31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: SCREAM 3

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl)
Heather Matarazzo (The Princvess Diaries)
Beth Toussaint (Red Eye)
Richamond Arquette (Zodiac)
Patrick Dempsey (Transformers 3)
Scott Foley (Felicity)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men)
Emily Mortimer (Hugo)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Kevin Smith (Mallrats)
Jason Mewes (Dogma)

Jenny-McCarthy-Scream-3Three years after the events of the previous film, Cotton Weary, now living in Los Angeles and the host of a nationally syndicated television show, 100% Cotton, is called by Ghostface, who demands the whereabouts of Sidney Prescott, who has gone into hiding ever since the Windsor College murders. Cotton refuses to cooperate, and when Ghostface comes to his home, Cotton and his girlfriend Christine are murdered.S3Detective Mark Kincaid contacts Gale Weathers to discuss the murders, prompting her to travel to Hollywood, where she finds Dewey Riley working as an adviser on the set of Stab 3, the third film in the film within a film series based on the Ghostface murders. Using a voice changer as a ruse, Ghostface kills Stab 3 actress Sarah Darling. Meanwhile, Sidney is now living in seclusion as a crisis counselor for an abused women’s hotline, as she is fearful that another killer may strike. Having discovered Sidney’s number, the killer begins taunting her by phone, forcing her out of hiding and drawing her to Hollywood. As the remaining Stab 3 cast, along with Dewey and Gale, gather at the home of Jennifer Jolie, Ghostface murders her bodyguard and uses a gas leak to cause an explosion, killing fellow actor Tom Prinze in the process. Martha Meeks, the sister of Sidney’s deceased friend Randy, visits Sidney and the others to drop off a videotape that Randy had made before his death, posthumously warning them that the rules of a horror film franchise in the third and final film do not apply to anyone, and that any of them, including the main character (Sidney), could die.scream-3-campbellDewey, Gale, Jennifer, and the remaining Stab 3 actors, Angelina and Tyson, attend a birthday party for Stab 3’s director Roman Bridger, where Ghostface strikes. Gale discovers Roman’s seemingly dead body in the basement. Angelina, refusing to stick with Gale and Jennifer, wanders off alone before she is murdered. Tyson attempts to fight Ghostface but the killer manages to wound him before throwing him off a balcony to his death. Jennifer tries to escape through a secret passage, but Ghostface kills her. The killer then orders Sidney to the mansion to save Gale and Dewey, who are being held hostage. When she arrives, Ghostface forces Sidney to remove her firearm and lures her inside, as Gale and Dewey are bound and gagged with duct tape. As Sidney is untying Gale and Dewey, Ghostface appears, though Sidney gains the upper hand using a second hidden gun to fight off Ghostface. Detective Kincaid shows up but is knocked unconscious by Ghostface.scream-DI-3Sidney flees and hides in a secret screening room where she encounters Ghostface. He reveals himself as Roman, having faked his death and survived being shot due to a bulletproof vest. Roman admits to being Sidney’s half-brother, born to their mother Maureen Prescott when she was an actress in Hollywood. Years ago, he had unsuccessfully tried reuniting with her. Bitter over the rejection, Roman would film all the men she philandered with. He showed Billy Loomis the footage of his father with Maureen, which motivated him to kill her (thus setting off the events in Scream and Scream 2). However, when he discovered how much fame Sidney had attracted due to those events, Roman snapped and lured Sidney out of hiding.Roman then tells Sidney of his plan to frame her for the murders, before killing Stab producer John Milton. Sidney angrily tells Roman that he is responsible for all of the events that have occurred. A fight ensues between Sidney and Roman, ending when Roman shoots Sidney in the chest, seemingly killing her. While preparing for Gale and Dewey to arrive, Sidney disappears, giving her the upper hand to stab Roman in the back. As he slowly dies, Sidney shows him that she too was wearing a bulletproof vest. She then plunges Roman’s knife into his chest, apparently killing him. Dewey and Gale arrive before Roman recovers, only for Dewey to finally kill him. Sometime after, Dewey proposes to Gale, who accepts. Sidney arrives back at her home and is invited to join Dewey, Gale, and Detective Kincaid to watch a movie. As she goes to join the others, a door behind her opens, but she walks away leaving it as is, finally confident that the murders have ended and she is now safe.The suspense of the film is quite good and the audience is continually left guessing who the murderer might be. The killing scenes are at times graphic but will often leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Wes Craven unquestionably proves his mettle as a master of horror and suspense and does a good job of crowning off the trilogy with a good film. While many other horror franchises, including Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street have gone on to boast a series of eight or more films, Craven deserves a great amount of credit for making the film into a trilogy and settling there. This film does have a number of parallels with “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare,” the first horror film in the genre to truly deconstruct the genre from within, but even for those who have seen “New Nightmare,” Scream 3 is still a very enjoyable film

