REVIEW: GOTHAM – SEASON 3

 

MAIN CAST

Ben McKenzie (Batman: Year One)
Donal Logue (Ghost Rider)
David Mazouz (New Girl)
Morena Baccarin (Homeland)
Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers)
Robin Lord Taylor (Cold Comes The Night)
Erin Richards (The Quiet Ones)
Camren Bicondova (Girl House)
Corey Michael Smith (Wonderstruck)
Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield)
Chris Chalk (12 Years A Slave)
Drew Powell (Straw Dogs)
Maggie Geha (Ted 2)
Benedict Samuel (The Walk)
Michael Chiklis (Fantastic Four)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Leslie Hendrix (Arthur)
James Carpinello (Gangster Squad)
Jamie Chung (The Gifted)
John Doman (Blue Valentine)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Magic Mike XXL)
B.D. Wong (Jurassic World)
Chelsea Spack (Blue Bloods)
Raymond J. Barry (Training Day)
Richard Kind (Stargate)
Naian Gonzalez Norvind (The Devil You Know)
Anthony Carrigan (The Flash)
Ivana Milicevic (Vanilla Sky)
Cameron Monaghan (Amityville: The Awakening)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Nathan Darrow (Preacher)
Camila Perez (Star)
Tonya Pinkins (The Book of Henry)
Paul Reubens (Batman Returns)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Clare Foley (Sinister)
David Dastmalchain (Ant-Man)

Maggie Geha in Gotham (2014)Gotham is the crime drama series based on DC Comics’ Batman universe. Having premiered on Fox in the autumn of 2014, the show initially focused on young versions of James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). Over time, though, the series introduced younger iterations of well-known villains in the Batman franchise, as well as lesser-known characters to provide a wider representation of the Dark Knight’s universe. Additionally, with Season Two, the episodes were grouped into “Rise of the Villains” (Episodes 1-11) and “Wraith of the Villains” (Episode 12-22), and that concept was continued in Season Three, with Episodes 1-14 grouped into “Mad Love” and Episodes 15-22, under the subtitle of “Heroes Rise.”Benedict Samuel in Gotham (2014)Concepts deriving from the overarching themes were weaved throughout the various storylines. Betrayal is often associated with love, and this theme was well represented throughout the season. Between lovers, siblings, work colleagues, and enemies, betrayal was a symptom of the deterioration of Gotham. Gordon tried to take the high road with his ex-fiancé Lee (Morena Baccarin) who moved on to a relationship with Dr. Mario Falcone (James Carpinello) and fell into an uneasy sexual relationship with Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) that included a number of lies and betrayals due to their goals arising from their respective jobs – bounty hunter and reporter. But, the downfall between Gordon and Vale came when he is forced by Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) to choose between Vale or Lee in “Follow the White Rabbit” (Episode 6). Although he chooses Vale, all parties easily infer that Gordon is still in love with Lee. Later in the season, Bruce commits a deadly betrayal against Alfred (Sean Pertwee) in “Destiny Calling” (Episode 21) after being kidnapped by the Court of Owls to spend time with The Shaman (Raymond J. Barry) and meeting Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig). Surprisingly, one ray of light occurred between Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor). Desperate to know why she didn’t kill him, Penguin was surprised and humbled that Fish saw in him her greatest creation (“Burn the Witch” Episode 2).Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith in Gotham (2014)

As often that a character was turning on another individual, sometimes the betrayal came from within. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) seemed to be one of the most conflicted characters through the season, trying to answer the question, “Who am I?” His identity, publicly as Penguin’s Chief of Staff, and privately as Penguin’s mastermind, resulted in a vacuum of questions after Nygma shot Penguin, believing he had killed his best friend who overshadowed and defined him. As a result, Nygma tested a number of the city’s intelligent people for assistance in determining his own identity separate from Penguin. The Tetch virus enhanced and brought out certain traits of characters and finding themselves at odds with themselves. Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) received a drop of blood from Alice Tetch (Naian Gonzalez Norvind) which heightened his commitment to the concept of justice, becoming judge, jury, and executioner as well as embodying the law (“New Day Rising” Episode 4). Marios jealousy was amplified, and Lee became a bad girl looking for the bad boy in Gordon, who was forced to self-infect the virus on himself in “Pretty Hate Machine” (Episode 20). As one of the heroes, Gordon was the only one who could control his magnified emotional state.

