REVIEW: DEADFALL

CAST

Eric Bana (Hulk)
Olivia Wildes (Tron Legacy)
Charlie Hunnam (Crimson Peak)
Kris Kristofferson (Blade)
Alain Goulem (The Moth Diaries)
Allison Graham (Exploding Sun)
Sissy Spacek (Carrie)
Kate Mara (Man Down)
Treat Williams (The Phantom)
Jason Cavalier (Scanners II)

Kris Kristofferson in Deadfall (2012)After a casino heist gone wrong, siblings Addison and Liza go on the run in Michigan. They decide to split up when their driver is fatally injured in a car crash and Addison murders a state trooper responding to the scene. They resolve to cross the U.S.-Canadian border during a blizzard. Meanwhile, after being released prison, former boxer calls his parents, retired sheriff Chet and his wife June, to say he’ll be home for Thanksgiving. He confronts his former coach in Detroit, demanding money owed him. The two get into a fight and Jay, thinking he has killed him and unwilling to return to jail, flees.Charlie Hunnam in Deadfall (2012)Hannah, the sheriff’s deputy, is invited to join Jay’s parents for Thanksgiving dinner. She is treated poorly by her father, Sheriff Becker, who does not want to include her in the hunt for the fugitives. Hannah, who has been accepted to be trained for the FBI, excuses her father’s behavior because of the loss of his wife several years ago. Jay finds a shivering Liza in the road and offers her a ride to the nearest gas station. Meanwhile, wandering in the snow, Addison murders an elderly man — losing a little finger in the struggle — and steals his damaged snowmobile. He is later forced to abandon the snowmobile, but not before cauterizing his wound on the still hot engine.Olivia Wilde in Deadfall (2012)When Jay and Liza stop at a bar during the blizzard, she sneaks back to his truck, finds Jay’s address, and leaves Addison a message to meet her there. A romantic relationship develops between Jay and Liza, who have sex in a motel. Elsewhere, Addison invades a cabin in the woods and kills the abusive father of the family. After dumping the man’s body, he tends to the distraught wife and her children. Hannah is called to investigate the situation in the cabin. Meanwhile, realizing that she has feelings for Jay, Liza calls Addison to say she couldn’t proceed with the plan and that she’ll find another ride. Jay confesses his feelings for her. Liza explains how her brother was her protector from their abusive father, who was killed when they were young. Hannah and two officers reach the cabin. Hannah notices a man’s corpse and tries to warn the officer at the door, but Addison shoots him with a shotgun. Addison flees on a snowmobile with Hannah and the other officer giving chase, and the officer is killed.Eric Bana in Deadfall (2012)Addison arrives at Jay’s house and holds his parents captive. When Liza and Jay arrive for Thanksgiving dinner, Addison pretends at first not to know who Liza is. They eat dinner together. Addison sees Liza act protectively of Jay and his family. Hannah receives a call from a Detroit detective about Jay’s coach, who is recovering from a concussion. She goes to the house and is also taken captive by Addison. Becker finds Addison’s snowmobile at the house, draws a weapon and goes inside. He fires at Addison, but it turns out to be his daughter, Hannah, surreptitiously dressed by Addison in his own jacket. Becker is then shot by Addison. A struggle between Jay and Addison ensues outside. Jay overpowers Addison but releases him when Liza begs him to, reminding Jay that Addison is her brother. Addison points another gun at Jay and challenges Jay to proclaim his love for Liza, which Jay does. Before Addison can decide what to do next, Liza fatally shoots him. Other police arrive to discover Hannah’s life has been saved by a bulletproof vest.This movie is one of the better action thrillers of 2012. It features a fast paced story, breath-taking landscapes and a great finish despite some lukewarm elements in the script. I would suggest you to watch this movie with a lot of concentration to be able to follow all the different story lines and get to know who is who among the elevated number of characters

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REVIEW: MAN DOWN

CAST

Shia LaBeouf (Transformers)
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad)
Clifton Collins, Jr. (Westworld)
Jose Pablo Cantillo (Disturbia)

