hugh-jackman-2Tomás kills the priest as a sacrifice and proceeds to a pool with a large tree, convinced this is the Tree of Life. Tomás applies some of its sap to his torso and is cured of his stab wound. He drinks the sap flowing from the bark. But in a reenactment of the Mayan creation myth recounted earlier, his body is turned into flowers and grass that burst forth from it and he literally gives rise to new life, killing himself in the process. In space, the tree finally dies just before the spaceship arrives at its destination, much to the horror of the version of Tom tending it. A final vision of Izzi appears, comforting him in the face of his acceptance of death. The star goes supernova, engulfing the ship and everything within. The traveler’s body, engulfed by the dying star inside the nebula, is absorbed by the tree, causing it to flourish back to life. Izzi’s apparition picks a fruit from the new tree of life and hands it to Tom, who plants it in Izzi’s grave.MV5BMjI4Mzk1NjMyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTUwNTE5NQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_All in all, I really liked this movie. It brought plenty of drama which makes you care for the characters and their fate, thus keeping you eager to find out how it ends. It’s unique idea manages to be at the same time it’s most important plus but also a bit of a let-down, in terms of connection. I had a very good time with it so I will definitely recommend it to anyone. It brings something new, a fresh idea, and this alone deserves recognition, not to mention the feelings involved throughout.

REVIEW: LES MISERABLES

CAST

Hugh Jackman (Logan)
Russell Crowe (Man of Steel)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Helena Bonham Carter (Dark Shadows)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Amanda Seyfried (Gone)
Samantha Barks (Dracula Untold)
Aaron Tveit (Premium rush)
Colm Wilkinson (The Tudors)
Josef Altin (Game of Thrones)
Charlotte Hope (The Nun)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones)
Andy Beckwith (Queens)
Ella Hunt (Anna and The Apocalypse)

 

Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables (2012)In 1815, French prisoner Jean Valjean is released on parole from the Bagne of Toulon after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread and trying to escape multiple times. On the outside, Valjean’s paroled status prevents him from getting work. He is offered shelter by the kindly Bishop of Digne, but Valjean steals his silverware. Captured by police and taken to the Bishop, Valjean is shocked when the Bishop says that he gave him the silver, telling him to use it to do something worthwhile with his life. Valjean breaks his parole to start a new life.Cavin Cornwall and Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables (2012)Eight years later, Valjean is factory owner and mayor of Montreuil, Pas-de-Calais. He is shocked when a Toulon prison guard Javert arrives as his new chief of police. Javert suspects Valjean’s identity when he rescues an injured worker trapped under a heavy cart. One of Valjean’s workers, Fantine, is dismissed by the factory foreman upon learning she is sending her earnings to her illegitimate daughter Cosette, who lives with the greedy innkeepers, the Thénardiers. To support her daughter, Fantine becomes a prostitute but is arrested by Javert when she attacks an abusive customer. Valjean, learning who she is, rescues her and takes her to the hospital.Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables (2012)Valjean learns a man has been wrongly identified as him, and reveals his true identity to a court before returning to the dying Fantine, promising to care for Cosette. Javert arrives but Valjean escapes, finding Cosette and pays Fantine’s debts to the Thénardiers. Valjean and Cosette flee Javert, hiding in a convent, aided by the worker Valjean rescued before. Nine years later, Valjean has become a philanthropist and helps the poor in Paris. General Lamarque, the only government official sympathetic to the poor, dies, and a group of revolutionists called the Friends of the ABC plot to rebel against the monarchy. Marius Pontmercy, a member of the Friends, encounters Cosette and they fall in love, asking Éponine, the Thénardiers’ daughter to help find her.Helena Bonham Carter in Les Misérables (2012)After Marius and Cosette meet and confess their love, Éponine prevents her father from robbing Valjean’s house. Valjean, believing Javert is near, makes plans to flee to England with Cosette. Cosette writes a letter for Marius, but Éponine hides it, intending on dying with Marius during the rebellion. During Lamarque’s funeral procession, the revolt begins and barricades are built across Paris. Javert pretends to be an ally to spy on the rebels but the street urchin Gavroche exposes him as a policeman. During the first skirmish against the soldiers, Éponine takes a bullet for Marius and dies in his arms, giving him Cosette’s letter and confesses to him beforehand. Gavroche takes Marius’ reply to Valjean, who joins the revolution to guard Marius.Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables (2012)Valjean offers to execute Javert but actually releases him, faking his death. By dawn, the soldiers are close to ending the revolution, storming the students’ barricade and execute everyone save Marius and Valjean, who escape into the sewers. Thénardier comes across Valjean and the unconscious Marius, stealing the latter’s ring, before pointing a way out. Valjean finds Javert waiting for him, ignoring his nemesis’ threats. Javert, morally confused by the mercy of Valjean, commits suicide by throwing himself in the Seine. Marius recovers but is traumatised by the death of his friends.Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne in Les Misérables (2012)Marius and Cosette plan to marry but Valjean, concerned his presence would threaten their happiness, makes plans to leave and reveals his identity to Marius, who promises to remain silent. Cosette and Marius marry but the Thénardiers crash the wedding to try and blackmail Marius, Thénardier saying he witnessed Valjean carrying a murdered corpse and produces the stolen ring. Marius assaults Thénardier who reveals Valjean is at the convent. The dying Valjean reunites with Cosette and Marius, giving them letters of confession, before peacefully dying, guided away by Fantine and the Bishop’s spirits.Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables (2012)This is a movie that both fans of the novel as well as fans of the musical can both fall in love with, since even though there are some deviations from the novel this is still the closest a film version has ever come to being completely faithful to the book. Additionally, this movie is a perfect chance for those who have never read the book or haven’t heard of or had a chance to see the Broadway show. I wholeheartedly recommend this film to everyone.