Amongst chaos, the heroes rise; however, the idea of heroes is a double-edged sword, so the viewer’s traditional definition of hero will be challenged in Season Three. Executive Producer John Stephens said, “Everyone goes through a major character metamorphosis throughout the course of the yea,r” in an interview with Comicbook.com. What is the most dramatic event that a character could go through? Well, it seemed that death (or near-death) and rebirth was a common event for most of the characters. For instance, Ivy Pepper (Maggie Geha) was touched by one of Dr. Strange’s (B. E. Wong) monsters and not only did she age about 10 or so years, but it was the belief of Selina (Camren Bicondova) that Ivy had died. Fish Mooney, Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow), who became Mr. Freeze, and Bridgit Pike (Camila Perez), who became Firefly, actually died and were reborn. It should be noted that while some characters died, they did not embody their familiar mantle: Ivy isn’t known as Poison Ivy, Selena hasn’t become Catwoman, and Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) may have the iconic creepy wide smile, but nary a whisper of “Joker” has been heard – yet.David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova in Gotham (2014)The parallels amongst pairs of characters did deliver intriguing comparisons. For example, viewers witness the very public destruction of Penguin, each layer of his personae being taken away from him. The betrayal is deliberate, a conscious effort on the part of Nygma, Barbara Keen (Erin Richards), Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas), and Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell). Eventually, even Penguin’s life is taken from him; however, there is also a private betrayal occurring in Lee. She has internalized her loss and although she argues for justice and grabs for the preverbal straws, she finally realizes that she is the root cause of her own betrayal. She hits rock bottom and as a result, injects herself with the Tetch virus, embracing her ruin.Robin Lord Taylor in Gotham (2014)Due to the large ensemble cast of regular cast members, plus the recurring and special guests through the 22 episodes, one of the inherent issues is affording enough screen time to each character so that their origin story is fully explored, resulting in a well-developed character. While Gordon and Wayne/514A (David Mazouz, in a dual role) are central characters and will typically appear in each episode, some of the other regular characters, such as Selina Kyle, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), or Butch, seem to disappear from the storyline. For example, in the closing minutes of “How the Riddler Got His Name” (Episode 15), Edward Nygma/The Riddler reveals to Lucius that he is struggling with defining his identity separate and outside of the shadow of Penguin. After announcing to Lucius that he is the Riddler, Nygma knocks Lucius out in his car. Viewers next see Lucius in “Light the Wick” (Episode 18). Fish Mooney is another character that is missing for most of the season after appearing in the season’s opening episode, “Better to Reign in Hell…” Their disappearances do cause some gaps, such as where was Lucius for two episodes, 16 and 17 – one would assume that someone from the GCPD would notice Lucius sleeping off Nygma’s attack in the front seat of his car, parked across the street from the precinct.Drew Powell, Jessica Lucas, and Cory Michael Smith in Gotham (2014)The third season of Gotham provides intriguing complexities to the overarching denigration of the city into chaos and the telling of individual character origin stories. While the origin stories are fascinating, the fact that there is foreknowledge that most of the characters cannot die because they will one day face Bruce Wayne as Batman does cause a wrinkle with the audience’s engagement with the storylines. To compensate, spending more time on character development would alleviate some of the indifference inherent to the nature of prequel narratives. That said, Gotham is a binge-worthy show. The city is visually stunning, and the Steampunk feel captivating. Audiences unfamiliar with the origin stories will likely enjoy the show just as much or more so than those that come to the show with familiarity from reading the comics.

 

REVIEW: GOTHAM – SEASON 2

CAST

Ben McKenzie (Batman: Year One)
Donal Logue (Ghost Rider)
David Mazouz (Mike & Molly)
Morena Baccarin (Firefly)
Zabryna Guevara (All Good Things)
Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers)
Robin Lord Taylor (Another Earth)
Erin Richards (The Quiet Ones)
Camren Bicondova (Girl House)
Corey Michael Smith (Carol)
James Frain (The Cape)
Jessica Lucas (Cult)
Chris Chalk (12 Years a Slave)
Nicholas D’Agosto (Final Destination 5)
Michael Chikilis (Fantastic Four)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Richard Kind (Stargate)
Clare Foley (Win Win)
Carol Kane (The Princess Bride)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
Peter Scolari (The Polar Express)
Anthony Carrigan (The Flash)
Cameron Monaghan (The Giver)
Dustin Ybarra (Hop)
Drew Powell (Straw Dogs)
Maria Thayer (Hitch)
Natalie Alyn Lind (The Goldbergs)
Michelle Veintimilla (Limitless TV)
Ron Rifkin (Alias)
Michelle Gomez (Highlander: The Raven)
Tommy Flanagan (Sin City)
Lori Petty (Tank Girl)
Chelsea Spack (Dead To Me)
BD Wong (Jurassic World)
Tonya Pinkins (Enchanted)
Nathan Darrow (House of Cards)
Michael Bowen (Lost)
Melinda Clarke (Spawn)
Paul Reubens (Batman Returns)
Ned Bellamy (Termiantor: TSCC)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Collateral)
John Doman (The Company Men)