Clifton Collins Jr., Shia LaBeouf, and Jai Courtney in Man Down (2015)The story transpires in a non-linear fashion, following U.S.Marine Gabriel Drummer in training, in battle in Afghanistan, in counselling in Afghanistan, while searching for his family after returning to a devastated United States and in his final moments as his broken mind returns to reality. Gabriel Drummer is at Camp LeJeune, training as a U.S. Marine. He and wife Natalie have a young son, Jonathan. When Jonathan gets bullied at school after Natalie says “I love you” to him in front of his schoolmates, Gabriel comes up with “man down” as a secret code for “I love you”.Man Down (2015)Gabriel leaves to serve a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Devin Roberts is his best friend since childhood and fellow Marine. Devin stays home for a few extra weeks while recuperating a broken arm. Devin arrives in Afghanistan, where he and Gabriel are “battle buddies, kicking in doors together and taking enemy fire”, further reinforcing their friendship. When their squad is ambushed, Devin is fatally shot and apologizes to Gabriel just before he dies. Gabriel finds a note inside Devins helmet, on which Devin’s password for a video chatting website is written. Gabriel accesses the website and realizes that Natalie cheated on him with Devin. Gabriel is deeply traumatized by the series of events. Still in Afghanistan, he begins mandatory counseling sessions with therapist Captain Peyton, who is concerned about Gabriel’s mental condition. However, Gabriel insists that he is okay and walks out of Peyton’s office.Shia LaBeouf in Man Down (2015)When Gabriel returns home, he finds that his city is devastated. Accompanied (inexplicably – a sign of his break from reality) by Devin as he searches the ruins for Natalie and Jonathan. The two encounter Charles, a civilian trying to survive in the wasteland of the former city. When Gabriel finds that Charles has the envelope from a letter that Gabriel wrote to Jonathan, he and Charles scuffle. In the confusion, Devin accidentally shoots Charles. In the final minutes of the film, events finally sort themselves out for the viewer (but not for Gabriel). Gabriel is again seen returning home, on medical discharge for mental issues, to a perfectly normal city – though he is greeted by Devin, who no one else can see. Natalie is uncertain about his state of mind from the loss of Devin and the loss of his trust in her. We see that Gabriel ends up living on the streets, regularly traumitizing his family and eventually shooting Charles, who was simply another troubled person living on the streets. Brandishing a gun, shooting their dog, a confused Gabriel “rescues” Jonathan from the “ruins” of their home, hiding with him in another “ruined” building (in reality the main floor of his own home), where they are soon surrounded by the police. He strangles (and possibly kills) a policeman and keeps radioing Devin for backup. Natalie comes down the stairs – though Gabriel sees her as the Afghani woman who shot Devin and holds a gun to her head. He suddenly finds clarity and apologizes to Natalie and Jonathan for his confusion just moments before a police sniper shoots him repeatedly.

The screen fades to black, then shows the text:

1 in 5 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are diagnosed with PTSD
200,000 veterans go homeless each night
20 veterans commit suicide every day.Shia LaBeouf and Kate Mara in Man Down (2015)Shia Labeouf’s acting in this movie is absolutely top notch. The story is interesting and it has a good supporting cast, soundtrack and cinematography. I believe it is was of the most underrated and unnoticed movies in recent yars.

REVIEW: IRONCLAD

CAST

James Purefoy (Solomon Kane)
Brian Cox (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Derek Jacobi (Cinderella)
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Jason Flemyng (From Hell)
Jamie Foreman (Sleepy Hollow)
Mackenzie Crook (City of Ember)
Vladimir Kulich (Angel)