REVIEW: LOGAN NOIR

CAST

Hugh Jackman (Real Steel)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Richard E. Grant (Bram Stokers Dracula)
Boyd Holbrook (The Host)
Stephen Merchant (Movie 43)
Dafne Keen (The Refugees)
Elizabeth Rodriguez (Side Effects)
Eriq La Salle (Coming To America)
Elise Neal (Scream 2)

logan_noir2In 2029, alienated mutants are on the brink of extinction, with no new mutants having been born in 25 years. James “Logan” Howlett, formerly known as Wolverine, works as a limo driver in El Paso, Texas. His healing factor has faltered and, as a result, his body has aged, he can no longer heal at an accelerated rate and his adamantium skeleton is slowly poisoning him. Logan lives with mutant tracker Caliban in an abandoned smelting plant in Northern Mexico, where they care for former Professor Charles Xavier, who is suffering from an unknown brain disease which causes him to lose control of his telepathic abilities to destructive effect via seizures. Logan is approached by Gabriela Lopez, a former nurse from a biotechnological corporation, Alkali-Transigen, who asks him to escort her and an 11-year-old girl, Laura, to a place in North Dakota called “Eden”.logan-noir3Logan reluctantly accepts the job, but shortly discovers Gabriela murdered. At his hideout, Logan is confronted by Gabriela’s killer, Transigen’s cybernetically-enhanced chief of security, Donald Pierce, who is looking for Laura. Logan, Charles and Laura, who stowed away inside Logan’s limo, narrowly escape from Pierce and his enforcers, the Reavers, but Caliban is captured and forced to use his mutant-tracking abilities to locate them. Logan and Charles learn from a video on Gabriela’s cellphone that Laura is one of several mutant children that Transigen, under the guise of a cancer research project, was secretly breeding from DNA samples of several mutants in the early 2020’s. As the “X-23” project they were to be used as weapons, but proved difficult to control, and upon completion of the “X-24” project, the children were deemed obsolete and were to be euthanized. Gabriela and several other nurses helped many children escape from the Transigen compound, becoming separated from the others when smuggling Laura, who was created from Logan’s DNA, into the United States.logannoir_n95nThey take refuge at a hotel in Oklahoma City, where Logan discovers that Eden is actually from an X-Men comic book in Laura’s possession. The Reavers catch up with them, but Charles regains control long enough to telepathically freeze everyone in the hotel, allowing Logan to kill the attackers before injecting Charles with a suppressant and escaping. While on the highway, they help farmer Will Munson and his family after a traffic incident. The Munsons invite them over for dinner and they accept under the guise of being a trigenerational family. Meanwhile, Dr. Zander Rice, the surgical head of Transigen, arrives to aid Pierce and the Reavers. Realizing Caliban is withholding the whereabouts of his friends, Rice convinces him that no harm will come to Logan and Charles if they recover Laura. When the water pipe supplying the Munson house springs a leak, Logan and Will leave to fix it. Along the way, Logan learns the Munsons live near a major corporate farm that creates genetically-engineered corn for the purpose of being used in drinking products, and are stalled from returning home by a confrontation with the corporation’s enforcers.Logan-Noir-standingLater that night, Charles expresses his guilt to a man he believes is Logan of a telepathic seizure he had in Westchester, where he inadvertently injured several civilians and killed most of the X-Men. The man is revealed to be X-24, a feral clone of Logan with mindless rage and a highly developed healing factor. X-24 mortally wounds Charles, captures Laura, and murders most of the Munson family when they attempt to stop him. When Logan and Will Munson return, X-24 stabs Will and heads over to deliver Laura to Rice, but Logan attempts to save Charles instead. Before he can reach Rice, X-24 is distracted by a group of farmers from the corporate farm, who mistake him for Logan due to an earlier confrontation, and he murders them all. Despite Logan’s attempts to save him, Charles Xavier dies from his wounds as Logan repeatedly assures him that he was not his attacker. Enraged by Charles’ death, Logan engages X-24 but is no match for his younger clone. Will, struggling to stay alive, manages to incapacitate X-24 by impaling him into farm equipment using his truck, but dies from his injuries moments later. Caliban sacrifices himself by setting off two grenades to destroy the Transigen van in which he is being held