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31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: SCREAM 2

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory)
Omar Epps (House)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Gruel Intentions)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Joshua Jackson (Cursed)
Heather Graham (Killing Me Softly)
Duane Martin (Any Given Sunday)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Portia de Rossi (Stigmata)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and A Half Men)
Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow)
Lewis Arquette (Tango & CAsh)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)
David Warner (Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)

573707754A year after the Woodsboro murders, while attending a preview of the film Stab, a film within a film based on the murders, two Windsor College seniors, Maureen Evans and Phil Stevens (Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps) are murdered by Ghostface. Phil is stabbed through the ear in a bathroom stall while trying to eavesdrop on strange whimpering noises. The killer, wearing a Ghostface costume, then returns to the screening and sits beside Maureen before mortally stabbing her. At first the audience believes the act to be a publicity stunt until she falls dead in front of the cinema screen. The following day, the news media including local journalist Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf), descend on Windsor College where Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) now studies alongside her best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) and her new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell), fellow Woodsboro survivor Randy (Jamie Kennedy), and Derek’s best friend Mickey (Timothy Olyphant). Sidney receives prank calls but is oblivious to the recent killings until someone instructs her to watch the news.MV5BMTg1ODc2NTUxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk5MTk4NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1400,1000_AL_Two other Woodsboro survivors arrive at the campus: officer Dewey Riley (David Arquette) to help Sidney, and reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) to cover the case. Gale tries to stage a confrontation between Sidney and Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), who is attempting to gain fame from his exoneration for the murder of Sidney’s mother. After Gale forcibly confronts Sidney with Cotton, Sidney angrily hits Gale. Later that evening, Sidney goes to a party with Hallie. At a sorority house, Ghostface murders fellow student Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar). After all the partygoers leave, the killer then crashes the party and attacks Sidney, though Derek intervenes. The killer injures Derek but Dewey and the police arrive, prompting the killer to flee. The next morning, Gale discusses the case with the police. Upon realizing that Cici’s real name is Casey, she concludes that the killer is a copycat who targets students who share the same names as the Woodsboro murder victims.Normal_scream2_167That afternoon, while Gale is talking to Dewey and Randy on the campus lawn, she receives a call from Ghostface hinting that he is watching them. They search for him, but Randy, who tries to keep the killer on the phone, is dragged into Gale’s broadcast van and is killed by Ghostface. As night falls, Dewey and Gale review the tape of Ghostface killing Randy hoping to find some clues but the killer attacks them and seemingly kills Dewey. Gale hides and eventually escapes. In the wake of the escalating murders, two officers drive Sidney and Hallie to a local police station, but the killer murders them. In the ensuing struggle, Ghostface is knocked unconscious. After they climb out of the car, Sidney insists on unmasking him, while Hallie insists they escape. When Sidney walks back to the car, she sees that Ghostface has escaped, who then stabs Hallie to death, forcing Sidney to flee.OQAAAK3y1RS0GNuFo8uh3KwBwm0jLi2eJfnDkJV787EW0dpie41YgymEVevThxMv5vyoWjN7orOrzK6de54DkpWxJyEAm1T1UNAJtW_1G5dV_7joZ5uXyRrqP4DtSidney goes back to the campus and finds Derek in the auditorium tied to a crucifix, his mouth gagged with duct tape. Once Sidney unties him, she is confronted by Ghostface, who reveals himself as Mickey and kills Derek. Mickey details his plan to become famous in the ensuing trial and media spectacle. He then announces his accomplice, Debbie Salt, who arrives holding Gale at gunpoint. Sidney recognizes that Salt is actually Billy Loomis’ mother, seeking revenge for her son’s death. Mrs. Loomis betrays Mickey and shoots him, as she plans to pin the murders on Mickey. Before he collapses, Mickey accidentally shoots Gale, causing her to fall off the stage. Sidney and Mrs. Loomis fight, until Cotton intervenes and eventually shoots Mrs. Loomis in the throat. As they debate whether or not she is still alive, they find Gale still alive. Mickey suddenly jumps to his feet, only to be shot dead by Sidney and Gale. Sidney then shoots Mrs. Loomis in the head to confirm her death. When the police arrive the next morning, Gale finds Dewey badly injured but still alive and accompanies him to the hospital. Sidney instructs the press to direct questions to Cotton, rewarding him with the fame he has been chasing while removing the attention from herself as she leaves the university campus.scream-2Although Craven did a great job building suspense in the first film, he does manage to improve upon his efforts in the second film. While some of the killings are shockingly abrupt, the suspense in the film is quite impressive. While Scream will be revered for years as a modern horror classic, “Scream 2” is a worthy successor. While likely not destined to be a classic on its own, it is clear that Williamson and Craven did not rest on their laurels and truly put an impressive effort into this film, which pays off well, and helps to establish the whole trilogy as a landmark in the horror film genre.