Jason Flemyng in Ironclad (2011)A prologue describes how the barons of England, aided by the Knights Templar, fought against tyrannical King John in a war that lasted more than three years. It ended with the King signing the Magna Carta, a document granting rights to all English freemen. King John regrets succumbing to the pressure of the barons to sign the Magna Carta. Soon after, he hires an army of pagan Danish mercenaries under the leadership of a warlord, Captain Tiberius, to restore John’s absolute authority over the kingdom, under the presumption that the Pope has agreed to keep Christian missionaries out of their lands in Denmark.Brian Cox and Paul Giamatti in Ironclad (2011)The Abbot Marcus leads three Templar knights (who have taken vows of silence) on a pilgrimage to Canterbury and they take shelter from the rain at Darnay Castle. One of the knights, Thomas Marshall, is assured by the abbot that Marshall’s release from the Templar Order will be sought at Canterbury. By morning, King John arrives at the castle with his army and mercenaries. Baron Darnay signed the Magna Carta and in retribution John orders him hanged. The Abbot attempts to intervene and the King orders that the abbot’s tongue be cut off. Marshall and the two other knights fight the Danes, during which Marshall escapes the castle on horseback carrying the abbot; the two knights left behind are slain. The abbot dies before night of his wound, and Marshall breaks his vow of silence to swear that his sacrifice will not be in vain.Paul Giamatti in Ironclad (2011)Once he has reached Canterbury, Marshall meets with Archbishop Langton, the author of the Magna Carta, and Baron William d’Aubigny, a former soldier turned wool merchant. Langton reveals that the Pope has sided with King John and that he himself is to be excommunicated for writing the Magna Carta. The three men agree that John must be stopped, and that the place to do so is Rochester Castle, the seat of Baron Cornhill and a strategic stronghold that controls southern England and allows access to London and the rest of the country.Kate Mara in Ironclad (2011)Aubigny persuades three of his men to join him, including his squire, Guy, and a petty criminal named Jedediah, but a fourth turns down the baron’s call to arms. A party of seven finally leaves for Rochester where, on arriving, they discover several Danish mercenaries have already claimed the castle; the fourth man had betrayed them to the king. Aubigny’s party fights and kills the Danes, and then claim Rochester Castle in the name of the rebellion, much to the displeasure of Cornhill. When John’s army finally arrives and lays siege to Rochester, the garrison holds fast and manages to beat the initial Danish assault. In the aftermath, Aubigny offers his men leave if they wish; none accept. A second assault sees the Danes’ siege tower destroyed by a trebuchet crafted by the defenders from within the castle. John’s forces then attempt to starve out the defenders. The Archbishop is informed that Prince Louis is biding his time in France and negotiating with John, and sets off in haste to expedite affairs. As the season turns to winter, the hunger of the castle’s occupants continue; Marshall leaves the castle under cover of night and then returns ahead of his pursuers with food stolen from the Danish camp. The castle morale is bolstered by Marshall’s act and he gives in to the advances of Cornhill’s young wife Isabel, breaking his Templar vows.Vladimir Kulich as Tiberius, Paul Giamatti as King John in Ironclad.The Danish leader, Tiberius, threatened by John to take the castle or risk the King reneging on their bargain, adopts a different approach in his next attack and manages to sneak a small force of men over the walls before dawn to open the castle gates from within. Guy discovers the infiltrators and sounds the alarm, but it is too late. Tiberius leads the charge into the castle grounds while his Danes slaughter the garrison. During the chaos, d’Aubigny is wounded and left behind in the chaos of the retreat. Marshall recovers in time to don his knight’s battle armour and charge the Danes on his war-horse, buying time for the survivors to pull back to the keep. Aubigny is dragged before the King and forced to watch as the hands of two prisoners are chopped off. After a defiant verbal exchange with John, he is subjected to the same fate and then hurled by the castle trebuchet into a keep wall. Cornhill tries to surrender but is stopped; he goes instead upstairs to his bedroom and hangs himself. John’s engineers have been preparing a mine under the keep’s foundation, and they have a herd of pigs brought and put in the mine which is then stoked, set afire and the animal fat used to damage the keep’s foundation, causing it to collapse; as the keep’s walls come down, the final assault begins.IRONCLADThe last defenders are killed except Guy, Isabel and Marshall, the latter knocked unconscious by falling rubble. Guy goes out to die fighting where he encounters Tiberius and is almost killed, until a recovered Marshall intervenes. Tiberius challenges Marshall to single combat, and Marshall triumphs after a long and savage duel. Horns are heard in the distance as the combined English rebel and French army arrives at last, and John and the remaining Danes disperse in panic. Marshall meets Prince Louis and Archbishop Langton at the castle gates; the latter tells him that he is now free of the Templar Order. Acknowledging England’s new king with a nod, Marshall rides off with Isabel, while Guy tells his dead baron that “We held”. The epilogue describes King John’s death during his retreat and the reconstruction of Rochester Castle, and how it, like the Magna Carta, still stands.Overall its not a classic nor will it win awards, but for a couple of hours action based escapism it is certainly worth the effort of watching and is far superior to a number of bigger budget Hollywood contemporaries.

