REVIEW: BUMBLEBEE

 

Starring

Hailee Steinfeld (Barely Lethal)
John Cena (Sisters)
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Alita: Battle Angel)
John Ortiz (Kong: Skull Island)
Jason Drucker (Every Witch Way)
Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
Stephen Schneider (Chasing Life)
Glynn Turman (House of Lies)
Len Cariou (News Movie)
Gracie Dzienny (Zoo)
Ricardo Hoyos (Degrassi: Next Class)
Megyn Price (The Ranch)
Edwin Hodge (The Purge)
Dylan O’Brien (American Assassin)
Angela Bassett (Black Panther)
Justin Theroux (Maniac)
Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
David Sobolov (The Flash)
Grey Griffin (Paradise PD)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)

Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee (2018)On the planet Cybertron, the Autobot resistance, led by Optimus Prime, is on the verge of losing the civil war against the Decepticons and prepare to evacuate the planet. A Decepticon force, including an army of Seekers, led by Soundwave, Starscream, and Shockwave, intercepts them during the evacuation, and Optimus sends Autobot scout B-127 to Earth on an escape pod in order to set up a base of operations where the Autobots can regroup. B-127 reaches Earth alone, crash-landing in California and disrupting a training exercise by Sector 7, a secret government agency that monitors extraterrestrial activity on Earth.John Cena in Bumblebee (2018)Colonel Jack Burns presumes B-127 to be a hostile invader and pursues him. B-127 scans a Willys MB jeep and flees to a mine, where Blitzwing, a Decepticon Seeker, ambushes him. When B-127 refuses to reveal Optimus’s whereabouts, Blitzwing tears out his voice box and damages his memory core; despite this, B-127 stabs and destroys Blitzwing with one of his own missiles. B-127 flees from the soldiers, scans a nearby 1967 Volkswagen Beetle and collapses from his injuries.Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee (2018)In 1987, teenager Charlie Watson remains traumatized by the death of her father, and resentful of her mother Sally for moving on too quickly with a new boyfriend named Ron. Charlie finds a yellow Volkswagen Beetle (which is actually B-127) in a scrapyard belonging to Hank, who gives it to her as an 18th birthday present. When trying to start it, Charlie unknowingly activates a homing signal that is detected by Decepticons Shatter and Dropkick as they interrogate and execute the Autobot Cliffjumper on one of Saturn’s moons. The pair heads to Earth, where they adapt Earth vehicle forms and pretend to be peacekeepers, persuading Dr. Powell and the rest of Sector 7, despite Burns’s disagreement, to help them find and capture B-127, whom they claim is a fugitive and a traitor.Bumblebee (2018)While Charlie attempts to fix the Beetle, it transforms into B-127, whom she befriends and nicknames “Bumblebee”. She then unknowingly unlocks a message from Optimus urging Bumblebee to defend Earth in their absence, which restores some of his memories. Bumblebee begins to speak using songs. He is discovered by Charlie’s neighbor Memo, who agrees to protect their secret due to his feelings for Charlie. Left alone, Bumblebee accidentally destroys Charlie’s home and causes an energy spike that attracts Sector 7’s attention. When Sally blames Charlie for the destruction, Charlie finally expresses her pain over her father’s death and angrily leaves with Bumblebee and Memo, only to be intercepted by Sector 7 and the Decepticons. Bumblebee is captured while Charlie and Memo are returned home.John Cena in Bumblebee (2018)Charlie convinces her brother Otis to cover for her and Memo as they follow Burns to the Sector 7 outpost where Bumblebee is being held. Shatter and Dropkick torture Bumblebee into revealing the Autobots’ whereabouts, discovering that the Autobots are coming to Earth. They leave him for dead after revealing their plan to bring the Decepticons to Earth. After alerting Burns to the truth about the Decepticons, Dr. Powell is killed by Dropkick.Bumblebee (2018)Charlie electroshocks Bumblebee back to life, restoring his memories. After fighting past Burns’ obstruction and attempt to re-secure Bumblebee with the help of Memo, Sally, Ron, and Otis, Charlie and Bumblebee set out to prevent Shatter and Dropkick from contacting the Decepticons using a radio tower at a nearby harbor. Burns also intervenes and defends Charlie. His helicopter is shot down by Shatter, but Burns is saved by Bumblebee. While Bumblebee fights Dropkick, he binds him with a chain, entangling his systems when he transforms, and Bumblebee rips him apart. Charlie deactivates the Decepticon beacon, causing an enraged Shatter to pursue her. Bumblebee destroys a dam wall, triggering a flood that causes a cargo ship to crush Shatter into the docks, killing her.Bumblebee (2018)Burns, having a change of heart and grateful towards Bumblebee, gives him and Charlie time to escape before the army arrives, having yet to convince them that Bumblebee is not the enemy. Charlie and Bumblebee arrive on a cliff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, where Charlie, realizing that Bumblebee has a greater purpose on Earth, says goodbye. Bumblebee scans a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, transforms into a yellow version of it, and drives away, and Charlie reunites with her family and Memo. Using his new name, Bumblebee reunites with Optimus Prime. Prime praises Bumblebee for keeping Earth safe as they watch more Autobots arrive through Earth’s atmosphere. Meanwhile, Charlie finally finishes repairing the Corvette she and her father were working on, and drives off into the sunset.Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee (2018)This by far is the best Transformers movie yet. It has great characters, a decent storyline, and the fight scenes between the Autobots and the Decepticons were fantastic. Even John Cena isn’t bad in this movie. I highly recommend this to any who is a fan of the Transformers.