captive, killing and injuring several Reavers and giving Logan and Laura a chance to escape with Charles’ body.logan-photo-trailer-nb-987843-largeAfter burying Charles, Logan passes out from rage and exhaustion. He wakes up in a clinic to which Laura had driven him, where a doctor urges him to rest and get treatment for his deteriorating condition. Logan refuses and wants to abandon the trip. Laura convinces him to complete it, and, two days later, they arrive at the location of “Eden”, where they discover it is run by Rictor and the other Transigen test subjects that managed to escape. One night, Laura asks Logan about an adamantium bullet she found in his possession. Logan reveals that he has kept it since his escape from Weapon X as a reminder of his past but now was planning to use it to commit suicide to end his suffering, as he believes it is the adamantium in his body that is killing him. Logan learns that the children plan to journey to Canada, where they will be safe, and decides to part ways with them, to Laura’s dismay. However, when the children are intercepted and captured by the Reavers, in order to save them, Logan takes an overdose of a serum given to him by Rictor that temporarily increases his physical abilities and restores his healing factor. Logan violently slaughters most of the Reavers and rescues Laura, but soon the serum wears off, greatly reducing his physical strength and mutant abilities. Locating the rest of the children, Logan and Laura split up, with Logan approaching Pierce, who has Rictor at gunpoint. Rice introduces himself to Logan and mentions his father who had been slain by Logan during his escape from Weapon X, and reveals that the destruction of mutantkind is due to a virus created by Transigen that has been dispersed in food products. Before he can continue, Logan shoots Rice dead and attacks Pierce, who saves himself by releasing a regenerated X-24, who engages Logan. With their guards distracted, the children wipe out the remaining Reavers before overwhelming and killing Pierce with their powers.logan_noir2Logan and Laura fight X-24 to no avail, but Rictor manages to use his terrakinetic powers to flip a truck onto X-24. Logan tells the children to run as X-24 claws his way out from under the truck and brutally attacks Logan again. With Logan severely beaten, X-24 drags him to a fallen tree trunk, impales him on a large branch, and resumes attacking with his claws until he is shot dead with Logan’s Adamantium bullet by Laura, who had returned to help him. Severely wounded far beyond the limits of his weakened abilities to heal, Logan tells Laura to leave with her friends and to not be the weapon she was made to be. When Laura addresses Logan as her father, Logan finally acknowledges what it feels like to be loved before dying peacefully in her arms. Laura and the other children mourn Logan’s death and hold a small burial for him. Once the other children leave, Laura turns the cross on Logan’s grave to its side to create an “X”, honoring Logan as the last X-Man before tearfully walking away, joining her friends as they continue their journey towards the Canadian border and her father’s homeland.logannoir_n95nIn the lead up to filming and casting announcements for Logan, director James Mangold released hauntingly beautiful black-and-white photos of the cast and locations. Obviously, the film was going to be released in color, but it got him wondering what the film would look like in black-and-white. Thankfully, someone over at Fox was open minded to Mangold’s desire to regrade the color of the film to black-and-white – and they also had the forethought to include this new version dubbed Logan Noir as a bonus feature with the home video release – and not a later release to double dip fans for. logan-noir-800x445For Logan, taking out the color with this properly rendered grayscale simply strips the film down to its emotional core. While the original color presentation was beautiful and director James Mangold and his cinematographer John Mathieson did a terrific job of capturing the sun-drenched vistas of a classic western like Shane and Rio Bravo, Logan Noir somehow feels more complete. As if taking a page from such westerns as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and High Noon, the black-and-white photography of Logan Noir feels more in tune with the heavy thematic dealings of true heroism and inevitable mortality.  Thankfully, Logan Noir is included with every home entertainment release —  Blu-ray in HD, and Digital HD. It’s a complete package deal, so even if you’re not as taken with Logan Noir as I was, you get to choose which version is right for you.