REVIEW: TRANSCENDENCE

 

CAST

Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)
Rebecca Hall (The Gift)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Cole Hauser (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Cory Hardrict (American Sniper)
Falk Hentschel (Legends of Tomorrow)
Josh Stewart (Interstellar)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Lukas Haas (Inception)

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is a scientist who researches the nature of sentience, including artificial intelligence. He and his team work to create a sentient computer; he predicts that such a computer will create a technological singularity, or in his words “Transcendence”. His wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), is also a scientist and helps him with his work.Following one of Will’s presentations, an anti-technology terrorist group called “Revolutionary Independence From Technology” (R.I.F.T.) shoots Will with a polonium-laced bullet and carries out a series of synchronized attacks on A.I. laboratories across the country. Will is given no more than a month to live. In desperation, Evelyn comes up with a plan to upload Will’s consciousness into the quantum computer that the project has developed. His best friend and fellow researcher, Max Waters (Paul Bettany), questions the wisdom of this choice, reasoning that the “uploaded” Will would be only an imitation of the real person. Will’s consciousness survives his body’s death in this technological form and requests to be connected to the Internet to grow in capability and knowledge. Max refuses to have any part of the experiment. Evelyn demands that Max leave and connects the computer intelligence to the Internet via satellite.R.I.F.T.’s leader Bree (Kate Mara) kidnaps Max and eventually persuades him to join the group. The government is also suspicious of what Will’s uploaded consciousness will do and plans to use the terrorists to take the blame for the government’s actions to stop him. In his virtual form and with Evelyn’s help, Will uses his new-found vast capabilities to build a technological utopia in a remote desert town called Brightwood, where he spearheads the development of ground-breaking technologies in medicine, energy, biology, and nanotechnology. Evelyn, however, grows fearful of Will’s motives when he displays the ability to remotely connect to and control people’s minds after they have been subjected to his nano-particles.FBI agent Donald Buchanan (Cillian Murphy), with the help of government scientist Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman), plans to stop the sentient entity from spreading. As Will has already spread his influence to all the networked computer technology in the world, Max and R.I.F.T. develop a computer virus with the purpose of deleting Will’s source code, destroying him. Evelyn plans to upload the virus by infecting herself and then having Will upload her consciousness. A side effect of the virus would be the destruction of technological civilization. This would also disable the nano-particles, which have spread in the water, through the wind and have already started to eradicate pollution, disease, and human mortality.When Evelyn goes back to the research center, she is stunned to see Will in a newly created organic body identical to his old one. Will welcomes her but is instantly aware that she is carrying the virus and intends to destroy him. The FBI and the members of R.I.F.T. attack the base with artillery, destroying much of its power supply and fatally wounding Evelyn. When Bree threatens to kill Max unless Will uploads the virus, Will explains that he has only enough power either to heal Evelyn’s physical body or upload the virus. Evelyn tells Will that Max should not die because of what they’ve done, so Will uploads the virus to save Max. As Will dies, he explains to Evelyn that he did what he did for her, as she had pursued science to repair the damage humans had done to the ecosystems. In their last moment, he tells Evelyn to think about their garden. The virus kills both Will and Evelyn, and a global technology collapse and blackout ensues.Five years later, in Will and Evelyn’s garden at their old home in Berkeley, Max notices that their sunflowers are the only blooming plants. Upon closer examination, he notices that a drop of water falling from a sunflower petal instantly cleanses a puddle of oil — and realizes that the Faraday cage around the garden has protected a sample of Will’s sentient nano-particles, potentially saving Will and Evelyn and providing a solution to the worldwide blackout. The movie ends with the monologue, “He created this garden for the same reason he did everything. So they could be together.”If you love thoughts provoking movie which leave you with a lot of thinking, you will definitely like this movie.

REVIEW: URBAN LEGENDS 3: BLOODY MARY

Image result for urban legends: bloody mary

CAST

Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Robert VIto (My Best Friend’s Wife)
Tina Lifford (Queen Sugar)
Ed Marino (Sisters)
Michawl Coe (Everwood)
Lillith Fields (Dead Noon)
Olesya Rulin (Powers)
Rooney Mara (Side Effects)