 

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: SCREAM

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Skeet Ulrich (As Good as it Gets)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Drew Barrymore (Charles Angels)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker)
W. Earl brown (Bates Motel)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Joseph Whipp (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Linda Blair (The Exorcist)
Henry Winkler (Happy Days)

screamHigh school student Casey Becker receives a flirtatious phone call from an unknown person, asking her, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” However, the caller turns sadistic and threatens her life. He reveals that her boyfriend Steve Orth is being held hostage and demands she answer questions about horror films. After Casey gets one wrong, Steve is murdered. When Casey refuses to answer more questions, she is murdered by a masked killer. Her parents come home to find her corpse hanging from a tree. The following day, the news media descend on the town and a police investigation begins. Meanwhile, Sidney Prescott struggles with the impending first anniversary of her mother’s murder by Cotton Weary. While waiting at home for her friend, Tatum Riley, Sidney receives a threatening phone call. After she hangs up she is attacked by the killer, but manages to escape. Sidney’s boyfriend, Billy Loomis, arrives shortly after, but after he drops his cell phone, Sidney suspects him of making the call and flees. Billy is arrested and Sidney spends the night at Tatum’s house.scream-2Billy is released the next day. Suspicion has shifted to Sidney’s father, Neil Prescott, as the calls have been traced to his phone. School is suspended in the wake of the murders. After the students have left the school, Principal Himbry is stabbed to death in his office. Tatum’s boyfriend, Stu Macher throws a party to celebrate the school’s closure. The party is attended by Sidney, Tatum, their friend Randy Meeks, and multiple other students. Reporter Gale Weathers attends uninvited to cover the situation, as she expects the killer to strike. Tatum’s brother deputy sheriff Dewey Riley also looks out for the murderer at the party. Tatum is killed during the party after having her head crushed by the garage door. Billy arrives to speak to Sidney privately, and the two ultimately consummate their relationship. Dewey and Gale investigate a nearby abandoned car. Many party attendees are drawn away after hearing news of Himbry’s death; Sidney, Billy, Randy, Stu, and Gale’s cameraman Kenny remain.After having sex, Sidney and Billy are attacked by the killer, who seemingly murders Billy.Scream-cast-at-fountainSidney narrowly escapes the house and seeks help from Kenny, but the killer slits his throat; Sidney then flees again. Gale and Dewey, having discovered that the car belongs to Neil Prescott, return to the house. They believe Neil is the killer and has come to the party to continue his spree. Gale tries to escape in her van, but drives off the road and crashes to avoid hitting Sidney. Meanwhile, Dewey is stabbed in the back while investigating in the house, and Sidney takes his gun. Stu and Randy appear and accuse each other of being the killer. Sidney retreats into the house, where she finds Billy wounded but still alive. She gives Billy the gun; he lets Randy into the house and shoots him. Billy reveals that he feigned his injuries and is actually the killer; Stu is his accomplice.Billy and Stu discuss their plan to kill Sidney and frame the murder spree on her father, whom they have taken hostage. The pair also reveal that they, not Cotton, murdered her mother, Maureen, as she was having an affair with Billy’s father, which drove his mother away. Gale, who survived the crash, intervenes, and Sidney takes advantage of this to turn the tables on her attackers, killing Stu. Randy is revealed to be wounded but alive. Billy attacks Sidney but she shoots him through the head, killing him. As the sun rises and police arrive, a badly injured Dewey is taken away by ambulance and Gale makes an impromptu news report about the night’s events.
Despite the fact everyone is actually aware of the ‘horror movie as life’ analogy at play, most people dismiss the genre clichés that could potentially save their lives, and inevitably end up meeting their maker anyway. By taking the bold step to often times put the main characters in the very situations they’re attempting to satire. So, without question, Craven and Williamson revitalized the horror scene in 1996 with this film. Not only because it was actually able to deliver legitimate scares and keep the audience guessing who the killer was until the very end, but because it’s genuinely entertaining throughout its entirety.