REVIEW: THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX

CAST

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Jupiter Ascending)
David Oyelowo (Jack Reacher)
Daniel Brühl (Rush)
John Ortiz (Kong: Skull Island)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Aksel Hennie (Hercules)
Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying Daggers)
Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Simon Pegg (Mission Possible: Rogue Nation)
Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys and a Girl)

 

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)In the near future, Earth is suffering from a global energy crisis. The collective space agencies of the world prepare to launch the Cloverfield Station for testing of the Shepard particle accelerator, which would provide Earth with infinite energy if it works, but pundits fear it will create the “Cloverfield Paradox”, opening portals to other dimensions and allow horrors from those to threaten Earth. Among the crew is Ava Hamilton, who frets about leaving her husband Michael, a doctor, for potentially many years. The two struggle with their relationship after losing their children to a house fire.John Ortiz, David Oyelowo, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)In orbit, the station crew fail to achieve success with Shepard for about two years but eventually achieve a seemingly-stable beam, but it then overloads and creates a power surge on the station. After restoring basic power, they find Earth has vanished from their view, along with the gyroscope that aids in navigation. As the crew work to repair the ship, strange events begin to occur. They rescue a woman, Jensen, fused with wires behind a panel. Volkov fears something crawling beneath his skin before he is compelled to craft a gun; before he can threaten the crew, his body convulses and ruptures, revealing the station’s colony of worms within him. Mundy’s arm gets pulled into a wall, and then severed clean off; they later find the arm moving on its own volition, and when they recognize that it is try to write something, they are led to dissect Volkov’s body and locate the missing gyroscope. They quickly discover Earth and realign their communications, but pick up mistaken transmissions that state that Cloverfield Station had been destroyed and fallen to Earth.Chris O'Dowd in The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)They speak to Jensen and discover they are in an alternate dimension. In this one, Hamilton’s children had not died and she stayed on Earth as a civilian engineer, while Jensen had replaced Tam as the station’s engineer. They suspect that the Shepard device caused them to move into the new dimension, and reactivating Shepard will reverse that; Tam works out a means to then make Shepard work properly, but she is killed in a freak accident. The crew start working on repairs, while Hamilton decides to return with Jensen to Earth to be with her kids. As they prepare, Mundy is killed in an explosion caused by a strange magnetic field, which nearly tears the station in half. The station commander Kiel sacrifices himself to disengage a wildly-spinning accelerator ring from the station before it is destroyed, leaving Hamilton in charge.Gugu Mbatha-Raw in The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)Meanwhile, on Earth, Michael wakes up to discover a number of strange events happening across the planet, including witnessing the silhouette of a giant monster. On his way to offer his assistance at the local hospital, he stops to help a young girl named Molly. After learning that the hospital has been destroyed, he takes Molly to an underground shelter belonging to a friend and tends to her wounds.Daniel Brühl and Ziyi Zhang in The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)With Shepard ready to activate, Hamilton and Jensen prepare to leave, but Jensen suddenly knocks her out, uses the gun Volkov made to kill Monk and wound Schmidt, and insists that the station must stay in this dimension so they have access to the Shepard device. Regaining consciousness, Hamilton overpowers Jensen for the gun and shoots out a window, ejecting Jensen into space. Hamilton decides to return to their dimension with Schimdt, but makes a recording to herself in the alternate dimension, giving her the plans for the Shepard device, and stressing the importance of her family. Hamilton and Schimdt successfully reverse the dimension shift, and then make Tam’s modifications to engage Shepard properly to provide the energy source. The two, after reporting in, are then forced to evacuate, since they had sacrificed their life support systems to make the return trip to their dimension. As the evacuation shuttle breaks through the earth’s atmosphere, a giant monster comes up roaring through the clouds.Cloverfield is becoming a great outlet to tell really good Sci-Fi stories. Some of the best we have seen in a long time. Paradox adds to the mythos while also being its own movie. I can see from many of the reviews that this is not for everyone, I get that, but you can’t come in to these movies looking for answers, that’s not how the Cloverfield movies work. They present themselves and leave us to draw conclusions based on what we witnessed. An excellent addition to the Cloverfield franchise.