The origin story continues on Gotham and the stakes are higher than ever, as Super Villains more ambitious and depraved are introduced, and a shift of alliances shakes up the fight for power in Gotham City. In season two, Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and the ethically questionable veteran Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) remain at the forefront of the fight against crime in this dangerously corrupt city. While confronting Gotham’s most notorious criminals, however, Gordon’s moral compass begins to waver, but he is taken under the wing of Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis), a law-and-order zealot who is unafraid of making enemies. At the same time, Gordon continues his quest to gain the trust of the young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), who is on a clear path towards the man he is destined to become, after discovering his father’s deepest secrets, with the help of his trusted butler and mentor, Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), and newfound ally at Wayne Enterprises, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk).

In the epic turf war that occurred at the conclusion of season one, Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) battled his way into power over Gotham’s underworld. Heading into season two, Gotham will continue to follow the evolving stories of the city’s most malevolent villains: Edward Nygma/The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), whose transformation from Gotham PD’s forensic expert to psychologically unhinged villain continues; Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), whose hard-knock existence propels her into a life of crime; and the increasingly unstable Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), who is out for Gordon and his girlfriend, Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). Also hoping to leave his mark on the city is Theo Galavan (James Frain), the billionaire industrialist, who appears to be the savior for whom Gotham has been waiting. Theo, along with his sister and lead enforcer, Tabitha Galavan aka Tigress (Jessica Lucas), keep their centuries-old vendetta hidden, as they manipulate their way to power.

Here in Season Two, there is far less dependence on self-contained episodes and more emphasis on the development of long running and serialised story arcs. In my opinion, this is better than Season One.
This remains a highly entertaining show.

REVIEW: GOTHAM – SEASON 1

CAST

Ben McKenzie (Batman: Year One)
Donal Logue (Ghost Rider)
David Mazouz (Touch)
Zabryna Guevara (All Good Things)
Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers)
Robin Lord Taylor (Another Earth)
Erin Richards (The Quiet Ones)
Camren Bicondova (Girl House)
Corey Michael Smith (Carol)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Collateral)
John Doman (The Wire)
Victoria Cartagena (Salt)
Andrew Stewart -Jones (Beauty and The Beast)
Drew Powell (Straw Dogs)

MV5BMjE3ODkzODgwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTk1ODE5NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1504,1000_AL_

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Richard Kind (Stargate)
Grayson McCouch (Armageddon)
Brette Taylor (Rescue Me)
Clare Foley (Win Win)
Lili Taylor (The Conjuring)
Jeremy Bobb (The Kitchen)
Carol Kane (The Princess Bride)
David Zayas (Dexter)
Frank Whaley (Luke Cage)
Jeremy Davidson (Roswell)
Margaret Colin (Independence Day)
Susan Misner (The Forgotten)
Kim Director (Blair Witch 2)
Leslie Odom Jr. (Red Tails)
Christopher James Baker (Sanctum)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
Nicholas D’Agasto (Final Destination 5)
Makenzie Leigh (The Slap)
Lesley-Ann Brandt (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
Morena Baccarin (Firefly)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Peter Scolari (The Polar Express)
Dash Mihok (Silver Linings Playbook)
Anthony Carrigan (The Flash)
Julian Sands (Smallville)
Maria Thayer (Hitch)
Chelsea Spack (Dead To Me)
Cameron Monaghan (The Giver)
Jeffrey Combs (Star Trek: DS9)
Colm Feore (Thor)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)
Willa Fitzgerald (Scream: The Series)
Chris Chalk (12 Years a Slave)
John Clarence Stewart (Luke Cage)