REVIEW: LOGAN

CAST

Hugh Jackman (Real Steel)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Richard E. Grant (Bram Stokers Dracula)
Boyd Holbrook (The Host)
Stephen Merchant (Movie 43)
Dafne Keen (The Refugees)
Elizabeth Rodriguez (Side Effects)
Eriq La Salle (Coming To America)
Elise Neal (Scream 2)

In the year 2029, mutants are on the brink of extinction, with no new mutants having been born in 25 years. James “Logan” Howlett, formerly known as Wolverine, spends his days working as a chauffeur and hustling for prescription drugs in Texas. He has aged greatly because the adamantium fused to his bones has started poisoning him and impeding his healing factor. Logan lives with mutant tracker Caliban in an abandoned smelting plant across the border in Mexico, where they care for Professor Charles Xavier, who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease which causes him to lose control of his telepathic abilities to devastating effect. One day, Logan is approached by Gabriela, a nurse for biotechnology corporation Alkali-Transigen, who wants him to escort her and an 11-year-old girl named Laura to a place in North Dakota called “Eden”. Donald Pierce, Transigen’s cybernetically-enhanced chief of security, tracks down Logan and requests that he help him find Laura, but Logan refuses.
MV5BMTE0ZGQ4MTctODcwMC00ODNhLTgxYjctNzlhMDEyZDE2OTNmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDg2MjUxNjM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1509,1000_AL_After reluctantly accepting the job from Gabriela, Logan discovers that she has been murdered. He, Xavier, and Laura narrowly escape from Pierce and his cybernetically-enhanced enforcers, the Reavers, but Caliban is captured and forced to use his powers to track them. Logan and Xavier learn through a video on Gabriela’s phone that Transigen was breeding mutant children using DNA samples from several mutants for the “X-23” project, but found that the children were difficult to control as they grew up. Upon completion of the “X-24” project, the children were deemed obsolete and were to be terminated. Gabriela helped several children escape from the Transigen compound before smuggling Laura, who is revealed to be Logan’s biological daughter, across the border.MV5BMTc3ODkwNzQwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDA2NDI0MTE@._V1_While staying in Oklahoma City, Logan finds Eden referenced in one of Laura’s X-Men comics and concludes that it is purely fictional. The Reavers catch up with them, but Xavier suffers another seizure and telepathically freezes everyone in the hotel, allowing Logan to kill the attackers before injecting Xavier with a suppressant and escaping. While on the highway, the trio helps a family, the Munsons, round up their horses after a traffic incident. The Munsons invite them over for dinner, and they accept under the guise of being a trigenerational family. When a nearby pipe springs a leak, Logan and the Munson father, Will, leave the house to fix it.