REVIEW: REPO MEN

Starring
Jude Law (Spy)
Forest Whitaker (Black Panther)
Alice Braga (I Am Legend)
Liev Schreiber (The 5th Wave)
Carice Van Houton (Game of Thrones)
Chandler Canterbury (Knowing)
Liza Lapira (Dollhouse)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Community)
RZA (The Man With The Iron Mask)
Daniel Kash (Bitten)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Jude Law and Alice Braga in Repo Men (2010)

In 2025, advancements in medical technology have perfected bio-mechanical organs. A corporation known as The Union sells these expensive “artiforgs” on credit, and when customers are unable or unwilling to pay for their artiforgs The Union sends “repo men” to locate and forcibly repossess the organ- invariably resulting in the death of the owner.Jude Law in Repo Men (2010)Remy and his partner Jake Freivald are considered the best of the Union’s repo men. However, Remy’s wife Carol disapproves of his work, believing that it is a bad influence for their son Peter. At a family barbecue, Remy allows Jake to discreetly perform a repossession nearby, but is caught by Carol who leaves with Peter in anger. While patrolling with Jake, the duo discovers a “nest”, a refuge for Union customers who have defaulted on payments for their artiforgs and are attempting to escape the country. Remy and Jake raid the nest by themselves, impressing their boss, Frank. He offers them the opportunity to become full-time raid captains. Remy declines and attempts to ask Frank to transfer to sales, but Jake cuts him off. Jake tells Remy that what they do is important, but Remy’s mind is made up. Jake suggests that Remy’s last job be a musician that Remy is a fan of. After helping the musician finish one last song, he uses a defibrillator in order to stop the artificial heart, but the device malfunctions, and Remy is severely injured, requiring replacement of his heart with an artiforg.Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in Repo Men (2010)Carol divorces Remy for taking another job, so he moves in with Jake. As he tries to go back to work, he realizes he’s developed sympathy for the customers, unable to lie when he tries sales, but also unable to kill when repossessing their artiforgs. He’s soon unable to make the payments on his heart and is in debt. Jake discovers that Remy has not been repossessing and takes him to a “nest” with enough artiforgs to clear his debt; however, Remy cannot do the job. Furious, Jake demands he stay there until he gets over his inhibition. A stunned debtor wakes up and knocks Remy out.Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in Repo Men (2010)Waking up, Remy encounters Beth, a singer he would see while drinking in a bar with Jake. He takes her to a motel room and discovers she has numerous artiforgs. Breaking into the office, Remy attempts to clear Beth’s and his own accounts, but he is interrupted by Jake, who lets him leave. On the run, Beth and Remy leave for the abandoned outskirts of the city. Beth tells Remy of how she contracted various diseases and was involved in a car crash, and was forced to resort to buying artiforgs on the black market after running up severe debts. They begin a relationship, and Remy decides to document his life as a repo man with an old typewriter Beth found. As he works on a manuscript, he is interrupted by a repo man. Remy sets a trap and the collector drops through a hole in the floor. Beth falls through the same hole, damaging her prosthetic knee. Before the collector can shoot Beth, Remy manages to kill him.Jude Law in Repo Men (2010)Remy sneaks into his former workplace to obtain scanning jammers he had confiscated during his raid on the nest. He attempts to force Frank to clear his account, only to discover that accounts can now only be cleared at the Union’s central office due to his earlier attempt. Remy and Beth attempt to flee the country at the airport, but security is alerted by bleeding from Beth’s knee. A fight with airport security ensues. Jake arrives, but is on the wrong side of a security panel and watches their escape. They go to a black market doctor to replace Beth’s knee. After the procedure, they are stopped by Jake who tries to convince to Remy to rejoin him as a repo man. Remy refuses, and Jake reveals he rigged the defibrillator unit that caused his heart to fail, so Remy would continue to work with him. They fight, and Jake knocks Remy unconscious. Beth awakens Remy, saying she stunned Jake as an organ repossession raid is underway. They flee and Remy decides to delete the accounts of all implant clients. Remy meets Carol and Peter on a train one last time, passing on his manuscript to Peter.Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in Repo Men (2010)Remy and Beth break into Union headquarters and are forced to fight their way through the facility to the Union’s database. Using Beth’s prosthetic eye, they enter and seal themselves inside as Jake and Frank arrive. The server’s only interface is an organ scanner, requiring Remy and Beth to cut themselves open to use the scanner internally on each of their artiforgs, clearing their accounts. Frank and Jake enter the server room using an artiforg from one of the slain repo men, finding Beth near death and Remy attempting to scan her heart. Jake is ordered to kill Remy, but he instead kills Frank and helps revive Beth. Jake tosses two grenades into the artiforg drawer of the server, with the explosion destroying the mainframe, wiping the records of everyone who has an account with the Union.Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, and Forest Whitaker in Repo Men (2010)Later, Remy is seen on a tropical beach, enjoying his freedom with Beth and Jake. His text has been published as a book, The Repossession Mambo. While Remy talks to Jake, he notices that Jake suddenly disappears, leaving Remy’s book on his chair; then Remy sees the beach flicker with static before returning to normal. It is revealed that Remy is in a coma, having sustained severe brain damage when Jake knocked him unconscious. Jake has paid off Remy’s debt for his heart and also paid to link his brain to a neural network, allowing him to live out his life peacefully in a computer generated dream world. Beth is unconscious, and Jake says he will take care of her; he then says a sorrowful goodbye to Remy. The film ends with Frank delivering a sales pitch for the neural network.Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in Repo Men (2010)Overall, this is a rather nice movie, but in my opinion, it is not the type of movie that you will watch again once watched. It just doesn’t have that quality to it. But still, it is one heck of a movie.