MV5BNTQ4MDU3NDQ5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjc0OTM3MjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1445,1000_AL_Gotham City has an old, relatively vague history independent of when Thomas and Martha Wayne were shot down in an alleyway, usually the first and primary thing that comes to mind about the motivation that drives Batman: the crime that got so bad that it took his good-natured parents away from him. The surroundings responsible for the billionaires’ murder weren’t created overnight, though, and intensified in response to their death, a time period that often goes unaddressed unless a detail about Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the brooding hero needs mentioning. As a response to the character’s unrelenting popularity the folks at DC aim to use that largely unexplored space to provide an origin story for the city’s violence and corruption, an attempt to recapture the magic of Smallville in a darker environment. The result is Gotham, a blend of crime-case procedure and mobster politics that also fills in the gaps between the orphaning of Bruce Wayne to where Batman begins.Taking pages out of the playbook of the comic-book series “Gotham Central”, the show largely focuses on the interworking parts of the Gotham City Police Department, notably the arrival of rookie detective Jim Gordon in the midst of rampant corruption. The OC star Ben McKenzie brings initiative and fire to the character, a war veteran and straight-laced servant of the law who’s thrown together with a dirty partner in Harvey Bullock, whose sympathetic flaws are marvelously embodied by Donal Logue. Their first case together? The murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, later revealed to be connected to the city’s organized crime activity. In their investigation, Gordon quickly gets introduced to key players pulling the strings in Gotham, notably a swanky nightclub operator in Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and her aging, rational boss, Carmine Falcone (John Doman). Then, there’s Oswald Cobblepott (Robin Lord Taylor), an attendant to Fish whose wavering allegiances also come to the surface in response to Gordon and Bullock’s investigation, working him into a position of persistent danger and upward mobility if he plays his cards right.Against the backdrop of a Gotham City that combines Tim Burton’s gothic vision with Christopher Nolan’s stark approach into a relatively timeless metro area, Gotham comes in hard and fast with its nods to the DC universe, eliminating any early concerns about how much of the mythology it’ll incorporate. In fact, the show actually suffers from an oversaturation of these references, especially in how many of the classic villains have benign links to the GCPD in their pasts and, quite simply, how many have already shown up and taken shape into their well-known personalities. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, nor with tweaking what’s known about the universe into its own continuity, but it does detract from the production succeeding as a credible prequel to the age of Batman — touted early on as a selling point for the show.It’s fascinating to see the riddlesome Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) as an awkward, morbid Dexter-like puzzle-solver working in the precinct, and to see a young Catwoman giving prowler pointers to a young Batman not long after she witnessed the infamous Wayne murder.The areas where Gotham works are within the politics of the GCPD and the evolving criminal element, and, by association, the origin stories of Jim Gordon’s fight against the department and The Penguin’s ascent up the crime ladder. Elevated by Gordon’s furious diligence against the powers-that-be who keep him from properly doing his job. Gotham is in a comfort zone while exploring maneuverings of Robin Lord Taylor’s brilliantly grimy performance as Oswald Cobblepott. Combining the knowledge that he’ll eventually become a massive player in Gotham with the unpredictable, volatile nature of his younger self exemplifies what a prequel can accomplish.1066711-0-q80Gotham really exposes the crux of its issues in the origin story of Bruce Wayne, built around the young orphaned billionaire developing the gumption and skill to investigate his parents’ murder, planting the seeds for his growth into the Caped Crusader. As Gotham grows in it’s first season it becomes fascinating show dealing with the city before Batman came along and as it heads into it’s second season who can truly see the show has found it’s footing and will hopefully be around for sometime to come.

REVIEW: MEN IN BLACK 3

 

CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever)
Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad)
Jemaine Clement (Legion)
Michael Stuhlbarg (Hugo)
Emma Thompson (Junior)
Mike Colter (Luke Cage)
Nicole Scherzinger (Dirty Dancing 2017)
Michael Chernus (Captain Phillips)
David Rasche (Ugly Betty)
Keone Young (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Lenny Venito  (The Neighbors)
Justin Bieber (Zoolander 2)
Lady Gaga (Sin City 2)
Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie
Jada Pinket Smith (Gotham)
Charlie Barnett (Arrow)