Image result for urban legends: bloody maryOn November 5, 1969, three high school footballers tried to drug and kidnap their prom night dates. Their plan works with two of the girls but the third, Mary Banner (Lillith Fields), tries to escape. The football captain chases her into a storage room and punches her, knocking her out. Unable to revive her nor able to hear her heartbeat, he believes Mary to be dead. Panicking, he locks her body in an old trunk. Thirty-five years later, this story is told among three school girls during a sleep over. One of them, Samantha (Kate Mara), had written an article in the school paper critical of football players’ academic achievements and subsequently she, her friends, and her brother David (Robert Vito) are treated as outcasts by the rest of the school. They also jokingly conjure up Bloody Mary and the next morning all three are gone. After having been missing for one day, they reappear, waking up in an old deserted mill, with no knowledge of how they got there. While most suspect a hoax on the girls’ part, Samantha and David suspects that it is a prank by football players.Image result for urban legends: bloody maryWhile Samantha is haunted by visions of a dead girl bleeding from her head, several pupils die under mysterious circumstances resembling urban legends; for example, football player Roger (Brandon Sacks) burns in a sunbed, Heather (Audra Lea Keener), girlfriend to football captain Buck (Michael Gregory Coe), has spiders erupting from a swelling on her cheek, driving her to cut her face with a mirror, and football player, Tom (Nate Herd), is electrocuted while urinating on an old electrical fence, his ring finger being bitten or cut off. Buck blames these deaths on the Owens siblings. Before her death, Heather made up with Samantha and tried to tell her that this happened before. In her homework, Samantha finds notes sent to Heather about the disappearance of Mary Banner and the homecoming kidnappings of 1969, as well as notes referencing the events of the previous films. Browsing the school paper’s archives, they find out that Mary was never found, that another victim committed suicide years later and that the third, Grace Taylor (Tina Lifford), still lives in town.Image result for urban legends: bloody mary
They visit Grace, who claims that Mary, or rather, her “life force”, is exacting revenge on the children of the five people involved in the kidnappings but cannot (or will not) reveal the names of the perpetrators. While Samantha is prone to believe her, David remains skeptical and thinks that Grace is the killer. While sneaking around in Grace’s house, he also found out that Grace produced or collected artwork on Urban Legend and identifies Grace as the originator of the notes sent to Heather. The siblings go to warn Buck, who admits that he and his mates orchestrated Samantha’s disappearance and blames her for the death of his friends. He also reveals that his father, the football coach, was one of the kidnappers in 1969 but did not hurt Mary. Samantha, however, suspects that the coach was the one that killed Mary as she saw him put flowers on her headstone earlier. Her stepfather, who overheard her, tells her to reveal any solid evidence she has.Image result for urban legends: bloody maryMeanwhile, an upset Buck tries to relax by drinking and watching movie in a motel. Falling asleep, he wakes up from hearing a dripping sound and discovers the corpse of his dog. He is attacked by Mary, who crawls out from under his bed and kills him with his broken bottle. Different rumours about his death are spread immediately. Both siblings are trying to find clues about the fifth remaining perpetrator; Samantha by browsing through old photographs, David by visiting Grace again. Grace still refuses to reveal the names but directs him to the school archives. Going through the archives, he finds out the identity of the fifth person and rushes home, but finds Sam gone and is suffocated by a hooded man. Samantha meanwhile has visions of Mary again, revealing that the girl was not dead when she was locked in the trunk. and that she later awoke, realizing she was buried alive. The visions also reveal to Sam the whereabouts of the trunk.Sam visits Grace, who tells her to find and bury Mary’s corpse and reluctantly agrees to drive Samantha to the school. While Grace is waiting in the van, Samantha finds the storage room and the trunk with Mary’s corpse in it. The hooded man also appears and enters the storage room but Samantha locks him inside while carrying Mary’s remains outside to the van.Image result for urban legends: bloody maryFinding Grace unconscious, Samantha drives the van to the cemetery, where she begins to dig a grave for Mary under her headstone. Her stepfather, whom Samantha had phoned, also appears and helps her digging but suddenly hits her with the shovel. Suddenly Grace intervenes and tries to fight off Mr. Owens (giving Sam a chance to run) but he eventually knocks Grace out with the shovel. Pursuing his stepdaughter through the graveyard, Bill Owens (Ed Marinaro) reveals that he was the one that locked Mary in the trunk and that he also killed his stepson (Sam’s brother), David. He finally captured her and is about to decapitate her when Mary, in her living form, appears. Smiling towards Samantha, she kisses him, then reverts to her ghastly form and drags him with her into the grave. When Samantha wakes up, the grave is surrounded by police and medical personnel retrieving her stepfather’s corpse. She and Grace are bandaged and treated for their wounds, and sitting together, console one another. It is announced that Bill Owens has died of a heart attack while trying to dispose Mary Banner’s remains.Image result for urban legends: bloody maryI enjoyed the film, was slightly grossed out at parts, I think it’s at least a semi-faithful portrayal of one of the modern variations of the legend, and it’s rather satisfying to finally “see” Mary in some form.  If you’re a big horror film fan, it’s definitely worth buying.