 

REVIEW: PUBLIC ENEMIES

CAST

Christian Bale (Batman Begins)
Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows)
Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Jason Clarke (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Christian Solte (Road To Perdition)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe)
Carey Mulligan (Wall Street 2)
Emilie De Ravin (Roswell)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
Lili Taylor (The Conjuring)
Matt Craven (Timeline)
Leelee Sobieski (Roadkill)
Rory Cochrane (Argo)
Casey Siemaszko (Young Guns)
John Ortiz (Fast & Furious)
Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe)

After killing Charles Floyd (Channing Tatum), FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) is promoted by J. Edgar Hoover (Crudup) to lead the hunt for bank robber John Dillinger (Depp). Purvis shares Hoover’s belief in using scientific methods to battle crime, ranging from cataloging fingerprints to tapping telephone lines.
In between a series of bank robberies, Dillinger meets Billie Frechette (Cotillard) at a restaurant and woos her by buying her a fur coat. Frechette falls for Dillinger even after he reveals his identity, and the two become inseparable.
Purvis leads a failed ambush at a hotel where he believes Dillinger is staying, and an agent is killed by Baby Face Nelson (Graham), who escapes with Tommy Caroll (Garrett). Purvis requests that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive, including Texan Charles Winstead (Lang).
Police arrest Dillinger and his gang in Tucson, Arizona, after a fire breaks out at the Hotel Congress, where they are staying. Dillinger is extradited to Indiana, where Sheriff Lillian Holley (Taylor) has him locked up in the Lake County Jail in Crown Point. Dillinger and other inmates use a fake gun to escape. Dillinger is unable to see Frechette, who is under tight surveillance. Dillinger learns that Frank Nitti’s (Camp) associates are unwilling to help because his crimes are motivating the FBI to prosecute interstate crime, which imperils Nitti’s bookmaking racket, thus severing his connections with the Mafia.
Carroll goads Dillinger into robbing a bank in Sioux Falls with Baby Face Nelson. During their escape, both Dillinger and Carroll are shot, and they have to leave Carroll behind. The group retreats to the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin and realize their haul is significantly less than Nelson said it would be. Dillinger hopes he can free the rest of his gang from prison, including Pierpont (Wenham) and Makley (Stolte), but Red Hamilton (Clarke) convinces him this is unlikely.
Purvis and his men apprehend Carroll and torture him to learn the gang’s location. Purvis organizes an ambush at Little Bohemia. Dillinger and Hamilton escape separately from the rest of the gang. Agents Winstead and Hurt (Frye) pursue Dillinger and Hamilton through the woods, engaging in a gunfight in which Hamilton is fatally wounded. Trying to escape, Nelson, Shouse, and Van Meter hijack a Bureau car, killing Purvis’ partner Carter Baum (Cochrane) in the process. After a car chase, Purvis and his men kill Nelson and the rest of the gang. Hamilton dies that night. Dillinger meets Frechette, telling her he plans to commit one more robbery that will pay enough for them to escape together. When Dillinger drops her off at a tavern he thinks is safe, she is arrested. Frechette is beaten during interrogation to learn Dillinger’s whereabouts, which she does not reveal; Purvis and Winstead eventually arrive and intervene. Dillinger agrees to participate in a train robbery with Alvin Karpis (Ribisi) and the Barker Gang, intending to flee the country the next day. He receives a note from Billie through her lawyer, Louis Piquett (Gerety), telling him not to try to break her out of jail.
Through Zarkovich, Purvis enlists the help of madam and Dillinger acquaintance Anna Sage (Katić), threatening her with deportation if she does not cooperate. She agrees to set up Dillinger, who she believes will come to hide out with her. Dillinger and Sage see Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph Theater. After the film, Purvis signals other agents upon seeing them leave. Dillinger spots the police but is shot before he can draw his gun. Winstead listens to Dillinger’s last words. Purvis goes to inform Hoover of Dillinger’s death. Winstead tells Frechette, still incarcerated, that he thinks Dillinger’s dying words were, “Tell Billie for me, ‘Bye bye Blackbird'”. Billie sheds a tear – ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ was the song the houseband was playing when Billie and Dillinger first met each other and danced together in a dinner-club. The closing text reveals that Melvin Purvis quit the FBI in 1935 and died by his own hand in 1960, and that Billie lived out the rest of her life in Wisconsin following her release in 1936.
 Depp at his best. Not too be underrated,  A really enjoyable film.