In 2012, an alien criminal, Boris the Animal, a Boglodite, escapes from a maximum-security prison on the moon and arrives on Earth, bent on taking revenge on Agent K, who shot off his left arm and captured him in 1969. He confronts K, who is with his partner Agent J, telling him he is “already dead”. J then discovers that K was responsible not only for capturing Boris, but for deploying the “ArcNet”, a shield that prevented the Boglodites from conquering Earth and caused their extinction.Boris travels back in time to kill the young Agent K. With history altered so that K is long-dead, J finds that only his memory has been unaffected, and no one from the Agency understands his obsession with K until Agent O, the new Chief, deduces that there has been a fracture in the space-time continuum. With K out of the picture, the ArcNet was never deployed, and there is nothing to protect the present-day Earth from the Boglodite invasion, so J must travel back in time to stop Boris and save K. Back in 1969, he travels to Coney Island, knowing from the Agency’s records that, in 1969, Boris will commit a murder there.He finds Boris, but is discovered and arrested by 1969 K, who prepares to wipe his memory, but decides at the last minute to investigate J’s claims. K and J follow clues, leading them to a bowling alley, and then to The Factory, where they come across an alien named Griffin, who is in possession of the ArcNet. Griffin, who can see all possible future timelines and outcomes, senses Boris is coming and escapes, but Boris later captures him. J and K pursue and rescue Griffin, acquiring the ArcNet. 1969 Boris escapes and 2012 Boris arrives, and they team up.Upon learning that they must go to Cape Canaveral, Florida and attach the ArcNet to the Apollo 11 rocket so it can be deployed in space, J reveals the real purpose of his mission to K, who initially takes the news badly. The three fly there using jetpacks, and are stopped by military police. Griffin shows a skeptical colonel the future, convincing him of the importance of their mission, and the officer then assists them in reaching the launch site. As the agents climb up the rocket’s launch tower, they are attacked by both 1969 Boris and 2012 Boris.Using his time-travel device, J evades an attack by 2012 Boris and knocks him off one of the launch tower bridges. K shoots off 1969 Boris’s left arm (which restores the timeline), knocking him off the tower as well. The ArcNet is attached and deploys successfully when the rocket launches, with 2012 Boris being incinerated by the rocket’s exhaust. 1969 Boris then attacks K on the beach, but the colonel pushes K down and out of the way, taking the hit himself instead. K then kills Boris (which 2012 K had regretted not doing) instead of arresting him as he originally did. The colonel’s young son inquires about his father, but rather than tell him the truth, K wipes his memory and tells him only that his father is a hero. Observing from afar, J realizes that the young boy is himself, the colonel was his father, that K has actually been watching over him all his life, and was there when the timeline changed, thus explaining why he was the only one who remembered K in the alternate 2012.His mission complete, J returns to 2012, where he thanks K for being his surrogate father. Meanwhile, Griffin observes the moment and is briefly terrified when K almost forgets to tip a waitress, which he knows only occurs in timelines where an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. However, K remembers and leaves a tip and the asteroid hits a satellite and is destroyed.Men in Black 3 is a great adventure of this franchise, with a wonderful story and magnificent special effects. I had low expectations with movie, but I was favorably surprised with a great film.

REVIEW: THE WOMEN (2008)

 

CAST

Meg Ryan (You’ve Got mail)
Annette Bening (American Beauty)
Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Debra Messing (The Wedding Date)
Jada Pinket Smith (Bad Moms)
Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus)
Candice Bergen (Miss Congeniality)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant)
Debi Mazar (Batman Forever)
India Ennenga (The Returned)
Jill Flint (The Night Shift)
Ana Gasteyer (What Women Want)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)

Clothing designer Mary Haines lives in a beautiful suburban Connecticut home with her wealthy financier husband Steven and their 11-year-old daughter Molly. Her best friend since college, Sylvie Fowler, is the editor of a prominent fashion magazine that dictates the latest in taste and style for New York City fashionistas. When Sylvie learns Steven is involved with Crystal Allen, a perfume salesgirl in Saks Fifth Avenue, from chatty manicurist Tanya, she confides in the ever-pregnant Edie Cohen but hesitates to tell Mary, who discovers the news from the same woman after getting a manicure herself. Despite her mother Catherine’s exhortation to keep quiet about what she knows, Mary confronts Crystal first, in a lingerie store, and then Steven, before asking for a divorce.Sylvie, Edie, and writer Alex Fisher join forces to support their spurned friend, but complications arise when Sylvie, facing the loss of her job, conspires with local gossip columnist Bailey Smith by confirming Mary’s marital woes in exchange for Bailey contributing a celebrity profile to the magazine. Mary is stunned by Sylvie’s betrayal and ends their friendship. Mary’s daughter begins to ditch school and confides in Sylvie because her mother, distracted by the upheavals in her once idyllic life, becomes more distant. ary is fired from her job by her father, has a makeover, and decides to open her own clothing design firm with some financial assistance from Catherine. As she begins to get her life in order, she makes an effort to bond with Molly, who reveals her father’s relationship with Crystal is unraveling, and reunites with Sylvie, who has quit her job. With this knowledge in hand, Mary sets out to repair her fractured marriage as she prepares to unveil her new line of womenswear in a fashion show attended not only by boutique owners but the buyer from Saks, as well.Sylvie tells Mary that she has met a guy and is thinking of giving him her real phone number. Edie’s water breaks and she has a baby boy. Mary receives a call from her husband and is encouraged by the others to answer it; she then arranges a date with him. In the end, we see that a magazine titled Sylvie is published with the four friends on the cover and Alex’s book is out. A hint is given about Crystal’s possibly going out with Alex’s ex-girlfriend Natasha. The women talk about the magazine, the book and the joys, heartaches and uniquely special triumphs of being a woman.This film did not fair well at the box office, but look for it to strike a cord and become popular on television. The message of this movie being that one does not need to be in a relationship to feel complete. You can be complete on your own, whether you’re a man or a woman.