While Logan is gone, Xavier recalls a telepathic seizure he had in Westchester, where he inadvertently killed several civilians and X-Men. He expresses his guilt to a person he thinks is Logan, but which is actually X-24, a feral clone of Logan without own healing factor, which proceeds to stab Xavier through the chest before slaughtering the Munson family. Logan returns to find X-24 carrying a shackled Laura out of the house and a critically injured Xavier. Xavier succumbs to his wound and Caliban sets off two grenades to destroy the Transigen van in which he is being held captive, sacrificing himself in the process. While Logan and X-24 are fighting each other, Will appears and impales X-24 on a combine harvester with his truck. He attempts to shoot Logan before keeling over dead, allowing Logan and Laura to escape.
MV5BMTQ3NzEwODYzM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTk1NDI0MTE@._V1_After burying Xavier, Logan passes out from exhaustion. He wakes up in a clinic that Laura had driven him to, but refuses treatment for his adamantium poisoning and leaves the facility. He wants to abandon the trip to Eden, but Laura convinces him to complete it. Meanwhile, X-24 is given a serum to aid in his regeneration by his creator Dr. Zander Rice, the head of Transigen.
MV5BYjRlZTVkZGItMTA4YS00MDAyLThkZGEtMGUwYTYwNzNhODM3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDg2MjUxNjM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1502,1000_AL_Logan and Laura arrive at Eden, a safe haven run by Rictor and the other Transigen test subjects that managed to escape. Rictor gives Logan small doses of the mutant serum to help him heal. Logan learns that the children plan to make a journey across the forest to the Canadian border, where there are people willing to help them. Fearful that his presence may endanger their safety, Logan plans to part ways with them. However, this changes when the children are ambushed by the Reavers in the forest. Logan takes an overdose of the serum to restore his healing factor and begins slaughtering the Reavers in a berserker rage, but the serum’s effects quickly wear off. Dr. Rice, who confirms that Logan killed his father during Logan’s escape from the Weapon X program at Alkali Lake, reveals that the destruction of mutantkind is due to a virus created by Transigen, whose intent is to control the mutant population and create their own weaponized version. Logan shoots and kills Rice before Pierce releases a regenerated X-24, who engages Logan. The children wipe out the remaining Reavers before overwhelming Pierce with their powers.
Logan and Laura fight X-24, with Rictor using his seismic powers to help them. However, X-24 impales Logan on the branches of a fallen tree. While X-24 is trying to finish Logan, Laura shoots X-24 with an adamantium bullet, killing him. Fatally wounded, Logan tells Laura not to be the weapon she was made to be before dying in her arms. Laura and the other children mourn his death and hold a somber burial. Laura tearfully adjusts the cross on his grave to form an “X” before continuing with the rest of the mutants on their journey across the border in search of a new beginning.Every scene in this film feels necessary from the character development to the humor and action nothing is forced everything comes off natural which is a breath of fresh air and I was very pleased with it, I believe that this movie will be very well received by fans as it treats its characters with such care and embarks on an emotional and satisfying conclusion to Hugh Jackmans Wolverine.

REVIEW: X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

CAST

James McAvoy (Wanted)
Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)
Jennifer Lawrence (joy)
Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies)
Rose Byrne (Bad Neighbours)
Evan Peters (Kick-Ass)
Tye Sheridan (The Forger)
Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones)
Olivia Munn (The Babymakers)
Alexandra Shipp (House of Anubis)
Lucas Til (Macgyver)
Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Ben Hardy (Eastenders)
Lana Condor (Patriots Day)
Hugh Jackman (Pan)
Tómas Lemarquis (Snowpiercer)
Željko Ivanek (Heroes)
Kodi Smith-McPhee (The King)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Monique Ganderton (Avengers: Endgame)

En Sabah Nur, a powerful mutant believed to be the first of his kind, rules ancient Egypt until he is betrayed by his worshippers, who entomb him alive. His four lieutenants die preserving him. Awakening in 1983, he believes humanity has turned to “false gods” in his absence. Aiming to save the world by destruction and remake it, he recruits Cairo pickpocket Ororo Munroe, who can control weather, and upgrades her power.