REVIEW: DEFIANCE (2008)

CAST

Daniel Craig (Cowqboys & Aliens)
Liev Schreiber (The 5th Wave)
Jamie Bell (King Kong)
George MacKay (How I Live Now)
Alexa Davalos (Clash of The Titans)
Allan Corduner (Vera Drake)
Mark Feuerstein (Prison Break)
Tomas Arana (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jacek Koman (Children of Men)
Mia Wasikowska (The Double)

Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig in Defiance (2008)The film is based on a true story, beginning in August 1941. Nazi Einsatzgruppen (task forces) are sweeping through Eastern Europe, systematically killing Jews. Among the survivors not killed or restricted to ghettoes are the Belarusian Jewish Bielski brothers: Tuvia, Zus, Asael and Aron. Their parents are dead, killed by local police under orders from the occupying Germans. The brothers flee to the Naliboki Forest, vowing to avenge the deaths of their parents.Daniel Craig and Alexa Davalos in Defiance (2008)They encounter other Jewish escapees hiding in the forest, and the brothers take them under their protection and leadership. Over the next year, they shelter a growing number of refugees, raiding local farms for food and supplies and moving their camp whenever they are discovered by the collaborationist police. Tuvia kills the local Auxiliary Police chief responsible for his parents’ deaths and the brothers stage raids on the Germans and their collaborators. Casualties cause Tuvia to reconsider this approach because of the risk to the hiding Jews. Rivalry between the two eldest brothers, Tuvia and Zus, fuels a disagreement between them about their future; as winter approaches, Zus decides to leave the camp and join a local company of Soviet partisans, while his older brother Tuvia remains with the camp as their leader. An arrangement is made between the two groups in which the Soviet partisans agree to protect the Jewish camp in exchange for supplies.Daniel Craig in Defiance (2008)After a winter of sickness, starvation, attempted betrayal and constant hiding, the camp learns that the Germans are about to attack them in force. The Soviets refuse to help and they evacuate the camp as German dive-bombers strike. A delaying force stays behind, led by Asael, to slow down the German ground troops. The defense does not last long; only Asael and a camp member named Sofiya survive to rejoin the rest of the group, who, at the edge of the forest, are confronted with a seemingly impassable marsh. They cross the marsh with only one casualty but are immediately attacked by a German platoon supported by a Panzer III tank. Just as all seems lost, the Germans are assaulted from the rear by a partisan force led by Zus, who has deserted the Soviets to rejoin the group.Jamie Bell and Mia Wasikowska in Defiance (2008)As the survivors escape into the forest, the film ends as text on the screen states that they lived in the forest for another two years, building a hospital, a nursery, a school, growing to a total of 1,200 Jews. Original photographs of the real-life characters are shown, including Tuvia in his uniform and their fates are shared: Asael joined the Soviet Army and was soon killed in action, never getting to see the child he fathered; Tuvia, Zus and Aron survived the war and emigrated to America to form a successful trucking firm in New York City. The epilogue also states that the Bielski brothers never sought recognition for what they did and that the descendants of the people they saved now number in the tens of thousands.
defiance01Defiance is an important story that needs to be heard. Daniel Craig leads a great cast of characters in an emotional journey of community, camaraderie, and hope.