REVIEW: THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit)
Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm)
Essie Davis (Game of Thrones)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Harry Lennix (Man of Steel)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Harold Perrineau (Lost)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2 & 3)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
Anthony Zerbe (American Hustle)
Clayton Watson (Under The Radar)
Genevieve O’Reilly (Rogue One)
Bernard White (Kidding)

 

MV5BMTI3NTY4NzEyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjY3MDg3._V1_Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Bane (Ian Bliss) lie unconscious in the medical bay of the ship Hammer. Meanwhile, Neo finds his digital self trapped in a virtual subway station named “Mobil Ave.”, a transition zone between the Matrix and the Machine City. In that subway station, he meets a family of programs, including a girl named Sati (Tanveer K. Atwal), whose father tells Neo the subway is controlled by the Trainman (Bruce Spence), an exiled program loyal to the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). When Neo tries to board a train with the family, the Trainman refuses and overpowers him.
MV5BMTU2MDgxMTM4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTc5OTEzMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1534,1000_AL_Seraph (Collin Chou) contacts Morpheus and Trinity on behalf of the Oracle, who informs them of Neo’s confinement. Seraph, Morpheus and Trinity enter Club Hel, where they confront the Merovingian and force him to release Neo. Troubled by visions of the Machine City, Neo visits the Oracle, who reveals that Smith (Hugo Weaving) intends to destroy both the Matrix and the real world. She states that “everything that has a beginning has an end”, and that the war will conclude. After Neo leaves, a large group of Smiths assimilates Sati, Seraph and the unresisting Oracle, gaining her powers of precognition.
MV5BMTM2NDQ5NjYzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzg3MDg3._V1_In the real world, the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar and the Hammer find and reactivate Niobe’s ship, the Logos. They interrogate Bane, who says that he has no recollection of the earlier massacre. As the captains plan their defense of Zion, Neo requests a ship to travel to the Machine City. Motivated by her encounter with the Oracle, Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) offers him the Logos. Neo departs, accompanied by Trinity. Bane, who has stowed away on the Logos, takes Trinity hostage. Neo realizes that Bane has been assimilated by Smith. Bane cauterizes Neo’s eyes with a power cable, blinding him; however, Neo discovers an ability to perceive the world as golden light. Neo kills Bane, and Trinity pilots them to the Machine City.
MV5BMTk0NDM5NTYyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzE4MDg3._V1_Niobe and Morpheus set out for Zion with the Hammer to aid the human defenses against the Sentinels. In Zion, the fatally wounded Captain Mifune (Nathaniel Lees) instructs Kid (Clayton Watson) to open the gate for the Hammer. When it arrives, it discharges its EMP, disabling the Sentinels but also the remaining defenses. The humans are forced to retreat and wait for the next attack, thinking that it will be their last stand. Near the Machine City, Neo and Trinity are greeted by thousands of missiles which Neo attempts to destroy, but is overwhelmed by their numbers. The Logos is attacked by the Sentinels forcing them to fly above the missiles for a few seconds. They breach the cloud layer and see Earth’s real sky, to which Trinity whispers the word “Beautiful”. Upon descent, they lose control causing them to crash the Logos into the Machine City. The crash kills Trinity. Neo enters the Machine City and encounters “Deus Ex Machina”, the machine leader. Neo, warning that Smith plans to conquer both the Matrix and will soon conquer the Machine City, offers to stop Smith in exchange for peace with Zion. The machine leader agrees, and the Sentinels stop attacking Zion.
MV5BMzgwMzE1MjA5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDc3MDg3._V1_The Machines provide a connection for Neo to enter the Matrix. Inside, Neo finds that Smith has assimilated all its inhabitants. The Smith with the Oracle’s powers steps forth, saying that he has foreseen his victory against Neo. After a protracted battle, Neo is weakened and Smith recognizes this as his moment of success. Smith repeats the Oracle’s message to Neo, “Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo”, Smith immediately becomes confused and senses something wrong (throughout all three movies up to this point Smith has only addressed Neo as “Mr Anderson”). Neo hearing the words realizes he cannot defeat Smith by fighting and allows himself to be assimilated. An energy surge causes the Neo-Smith clone and all other Smith clones in the Matrix to be destroyed and revert to their previous forms; the Smith clone that fought Neo transforms back into the Oracle. The Sentinels withdraw from Zion, Morpheus and Niobe embrace, and Neo is carried away by the machines. The Matrix reboots, and the Architect encounters the Oracle in a park. They agree that the peace will last “as long as it can”, and that all humans will be offered the opportunity to leave the Matrix. The Oracle tells Sati that she thinks they will see Neo again. Seraph asks the Oracle if she knew this would happen; she replies that she did not know, but that she believed.MV5BNGQ2ZWY2MTItOTE0OC00OTRjLWE3ZjktYjQ3NWY2YTliOGIyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTkxNjUyNQ@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,744_AL_Definitely a flawed film and not a worthy conclusion. But don’t worry if you didn’t get it – you are not stupid it’s just not that good