In East Berlin, shape-shifting mutant Raven investigates an underground fight club and discovers mutant champion Angel, who possesses a pair of large feathered wings on his back, and Kurt Wagner, who can teleport. Raven rescues Kurt and employs the services of black marketeer Caliban to transport him to America. En Sabah Nur recruits Caliban’s enforcer, Psylocke, who leads him to Angel. En Sabah Nur enhances both their powers, transforming Angel’s wings into metal wings.

Alex Summers discovers that his younger brother, Scott, is manifesting his mutation for shooting optic beams. Alex takes Scott to Professor Charles Xavier’s educational institute in Westchester County, New York in hopes that Xavier and Hank McCoy will teach him how to control his abilities. Scott meets the telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey, and the two develop an attraction. Raven brings Kurt to the institute. Apocalypse’s powers cause disturbances around the world, leading Xavier and Alex to consult with CIA agent Moira MacTaggert, who has been researching the legend of Nur.

In Communist Poland, the metal-controlling mutant Erik Lehnsherr lives with his wife and their young daughter, Nina. He uses his powers to save a coworker, prompting militia to come capture him. When they accidentally kill Erik’s family, he retaliates by murdering them. En Sabah Nur later approaches the devastated Erik and tells him,”Come and see”. Next, Apocalypse takes him to Auschwitz where Erik’s power first manifested. Apocalypse reveals himself as the one true god variously dubbed “Elohim, Shen, Ra.” Erik destroys the camp and joins him.

En Sabah Nur enters Xavier’s mind while Xavier is using the mutant-locating computer Cerebro and, co-opting Xavier’s powers, forces all global superpowers to launch Earth’s entire nuclear arsenal into space to prevent interference. He and his new lieutenants arrive at the mansion and kidnap Xavier. Attempting to stop them, Alex accidentally causes an explosion that destroys the mansion. Peter Maximoff — having learned that he is Erik’s son, and hoping that Xavier can help to find him—arrives in time to use his super-speed to evacuate the students just before the explosion destroys the building, but Alex is presumed dead. Colonel William Stryker’s forces subsequently capture Hank, Raven, Peter, and Moira, and take them to a military facility for interrogation. Scott, Jean and Kurt covertly follow and liberate their comrades using Stryker’s mind-controlled and brainwashed experiment, Weapon X, whose memories Jean partially restores.

At En Sabah Nur’s behest, Erik uses his powers to control Earth’s magnetic poles, causing widespread destruction across the planet and mass casualties. En Sabah Nur plans to transfer his consciousness into Xavier’s body and use Xavier’s power to enslave the minds of every person on earth. Xavier secretly sends a telepathic distress call to Jean, and the others travel to Cairo to battle Apocalypse and his horsemen. They rescue Xavier, but he loses his hair as the process nears completion. Angel is defeated and incapacitated in the battle. Erik and Ororo are convinced to turn on En Sabah Nur and, with the help of Scott, they keep him occupied physically while Xavier fights him telepathically in the astral plane. Finally, Xavier encourages Jean to unleash the full extent of her powers, incinerating En Sabah Nur. In the ensuing chaos, Psylocke flees.

Xavier and Moira rekindle their relationship. Erik and Jean help reconstruct the school, but Erik refuses Xavier’s offer to stay and help teach. Peter decides not to tell Erik yet that he is Erik’s son. As the new X-Men, Hank and Raven train new recruits Scott, Jean, Ororo, Kurt and Peter.