REVIEW: SALT

CAST

Angelina Jolie (Maleficent)
Liev Schreiber (The 5th Wave)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)
Daniel Olbrychski (The Deluge)
August Diehl (Anatomy 2)
Hunt Block (The Lonely Guy)
Andre Braugher (Glory)
Gaius Charles (Batman: Bad Blood)

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is being tortured in a North Korean prison on suspicion of being an American spy. Her boyfriend, arachnologist Mike Krause (August Diehl), generates so much publicity that the CIA is forced to arrange a prisoner exchange, despite the agency’s policy against it. Salt’s CIA colleague Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) greets Salt at the border. As they drive away, Mike proposes marriage, despite Salt’s admission that she is in fact a CIA operative.

Two years later, on Salt and Mike’s wedding anniversary, a Russian defector named Oleg Vasilyevich Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) walks in to Salt’s office. Salt interrogates him, with Winter and CIA counterintelligence officer Darryl Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) observing. Orlov claims that, on “Day X”, highly trained Russian sleeper agents known as “KAs” will destroy the U.S. Orlov tells them that Agent “KA-12” will assassinate Russian president Boris Matveyev (Olek Krupa) at the funeral of the American Vice President. Orlov reveals that KA-12 is named Evelyn Salt, and lie detectors confirm his entire story. Peabody orders Salt be detained, but Orlov kills two agents and escapes. In the confusion, Salt is able to escape as well, running barefoot through the street. While she is being chased, she discovers that Mike was kidnapped.

Later, at the funeral, Salt appears to succeed in killing President Matveyev, and then surrenders herself. Matveyev is declared dead. Salt escapes again and heads to a barge where Orlov is hiding with other sleeper agents. In a series of flashbacks, Salt recalls growing up in the Soviet Union and being trained with other children. On the barge, Orlov welcomes her back and has Mike killed in front of her. When Salt shows no reaction, Orlov is convinced she is loyal and begins briefing her on her next mission. She is to rendezvous with another KA who will help her assassinate the American president. Salt then kills Orlov and all of the other agents on the barge. She then meets with KA Shnaider (Corey Stoll), who uses his cover as a NATO liaison to get Salt into the White House. Once inside, Shnaider launches a suicide attack to force agents to move the President (Hunt Block) to an underground bunker, accompanied by Winter. Salt follows them and manages to enter the bunker before it is sealed.

The US President learns that Russia has mobilized its nuclear arsenal in response to their president’s death. He orders American nuclear weapons readied in response. CIA Agent Winter then suddenly kills everyone except the President and introduces himself as Nikolai Tarkovsky, another KA. Winter incapacitates the President and begins aiming nuclear missiles at Mecca and Tehran to incite millions of Muslims against the United States. Salt tries to persuade Winter to let her inside the sealed room, but then he sees a television report that President Matveyev is alive and well: Salt had used spider venom to cause a simulated death of Matveyev. Winter refuses her entry and reveals that Mike’s kidnapping and her blown cover were his idea. Winter plans to place full blame for the nuclear attacks on Salt. Salt breaks into the room before he can launch the missiles. The two wrestle for control of the nuclear football, with Salt aborting the missile strikes before being captured.