 

REVIEW: THE MATRIX RELOADED

 

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit)
Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm)
Gloria Foster (City of Hope)
Steve Bastoni (Suburban Mayhem)
Essie Davis (Game of Thrones)
David Franklin (Xena)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Harry Lennix (Man of Steel)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Harrold Perrineau (Lost)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
Clayton Watson (Under The Radar)

Anthony Zerbe (American Hustle)

Leigh Whannell (Saw)
Bernard White (Kidding)
Tory Mussett (Boogeyman)

MV5BNzUwNDU5NDgwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjc5OTEzMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1541,1000_AL_Six months after the events of the first film, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are now a couple. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) receives a message from Captain Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) of the Logos calling an emergency meeting of all of Zion’s ships. Zion has confirmed the last transmission of the Osiris: an army of Sentinels is tunneling towards Zion and will reach it within 72 hours. Commander Lock (Harry Lennix) orders all ships to return to Zion to prepare for the onslaught, but Morpheus asks one ship to remain in order to contact the Oracle (Gloria Foster). The Caduceus receives a message from the Oracle, and the Nebuchadnezzar ventures out so Neo can contact her. One of the Caduceus crew, Bane (Ian Bliss), encounters Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who takes over Bane’s avatar. Smith then uses this avatar to leave the Matrix, gaining control of Bane’s real body.MV5BMjQ2MDA5ODU5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODc5OTEzMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1526,1000_AL_In Zion, Morpheus announces the news of the advancing machines to the people. Neo receives a message from the Oracle and returns to the Matrix to meet her bodyguard Seraph (Collin Chou), who then leads him to her. After realizing that the Oracle is part of the Matrix, Neo asks how he can trust her; she replies that it is his decision. The Oracle instructs Neo to reach the Source of the Matrix by finding the Keymaker (Randall Duk Kim), a prisoner of the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). As the Oracle departs, Smith appears, telling Neo that after being defeated, he refused to be deleted, and is now a rogue program. He demonstrates his ability to clone himself using other inhabitants of the Matrix, including other Agents, as hosts. He then tries to absorb Neo as a host, but fails, prompting a battle between Smith’s clones and Neo. Neo manages to defend himself, but is forced to retreat from the increasingly overwhelming numbers.
MV5BMTg4NzUzODA5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTkyNjIxNA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1366,1000_AL_Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity visit the Merovingian and ask for the Keymaker, but the Merovingian refuses. His wife Persephone (Monica Bellucci), seeking revenge on her husband for his infidelity, betrays him and leads the trio to the Keymaker. The Merovingian soon arrives with his men. Morpheus, Trinity and the Keymaker escape, while Neo holds off the Merovingian’s servants. Morpheus and Trinity try to escape with the Keymaker on the freeway, facing several Agents and the Twins, the Merovingian’s chief henchmen. Morpheus defeats the Twins, Trinity escapes, and Neo flies in to save Morpheus and the Keymaker from Agent Johnson. In the real world, Zion’s remaining ships prepare to battle the machines. Within the Matrix, the crews of the Nebuchadnezzar, Vigilant and Logos help the Keymaker and Neo reach the door to the Source.
MV5BMzY5ODgwNDY2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjQzOTcxNA@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_The crew of the Logos must destroy a power plant to prevent a security system from being triggered, and the crew of the Vigilant must destroy a back-up power station. The Logos succeeds, while the Vigilant is bombed by a Sentinel in the real world, killing everyone on board. Although Neo asked Trinity to remain on the Nebuchadnezzar, she enters the Matrix to replace the Vigilant crew and complete their mission. However, her escape is compromised by an Agent, and they fight. As Neo, Morpheus, and the Keymaker try to reach the Source, the Smiths appear and try to kill them. The Keymaker unlocks the door to the Source, allowing Neo and Morpheus to enter and escape from the Smiths, but the Smiths kill the Keymaker while he tries to close the door to the Source. Neo enters a door and meets a program called the Architect, the Matrix’s creator.
MV5BMTU2MDgxMTM4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTc5OTEzMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1534,1000_AL_The Architect explains that Neo is part of the design of the sixth iteration of Matrix, designed to stop the fatal system crash that naturally occurs due to the concept of human choice. As with the five previous Ones, Neo can choose either to return to the Source with his unique code to reboot the Matrix and pick survivors to begin to repopulate the soon-to-be-destroyed Zion, or cause the Matrix to crash and kill everyone connected to it; combined with Zion’s destruction, this would mean mankind’s extinction. Neo learns of Trinity’s situation and chooses to save her instead. As she falls off a building, he flies in and catches her, then by somehow phasing his hand into her body he removes a bullet from her body and restarts her heart. Back in the real world, Sentinels destroy the Nebuchadnezzar. Neo displays a new ability to disable the machines with his thoughts, but falls into a coma from the effort. The crew are picked up by another ship, the Hammer. Its captain, Roland, reveals the other ships were wiped out by the machines after someone activated an EMP too early, and that they found only one survivor afterwards—revealed to be the Smith-possessed Bane.MV5BMTQ3MTczMjE3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDkyNjIxNA@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,884_AL_Four years after its brilliant predecessor this sequel appeared, expanding the Wachowski’s dystopian vision of a future Earth.his nightmare representation of a future dominated by artificial intelligence is still disturbing with CGI effectively used in both the real world and in the dreamworld of the Matrix. The fight for the existence of humankind is effectively presented, but even more intriguing is the struggle between the Oracle and the Architect, powerful computer programmes with opposing aims. Despite lacking the impact of the first movie, this is nevertheless an entertaining adrenaline-filled followup to The Matrix.