In a post-credits scene, men in suits visit the Weapon X facility to retrieve data on Stryker’s mutant research, including an X-ray and a blood sample marked “Weapon X”, on behalf of the Essex Corporation.For some reason X men Apocalypse has taken a beating from critics and fans and to be honest I don’t really no why. I went to see this film with slightly lowered expectations following the early reviews and maybe that helped because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast was great. The old and the new the story was interesting and the villain serviceable. Perhaps it’s because now we get so many comic book movies that people compare too much but I wouldn’t compare the X men to anything else out there. It’s another solid entry in the franchise.

REVIEW: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST -THE ROGUE CUT

 untitled
CAST
Hugh Jackman (Chappie)
James McAvoy (wanted)
Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)
Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
Halle Berry (Catwoman)
Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy)
Anna Paquin (She’s All That)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Ian Mckellan (Lord of The Rings)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Shawn Ashmore (Earthsea)
Omar Sy (Jurassic world)
Evan Peters (Kick-Ass)
Josh Helman (Mad Max: Road Fury)
Daniel Curdmore (Warcraft)
Fan Bingbing (Iron Man 3)
Famke Janssen (The Faculty)
Jason Marsden (Hop)
Lucas Til (Walk The Line)
Michael Lerner (Barton Fink)
Kelsey Grammer (Transformers 4)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Booboo Stewart (Descendants)

Yes, this is even better than what we saw in the cinema. The theatrical version was very good, though we already knew that Rogue had been cut completely from the movie to make a more streamlined narrative (and possibly to meet studio demands over running time). Now the missing 17 minutes have been reinstated. We get a longer section in the future before the time travel takes place, a mission to rescue Rogue so she can take over from an injured and flagging Kitty, and a new section with Mystique visiting the mansion.

The extended future section gives additional dialogue to Bishop and also Storm – many viewers wanted more from the dystopian future and this goes a good way to satisfying that. And although Anna Paquin’s Rogue is reduced once again to a damsel in distress, the rescue mission is good and Paquin has a strong presence that’s very promising if we ever get to see any more of her version of Rogue. It also indicates that, like Magneto, her powers did return after she elected to be cured in X-Men: The Last Stand. The scene with Mystique at the mansion doesn’t feel so compelling, though it does continue the discussion with Beast over embracing one’s true self. Both versions of the film are very good, but for me the Rogue Cut feels a little more rounded. The mission to rescue Rogue fits in fine amid the film’s last act when everything becomes desperate and tense and the action really steps up, with parallels between past and future.MV5BMTc3ODkwNzQwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDA2NDI0MTE@._V1_This is a two disc set and it does also contain the original cinema version of the film. Disc 1 also contains a commentary by director Bryan Singer and writer/producer Simon Kinberg for the original cinema version, and a commentary by Bryan Singer and composer/editor John Ottman on the Rogue Cut. Disc 2 has special features including Mutant vs Machine (a 9-part making of documentary), X-Men Unguarded (informal conversations with the cast, it takes them a while to relax and get going but it’s quite nice to watch and hear what they think), a sneak peak of the new Fantastic Four and some image galleries.MV5BMTQ3NzEwODYzM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTk1NDI0MTE@._V1_A great new cut for a great film.