REVIEW: THE MARTIAN

MAIN CAST
Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity)
Jessica Chastain (Interstellar)
Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
Jeff Daniels (Allegiant)
Michael Peña (Fury)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Sebastian Stan (Captain America)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)
The crew of the Ares III manned mission to Mars is exploring the Acidalia Planitia on Martian solar day (sol) 18 of their 31-sol expedition. An unexpectedly strong dust storm threatens to topple their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), forcing them to hastily leave the planet. During the evacuation, astronaut Mark Watney is struck by debris and lost in the storm; the last telemetry from his suit indicates no signs of life. With the remaining crew in peril, mission commander Melissa Lewis gives the order to launch to return to their orbiting vessel Hermes without him.
Watney awakens after the storm to a low oxygen warning and makes his way to the “Hab”, the crew’s base of operations. He removes a piece of antenna from his torso and suit’s biomonitor, which caused the erroneous life-sign readings, and begins a video diary. He realizes that his only chance of rescue is the arrival of the Ares IV crew at the Schiaparelli crater, 3,200 kilometers away, in four years. Calculating that he has enough food to last only 300 sols (roughly 309 days), Watney, a botanist, improvises a farm with Martian soil fertilized with human waste, water produced by extracting hydrogen from leftover rocket fuel then oxidized by burning, and potatoes saved for a Thanksgiving meal. He begins to modify the only functional rover to make long journeys across Mars.
Reviewing satellite photos of Mars, mission director Vincent Kapoor and satellite planner Mindy Park realize Watney has survived. Despite the objections of Hermes flight director Mitch Henderson, NASA administrator Teddy Sanders decides not to inform the Ares III crew, believing it would distract them from their mission. Watney takes the rover to retrieve the Pathfinder probe, which fell silent in 1997. Using the lander’s camera, he establishes rudimentary communication with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team. NASA instructs Watney to modify the rover to link with Pathfinder so they can communicate via text. Watney becomes angry when he learns that the crew has not been told of his survival, and Sanders authorizes Henderson to inform them.
Henderson and JPL director Bruce Ng formulate a plan to send a space probe to Mars and resupply Watney with enough food to survive until Ares IV’s arrival. When the Hab’s airlock malfunctions and explosively decompresses, destroying Watney’s crop, Sanders orders the team to speed up the supply mission by skipping the safety inspections. The supply probe explodes shortly after liftoff. The China National Space Administration offers NASA the Taiyang Shen, a classified booster that can carry a payload to Mars. Meanwhile, JPL astrodynamicist Rich Purnell devises a trajectory to send Hermes back to Mars more quickly, using the Chinese booster to instead resupply it for an additional eighteen months. Sanders rejects the plan, refusing to risk the crew, but Henderson surreptitiously sends the details to Hermes. Lewis and her crew vote unanimously to execute the plan, and NASA—powerless to stop them—proceeds with the resupply as Hermes flies by Earth, using its gravity to slingshot them back to Mars.
After 461 sols, Watney begins the 90-sol journey to Schiaparelli, where the MAV for the Ares IV mission has been prepositioned. To rendezvous with Hermes, Watney makes drastic modifications to reduce the MAV’s mass, removing equipment including the windows, nose cone, and exterior panels. With Watney on board the gutted MAV, the Hermes crew launches it remotely, but it does not reach the planned speed and altitude. Lewis has Hermes use its maneuvering thrusters to change course and explosive decompression of its own internal atmosphere to adjust its speed. When even that is not enough, Lewis uses a Manned Maneuvering Unit to approach Watney’s vessel, but still cannot reach him. Watney pierces the glove of his pressure suit and uses the escaping air as a miniature thruster to reach Lewis. The crew is reunited, as crowds around the world cheer the news. After returning to Earth, Watney begins a new life as a
Playing an astronaut abandoned on the desolate surface of Mars after being presumed dead, Damon must do all he can to endure the martian environment, supported by some stunning cinematography and fantastic visual effects, ‘The Martian’ is able to blend humour and emotion within it’s dramatic plot of survival. Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, just a few big names that support Damon wonderfully. If you are a fan of ‘Interstellar’ or any other science fiction survival tale or even some of Scott’s previous sci-fi adventures, then this is one to definitely add to your watch list.