REVIEW: COLLATERAL

 

CAST

Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers Assemble)
Peter Berg (Alias)
Bruce McGill (Lincoln)
Barry Shabaka Henley (Heroes)
Debi Mazar (Batman Forever)
Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
Richard T. Jones (Terminator: TSCC)
Jason Statham (Fast & Furious 7)
Emilio Rivera (Venom)
Wade Williams (Gangster Squad)
JoNell Kennedy (Dreamgirls)

MV5BOGE4MmNjYjMtYTM0My00ZGY5LWIwZjQtNDRkZWI4YWI3YjgxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQxOTM1NTc@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_

On a random night in Los Angeles, a cabbie named Max (Jamie Foxx) is parked in front of a building, studying the business card he’s just been given by Annie (Jada Pinkett-Smith). Max and Annie had a brief but intimate conversation about stress and relaxation while he drove her into the city, and even though he didn’t open his mouth in time to get her number, she came back and gave it to him anyway. Max is so distracted, he almost ignores the guy who walks up to his cab and asks to know if he’s on duty, but Max snaps out of it, sticks the card in his window shade where his photograph of the Maldives used to be — the business card might as well be his new mental vacation spot — and calls the guy back before he gets in a different cab.

The man in question is sharply-dressed in a silver suit that matches his hair, carrying a slick, expensive briefcase. His name is Vincent (Tom Cruise), he offers to buy the services of Max’s cab for the rest of the evening, for five stops plus an early-morning drop-off at the airport. Max hesitates, but lets Vincent talk him into it anyway, and doesn’t seem to regret it for fifteen whole minutes before a dead body drops from a window onto the hood of the cab, and it becomes clear almost immediately that Vincent was the cause of death, although he claims otherwise. “You killed him?” Max asks. “No, I shot him,” Vincent replies. “Bullets and the fall killed him.”

Made just over a year before Tom Cruise’s public fall from grace, and back before Jamie Foxx was an acclaimed, Academy Award-winning actor and bona fide movie star. Anyone who missed out on the movie initially will probably go in with an entirely different set of expectations than viewers in 2004, but both then and now it was clear that both of them are at the top of their game, and the sparks that fly between these two performers makes the movie work.