REVIEW: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

CAST
Hugh Jackman (Chappie)
James McAvoy (wanted)
Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)
Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
Halle Berry (Catwoman)
Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy)
Anna Paquin (She’s All That)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Ian McKellan (Lord of The Rings)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Shawn Ashmore (Earthsea)
Omar Sy (Jurassic world)
Evan Peters (Kick-Ass)
Josh Helman (Mad Max: Road Fury)
Daniel Curdmore (Warcraft)
Fan Bingbing (Iron Man 3)
Famke Janssen (The Faculty)
Jason Marsden (Hop)
Lucas Til (Walk The Line)
Michael Lerner (Barton Fink)
Kelsey Grammer (Transformers 4)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Booboo Stewart (Descendants)
In the future, robots known as Sentinels are exterminating mutants and their human allies. A band of mutants, including Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Iceman, Bishop, Warpath, Blink and Sunspot, evade the Sentinels due to Pryde’s ability to send a person’s consciousness to the past. Pryde’s group convenes with Logan, Storm, Professor Charles Xavier, and Erik Lehnsherr at a monastery in China. Pryde sends Logan’s consciousness 50 years back in time to 1973 to prevent Mystique from assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask, creator of the Sentinels. Following the assassination, Mystique was captured, and her DNA was used by Trask’s company to improve the Sentinels, whose ability to adapt to any mutant power makes them almost invincible. Xavier and Lehnsherr advise Logan to find both of their younger selves for help.
 At the X-Mansion in 1973, Logan encounters Xavier and Hank McCoy. Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Youngsters has closed after most of the teachers and students were drafted to the Vietnam War. Xavier, a broken man, has been overusing a serum that allows him to walk, but suppresses his telepathy. Logan explains his mission and persuades Xavier to help free Lehnsherr from a prison cell beneath The Pentagon, where he is being held for allegedly assassinating President John F. Kennedy. They rescue Lehnsherr with the help of Peter Maximoff, a mutant with super speed.
In Washington, D.C., Trask unsuccessfully tries to sway Congress to gain support for his Sentinel program. Meanwhile, in Saigon, Mystique prevents William Stryker from appropriating a group of mutant G.I.s for Trask’s research. Mystique investigates Trask’s office and discovers he has been capturing mutants to use for his experiments. Xavier, Lehnsherr, McCoy, and Logan fly to Paris to intercept Mystique, who is impersonating a North Vietnamese general to infiltrate the Paris Peace Accords. There, Trask attempts to sell his Sentinel technology to Communist nations. Xavier’s group arrives as Mystique is about to kill Trask. Lehnsherr tries to kill Mystique to ensure her DNA cannot be used for the Sentinels, but she jumps from a window. The fight spills onto the street in view of the public, allowing Lehnsherr and Mystique to escape.
Trask is saved, but the world is horrified by the existence of mutants. President Richard Nixon approves Trask’s Sentinel program and arranges an unveiling ceremony. Trask’s scientists recover Mystique’s blood from the street. Meanwhile, Lehnsherr—who has recovered his telepathy-blocking helmet—intercepts the prototype Sentinels in transit and laces their polymer-based frames with steel, allowing him to control them. At the mansion, Xavier stops taking his serum and slowly regains his telepathic powers, while losing the ability to walk. Through Logan, Xavier speaks to his future self and is inspired to work for peace between humans and mutants once again. He uses Cerebro to track Mystique, who is heading to Washington, D.C.
As Xavier, Logan, and McCoy search for Mystique, Nixon unveils the Sentinel prototypes at the White House. Lehnsherr commandeers the Sentinels and attacks the crowd, then sets the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium around the White House as a barricade. Nixon and Trask, accompanied by the Cabinet, Secret Service officers, and Mystique (disguised as a Secret Service member), are taken to a safe room. Logan and McCoy try to stop Lehnsherr, but he pits a Sentinel against them and then throws Logan into the Potomac River. In the future, the X-Men make their final stand as a large army of Sentinels attack the monastery. In 1973, Lehnsherr pulls the safe room from the White House and prepares to kill Nixon and his Cabinet. Mystique, who is disguised as Nixon, incapacitates Lehnsherr with a plastic gun. Xavier persuades Mystique to spare Trask and allows her and Lehnsherr to flee. Mystique’s actions are seen as a mutant saving the President, leading to the cancellation of the Sentinel program. Trask is arrested for trying to sell American military secrets.
Logan wakes up in the future to find Iceman, Rogue, Colossus, Pryde, McCoy, Storm, Jean Grey, Scott Summers, and Xavier are all alive. In 1973, Mystique, impersonating Stryker, takes custody of Logan. In a post-credits scene, a crowd chants to En Sabah Nur, who is using telekinesis to build pyramids as four horsemen watch from nearby.
The latest addition to the x-men series works well, using many of the original cast with those introduced in X-Men First Class. And it it does it very well. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, with their stage and theatre backgrounds set the bar very high when the first film came out in 2000. Bringing them back through the use of time travel and the sentinels story makes for a terrifically entertaining film.