REVIEW: THE LOFT

CAST

Karl Urban (Dredd)
James Marsden (Westworld)
Wentworth Miller (Legends of Tomorrow)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Matthias Schoenaerts (The Drop)
Isabel Lucas (Red Dawn)
Rachael taylor (Jessica Jones)
Rhona Mitra (Nip/Tuck)
Kali Rocha (Buried)
Kristin Lehman (Andromeda)
Elaine Cassidy (The Others)
Margarita Levieva (Spread)

Five married men share ownership of an upmarket loft, which they use to discreetly meet their respective mistresses. When the body of a murdered woman is found in that loft, the men begin to suspect each other of having committed the gruesome crime, as they are the only ones with keys to the premises. Through flashbacks, which are intertwined with scenes from the present, the story is unraveled.

The five men are:1.Vincent Stevens (Karl Urban): architect and designer of the building where the loft is situated; married to Barbara (Valerie Cruz) and has children; the one who initially suggests the five use the loft as a private oasis, he is set up by the other men to be accused of the murder.2.Luke Seacord (Wentworth Miller): married to Ellie (Elaine Cassidy), who is an insulin-dependent diabetic; the one who discovered the body and initially calls Vincent and the others over to the loft. The police later insinuate that he is attracted to Vincent. He also recorded the men’s activities in the loft without them knowing.3.Dr. Chris Vanowen (James Marsden): a psychiatrist married to Allison (Rhona Mitra), half-brother to Philip. Chris and Philip have a half-sister, Zoe (Madison Burge). The most reluctant of the men to the idea and the last to accept a key to the loft, Chris eventually does so because he is attracted to Ann (Rachael Taylor), who eventually becomes his mistress. She tells Chris not to fall in love with her because she is a prostitute. He gives her his key as proof he does not use the loft with other women.4.Marty Landry (Eric Stonestreet): married to Mimi (Kali Rocha); a heavy drinker and an obvious lech. He and Mimi become separated when a woman he fooled around with shows up at his home.5.Philip Williams (Matthias Schoenaerts): half-brother to Chris as they have the same mother; recently married to Vicky (Margarita Levieva), who is the only daughter of a wealthy property developer, who is also his boss. He is a drug user who grew up in a dysfunctional household with his abusive father; very protective of his younger sister Zoe, and warns the other men off having sex with her.The murder victim is Sarah Deakins (Isabel Lucas): Vincent, Luke, and Marty met her at a bar; both Vincent and Luke are attracted to her, but she hooks up with Vincent and becomes attached to him. At a party they are both attending, Sarah threatened to tell Vincent’s wife about the affair as a way to have them break up, but she is dissuaded from this by Luke. She seemingly tries to commit suicide at the loft, by taking pills with champagne. She is discovered by Luke, who calls Chris, Marty and Philip, showing them a note to Vincent. The note read “See you in the next life”; this note is taken from the loft by Chris.The men were motivated to set Vincent up by Luke, who showed them DVDs of Vincent having sex with Marty’s wife, Mimi; Chris’s prostitute, Ann (who Vincent had paid to allow Chris to seduce her, so that he would take a key to and use the loft), and Zoe, Philip and Chris’s younger sister. Three of the men leave to set up their alibis, with Philip remaining at the loft to stage the scene. He takes some cocaine and cuts Sarah’s wrists, using her bloodied finger to write a Latin phrase similar to that in her suicide note. He then handcuffs Sarah’s right hand to the bed.Over the course of the movie, as the five men discuss what to do with the body, Luke, Chris, Marty, and Philip drug Vincent, strip and handcuff him to the body on the bed. Before Vincent passes out completely, Chris tells him about Sarah’s suicide and the contents of her note. While being questioned by the police, Vincent tells them of the set-up, but they do not believe him as the only prints found were Vincent’s and Sarah’s. They also have the DVDs of his sexual exploits, except the ones with Mimi, Ann, and Zoe; they won’t believe him that Luke made the videos and the DVDs of the other men were not found. The police also mention that all four men have alibis for that morning — Chris and Luke were seen together having breakfast, Marty was at his office, Philip was alibied by his father-in-law (who was blackmailed with information about his own cheating, information Philip had because he knew Vincent used that same information to blackmail his father-in-law to give him a contract on a project).Releasing Chris from interrogation, Detective Huggins (Kristin Lehman) tells him that Vincent has been arrested for murder; he is surprised as he thought Vincent would only be implicated in Sarah’s suicide. The detective further states that the pills did not kill Sarah, that her wrist cuts were not self-inflicted, the prints on the knife were Vincent’s and they didn’t find a suicide note. The surprised Chris thanks Huggins and leaves. Outside of the police station, he reaches into his jacket pocket, only to find that the suicide note Luke gave to him is gone. He then walks to the loft and confronts Luke about the missing note. After initially denying that he had it, Luke leads Chris to the note, which was in the garbage. Chris looks at the note and wonders why Luke would get rid of the only evidence of the attempted suicide, speculating that Luke, not Sarah, was the author of the note. Luke then tells Chris everything; he framed Vincent, because he was attracted to Sarah himself, and felt that Vincent stood between him and Sarah.We see that Luke had gone after Sarah the night she almost told Vincent’s wife about the affair. He told her that Vincent was using her and not worth it, and that he could treat her better. She rebuffs him, saying she felt nothing for Luke. Hurt, Luke turns around to find that his wife saw him talking to Sarah. When Sarah returned to visit Vincent at the loft, Luke showed up and drugged Sarah, trying to kill her — out of “love” — with an insulin overdose. He then staged the suicide with the pills, champagne bottle, and suicide note. Chris then tells him that Vincent is being charged with murder as Sarah hadn’t been dead when they left her with Philip. Luke then states that technically it was Philip who killed Sarah and that he will clean the situation up. When Chris says no more cleaning up, Luke pulls out a kitchen knife and threatens him. Sirens can be heard and Chris says he called the police, told them everything and that it is over. He and Luke struggle, and he gets the knife from Luke. Luke tells Chris to tell Ellie and their kids that he’s sorry; he then jumps from the loft’s balcony, killing himself.Six months later, Mimi and Marty are reconciled, Philip is facing trial for manslaughter, and Chris is divorced, sharing custody of his kids. He runs into Ann after leaving a bar, and she asks if he needs the loft key, that he had given her for them to meet up. Chris mentions the key would not work as Vincent now lives at the loft, since it was the only thing his wife left him with from their divorce. Ann asks if Chris would like to join her for a drink sometime.The Loft is a fun watch – nothing more, nothing less. It achieves exactly what it sets out to. The 5 lead actors were all pretty solid and gave credible performances.