REVIEW: FANTASTIC FOUR (2015)

CAST
Miles Teller (Divergent)
Michael B. Jordan (Creed)
Kate Mara (Iron Man 2)
Jamie Bell (King Kong)
Toby Kebbell (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Reg E.Cathey (Seven)
Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Friends Reed Richards and Ben Grimm have worked together on a prototype teleporter since childhood, eventually attracting the attention of Professor Franklin Storm, director of the Baxter Foundation, a government-sponsored research institute for young prodigies. Reed is recruited to join them and aid Storm’s children, scientist Sue Storm and the somewhat reckless technician Johnny Storm, into completing a “Quantum Gate” designed by Storm’s wayward protégé, Victor von Doom, who begrudgingly agrees to help due to his unrequited feelings for Sue.
The experiment is successful, and the facility’s supervisor, Dr. Allen, plans to send a group from NASA to venture into a parallel dimension known as “Planet Zero”. Disappointed at being denied the chance to join the expedition, Reed, Johnny, and Victor along with Ben use the Quantum Gate to embark on an unsanctioned voyage to Planet Zero, which they learn is a world filled with otherworldly substances. Victor attempts to touch the green-lava like substance, causing the surface they are on to collapse and the ground to erupt. Reed, Johnny, and Ben return to their shuttle just as Sue brings them back to Earth. Victor is left behind after he falls into the collapsing landscape. The machine explodes, altering Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben on a molecular-genetic level, affording them superhuman conditions and abilities beyond their control: Reed can stretch like rubber, Sue can become invisible and generate force fields of energy, Johnny can engulf his entire body in flames and fly, and Ben becomes bigger and develops a rock-like hide which gives him enhanced strength and durability. They are then placed in government custody and confinement to be studied and have their conditions and abilities tested. Blaming himself for the accident, Reed escapes from the facility and tries to find a cure for their changes.
One year later, Reed is now a fugitive and has built a suit that is able to adapt to his body’s plasticity and also helps him control his ability. Hiding in Central America, he is eventually found by the United States military with Sue’s help and captured by Ben, who has become a military asset along with Johnny and Sue. Johnny and Sue have been outfitted with specialized suits designed to help them stabilize and control their abilities. Reed is brought to Area 57, where Dr. Allen conscripts him to open another portal to Planet Zero in exchange for giving Reed the necessary resources to find a cure. Arriving in Planet Zero, Dr. Allen’s explorers find Victor, who has been fused to his spacesuit and can now control the elements, as well as having telekinetic abilities, and bring him back to Earth. Believing the human race needs to be destroyed so he can rebuild Planet Zero in his image, Victor kills scientists and soldiers in the base including Dr. Allen and Professor Storm and returns to Planet Zero using the Quantum Gate, with Ben, Johnny, Reed, and Sue in pursuit.
Now dubbing himself “Doom”, Victor activates a portal on Planet Zero using a structure he made while in the realm, that begins consuming the landscape of the Earth. He is confronted by the four and, after a destructive battle, Ben punches Doom into the portal’s energy beam, disintegrating him, while Johnny closes the portal. Returning to Earth, the group is rewarded for their heroics by being given a new base of operations by the US military. They decide to use their powers to help people and adopt the mantle of the “Fantastic Four”.

It’s certainly different from the comics, so if you go into it with an open mind you may find a better experience than if you want it to remain the same. It’s inventive, there’s an engaging cast, the Marco Beltrami/Philip Glass score is wonderful, but ultimately it goes against a lot of the superhero conventions. The big action setpieces had to be scrapped due to budgetary concerns and it shows. It’s a slow moving film but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out. It’s notably darker with some elements of Cronenberg-esque body horror, yet it still has elements of humour and the ending isn’t really that bad. Some aspects could have been developed better and some of the reshoots are laughably bad – like with Reed asking Sue if she’s adopted. But it’s definitely worth watching even just to see what aspects didn’t work so well or to see the elements that do work. Because the elements that work are really gripping, and it’s very interesting to see superheroes reduced to test subjects in Area 57 and government stooges. It’s just unfortunate the good elements are often only glimpses. But if you can put up with that it’s a nice contrast to Marvel Studios’ output.