 

REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

CAST

Shia LaBeouf (Eagle Eye)
Megan Fox (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Tyrese Gibson (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Josh Duhamel (Paradise Lost)
John Turturro (Exodus: Gods and Kings)
Ramón Rodríguez (Iron Fist)
Kevin Dunn (Samantha Who?)
Julie White (Lincoln)
Isabel Lucas (The Loft)
John Benjamin Hickey (The Ex)
Glenn Morshower (Supergirl)
Matthew Marsden (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Rainn Wilson (Star Trek Discovery)
Marc Evan Jackson (The Good Place)
Katie Lowes (Scandal)
Peter Cullen (Dungeons & Dragons)
Mark Ryan (Robin of Sherwood)
Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly)
André Sogliuzzo (Family Guy)
Jess Harnell (Little Nicky)
Grey DeLisle (Ultimate Avengers)
Hugo Weaving (The Matrix)
Tony Todd (Candyman)
Josh Kelly (Jarhead 2)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Tom Kenny (The Powerpuff Girls)
Michael York (Logans Run)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Robin Atkins Downes (Babylon 5)
Andrew Howard (Bates Motel)
Eric Pierpoint (Alien Nation)
Robert Foxworth (Beyond The Stars)

In 17,000 B.C., the Seven Primes travel the galaxy to create Energon with star-absorbing machines named Sun Harvesters. The Primes followed a rule: never destroy planets with life; however, one of them, Megatronus Prime, later known as The Fallen, defies this and establishes a Sun Harvester on Earth. He is confronted by the other Primes, who imprison him before he can harvest the planet’s Sun with the Matrix of Leadership. The Primes then sacrifice themselves to hide the Matrix in an unknown location.In the present day, two years after Megatron’s defeat, the Autobots have formed the Non-Biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty (NEST), a classified international military task force dedicated to eliminate the surviving Decepticons. In Shanghai, the Autobots intercept two Decepticons, Demolisher and Sideways. They send in new recruits: Sideswipe, Skids, Mudflap, Arcee, Chromia, and Elita One to hunt them down. Sideswipe successfully kills Sideways, while Optimus Prime kills Demolisher, but not before he warns them of the Fallen’s return. At NEST’s headquarters in Diego Garcia, National Security Adviser Theodore Galloway scolds the task force sarcastically for their tactics, reminding them that Megatron’s corpse is still at the bottom of the Laurentian Abyss and the last known AllSpark shard is locked up in the base. Soundwave hacks into a military satellite, overhears the information, and sends Ravage to retrieve the shard.Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky is preparing to attend college, leaving his girlfriend Mikaela Banes and guardian Bumblebee behind. He finds a smaller AllSpark shard and picks it up, causing him to start seeing Cybertronian symbols and accidentally brings multiple kitchen appliances to life. After Bumblebee destroys the rampaging appliances (along with part of the Witwicky’s house), Sam gives the shard to Mikaela, who later captures the Decepticon Wheelie when he attempts to steal it. The Constructicons resurrect Megatron by ripping apart the smallest Constructicon Scrapmetal to provide parts for him, as well as using the stolen shard.Megatron then travels to one of Saturn’s moons, where he reunites with his master, the Fallen, who orders him to capture Sam alive and kill Optimus, the only Transformer who can defeat the Fallen. Sam, Mikaela and his college roommate, Leo are attacked by Alice, a Decepticon Pretender posing as a college student. After killing her, they are captured by the Decepticon Grindor and taken to an abandoned factory. Megatron reveals that the symbols in Sam’s mind will lead the Decepticons to a new Energon source before the Autobots arrive to rescue the trio. Optimus rescues Sam and engages Megatron, who is accompanied by Starscream, and Grindor. Initially overpowered, Optimus manages to injure Starscream by cutting off his arm before killing Grindor. Megatron then ambushes Optimus and blasts his spark, destroying it and leaving him fatally wounded; Optimus dies shortly after telling Sam to run without him. The other Autobots arrive and repel the Decepticons, forcing Megatron and Starscream to retreat. The Decepticons launch devastating simultaneous attacks around the world, destroying ships in the Second Fleet and damaging Paris. The Fallen hijacks Earth’s telecommunications systems, demanding that Sam be handed to him.Sam, Mikaela, and Leo enlist the help of former Sector 7 agent, Seymour Simmons, who reveals that the Transformers visited Earth eons ago and the most ancient, known as Seekers, live in secret. With help from Wheelie, they track down a Decepticon Seeker named Jetfire at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. They use their shard to revive Jetfire, who teleports the group to Egypt and explains the story of the Fallen. Jetfire and Wheelie turn against the Decepticons, and order them to locate the Matrix, which could revive Optimus. Sam’s group finds the Matrix in Petra, but it disintegrates into dust in Sam’s hands. Undeterred, Sam stuffs the Matrix’s remains into his sock. Meanwhile, NEST forces and the Autobots land near the Giza pyramid complex but are attacked by a large force of Decepticons. During the battle, many Constructicons combine to form Devastator, who destroys one of the pyramids, revealing the Sun Harvester inside, before he is killed by a battleship’s railgun called in by Simmons. Under Megatron’s orders, the Decepticons Rampage and Ravage spring a trap with Sam’s parents (who were captured during the Paris attack) as bait in order to force Sam to give them the Matrix, but Bumblebee interferes and kills both Decepticons. Lennox and Epps call in an airstrike, which kills a large portion of the Decepticon ground forces. However, Megatron manages to shoot Sam, seemingly killing him, before retreating upon getting attacked. Nearing his death, the Primes contact Sam through a vision, telling him the Matrix is earned, not found, and that he earned the right to bear it. They restore Sam’s life and the Matrix, which he uses to revive Optimus.The Fallen teleports to their location and steals the Matrix from Optimus, then returns to the pyramid with Megatron and activates the Sun Harvester. Jetfire, who was wounded by Scroponok but did manage to kill him, sacrifices himself in order for Optimus to gain his parts, which give him immense strength and the ability to fly. Optimus knocks the Fallen and Megatron off the pyramid, destroying the Sun Harvester in the process. In the battle, Optimus disables Megatron and kills the Fallen; vowing vengeance, Megatron retreats with Starscream. The victorious Autobots and their allies then return to the United States, having saved the world.This builds things up to a much greater scale than the first film, and it brings in a lot more of the robots, both good and bad ones. The plot does involve you to have to work at it, a little more than you might expect from a piece of escapist entertainment. And yet, whilst it’s not as focused as the first film, it does come up with a big action battle climax.  As humans and alien robots alike battle evil forces and strive to do the right thing and are quite prepared to put their lives on the line, it’s not hard to find yourself rooting for them all the way.

REVIEW: RED DAWN (2012)

CAST
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Isabel Lucas (Immortals)
Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games)
Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Edwin Hodge (The Purge)
Josh Peck (Aliens In The Attic)
Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
Alyssa Diaz (The Vampire Diaries)
Will Yun Lee (Elektra)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen)
Kenneth Choi (The Terminal)
Matt Gerald (Daredevil)
Michael Beach (Aquaman)
An introductory montage shows the fallout of the economic crisis in the European Union and a weakened NATO alliance, amid increasing co-operation between an increasingly militant North Korea and ultranationalist-controlled Russia. The increased deployment of U.S. troops abroad (and the highlighted threat of cyberwarfare) leaves the mainland vulnerable.
U.S. Marine Jed Eckert is home on leave in Spokane, Washington. He reunites with his father, Spokane Police Sergeant Tom Eckert and his brother, high school football player Matt Eckert. The morning after a mysterious power outage, swarms of invading North Korean paratroopers and transport aircraft attack the city. The two storm out of the house and Matt witnesses an F-16 shoot down a Korean transport plane while they leave in a pick-up truck. Their father tells them to flee to their cabin in the woods while he helps the townspeople. They are later joined there by Matt’s fellow students Robert, Daryl, Toni, Danny, Julie, Greg and Pete. Tensions build as the teens try to decide whether to surrender to the invaders or resist, with Pete ending up betraying their position. North Korean soldiers, under the command of Captain Cho, bring Sergeant Eckert and the mayor out to convince the group to surrender, but Cho executes Sergeant Eckert after he refuses to cooperate and actively encourages them to resist (or die trying).
Jed intends to fight and the others agree to join him, calling themselves the Wolverines after their school mascot. After acquiring weapons, establishing a base in an abandoned mine, and being trained by Jed, the Wolverines begin a series of guerrilla attacks against soldiers and collaborators, including Pete. During one attack, they lose Greg, but rescue Matt’s girlfriend, Erica. The North Koreans retaliate by bombarding the surrounding woods to destroy the Wolverines’ base, killing Danny and Julie, with the remaining survivors fleeing deeper into the woods. The Wolverines encounter Marine Sergeant Major Andrew Tanner and Marines Smith and Hodges. They reveal that the Russian-backed North Korean invasion used an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon that crippled the U.S.electrical grid and military infrastructure, followed by landings of the invasion of the entire East and West Coasts. American counterattacks eventually halted their advances, leaving an area stretching from Michigan to Montana and Alabama to Arizona as “Free America.” They also reveal that Captain Cho carries a suitcase containing an EMP-resistant radio telephone that would enable the U.S. command to monitor invasion force radio traffic and regroup for a counter-offensive. The Wolverines assist Tanner, Smith, and Hodges in infiltrating the North Koreans’ center of operations at a local police station. They succeed in stealing the suitcase with Jed avenging his father’s death by killing Cho, though Hodges is mortally wounded.
The Wolverines escape with the radio and regroup at their base. The Wolverines are ambushed by Russian Spetsnaz, and Jed is killed by a sniper as he walks past a window. Matt and the rest of the Wolverines escape with the radio to the Marines’ extraction point. The next day, Robert comes to the realization that during the police station escape, Daryl had been tagged with a tracking transmitter and that the Russians have been homing in on him ever since. After some thought, Daryl accepts the fact that he cannot go on with them, Robert gives Daryl his M249 SAW, and Daryl decides to stay behind, presumably to ambush the pursuing group and likely die in the encounter.
The group delivers the radio to Tanner and Smith, who depart in a helicopter. The remaining Wolverines stay behind and continue to fight; a scene shows the Wolverines recruiting more members and raiding prisoner camps. Matt uses Jed’s speech to convince others to join their cause. In the end of the film, the Wolverines, under Matt’s command, raid a North Korean prison camp, setting hundreds of prisoners free.
Rising above the flaws of Red Dawn, i found it to offer an action packed & emotional ride along a fictional story that is somewhat as semi-believable now, as it was back in the 80’s. I quite like this version.

REVIEW: IMMORTALS

CAST

Henry Cavill (Man of Steel)
Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Freida Pinto (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
John Hurt (Hellboy)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Peter Stebbings (Never Cry Werewolf)
Isabel Lucas (Mad Max: Road Fury)
Kellan Lutz (Legend of Hercules)
Steven Byers (Smallville)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Daniel Sharman (Teen Wolf)
Corey Sevier (The Northlander)
Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad)

MV5BMTY2NDE5MjEzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTAxNTc5Ng@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land. Mad with power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity. Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers disfigured by his own hand, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares. Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the Titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge. In the king’s hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and annihilate the Gods. But ancient law dictates the Gods must not intervene in man’s conflict. They remain powerless to stop Hyperion…until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope. Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes. Rallying a band of fellow outsiders – including visionary priestess Phaedra (Freida Pinto). I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this film from beginning to end. Tarsem knew exactly what he wanted and its evident in every shot. The cinematography was magnificent, the set design was superb and the costumes were just gorgeous. The fight scenes were definitely impressive .Henry Cavill did a great job as our hero. He had a strong presence. Mickey Rourke is always a good villain but i must say his performance topped any other he played as an antagonist. Luke evans brought a power to the screen as Zeus. Kellan Lutz, did a good job as Poseidon giving more depth than he does in the Twilight Saga. Freida Pinto and Isabel Lucas are both gorgeous and commanded the screen as our two leading ladies.
Charleg and Vlas Parlapanides did an excellent job writing the film. There were no cheesy lines or inane dialogue. Everything that happened in the film had a purpose. I was very impressed with the pacing if the film. Being only 98 minutes, it wasn’t too short or too long to do what it needed to do.  Overall, this movie is a wonderfully stylized, Greek fantasy.