As Salt is being led out in chains, Winter grabs a pair of scissors, apparently to attack her or to defend himself if necessary. She unexpectedly hooks her chain around Winter’s neck and jumps over the stair railing, choking him to death. On the helicopter ride to be interrogated, Peabody questions her. Salt explains that she killed Winter because he orchestrated the death of her husband, and promises to hunt down the remaining KA agents if freed. Peabody is convinced after receiving a text that Salt’s fingerprints were found on the barge where the sleeper agents were killed, supporting her story. Salt is allowed to escape, jumping out of the helicopter into the river below and escaping into the woods. In an alternate ending Salt jumps out of the helicopter and arrives in disguise at the place where she was trained as a child in the Soviet Union, she is then seen by the water as the place blows up and Salt smiles.Salt is full of action film . Angeline Jolie surprisingly performs a pleasant heroine. Despite the twists, the story is predictable and flawed, but the action scenes make it worth seeing.

REVIEW: THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST

CAST

Riz Ahmed (Rogue One)
Kate Hudson (Gossip)
Liev Schreiber (The 5th Wave)
Kiefer Sutherland (Pompeii)
Martin Donovan (Legends of Tomorrow)

In 2011, Anse Rainier (Gary Richardson), an American professor at Lahore University, is kidnapped soon after he leaves a cinema. A ransom video is sent to the US embassy, demanding the release of 690 detainees from what is described as a Muslim concentration camp in Kot Lakhpat and €700,000 for the children of Waziristan. Bobby Lincoln (Liev Schreiber), an American journalist and undercover CIA informant in Pakistan, arranges to interview a colleague of Rainer, Changez Khan (Riz Ahmed), whom he suspects is involved in the kidnapping.Changez starts off the interview, held in a café, by declaring his admiration for the American equal playing field in economic advancement. He belongs to a class of people who, while genteel and educated, increasingly find themselves left out of economic progress. His father is an elderly poet and man of letters (played by Om Puri), who is respected by all who know him. Nevertheless, money has always been a serious problem in the family and Changez was only able to attend college when he got a scholarship to Princeton University. After graduation, he earned a job position at a top Wall Street valuation firm, Underwood Samson. Meanwhile, he met a young American photographer, Erica (Kate Hudson), and a relationship developed.The World Trade Center attacks take place while Changez is in Manila on business. When he returns to the USA, he is strip-searched at the airport in New York. Later on, he is thoroughly interrogated by federal agents, after being mistakenly arrested in the street as he left the Underwood Samson building. His attitude toward the USA seems to change, as does his relationship with Erica, who has yet to come to terms with the loss of her former boyfriend, feeling responsible for his death. Changez eventually breaks up with her, after she invites him to the opening of her art show: she had used intimate details of their relationship without his knowledge, which he takes as a betrayal.While valuating a publishing house in Istanbul, Changez discovered that the otherwise worthless firm had translated some of his father’s work into Turkish and published them. He realised that the company had preserved culture, something that cannot be measured merely in terms of money. His boss at Underwood Samson, Jim Cross (Kiefer Sutherland), does not see it that way, viewing Changez’s attitude as unprofessional. Feeling an ever-increasing conflict between his desire of success and his sense of loyalty, between the way he saw himself and the way he was now treated, Changez finally resigns from Underwood Samson.During his interview with Lincoln, Changez says that at one point he was approached by a terrorist cell and asked to become a mujahid, and he was tempted to accept, feeling deeply angered and disillusioned by “the arrogance, the blindness, the hypocrisy” of the USA, but he finally refused when he was told about the “fundamental truths” of the Q’uran, echoing a phrase Jim Cross had used during their first encounter, “focusing on the fundamentals”. Elaborating on the similarities, he explains that both groups, Islamic fundamentalists and blind capitalist economy represented by Underwood Samson, share the same reductionist outlook, view people in binary terms, and thus feeling entitled to get rid of those deemed unworthy.157880843_d736f6Being a foreigner without a job, and with his work visa set to expire in two weeks, he returned to Lahore (Pakistan), where he found that foreign professors were leaving the university en masse. He was hired as a lecturer. He voiced dissatisfaction with US intrusions in Pakistan, and this brought him to the attention of the authorities as a suspected Al-Qaida member. They raided his office and family home and threatened his family. Back to present day, while Lincoln and Changez talk in the café, protestors gather outside, and Lincoln gets periodic pressure from his CIA superiors to get information from Changez about the location of the kidnapped Rainier. The protests become increasingly hostile, and Changez says he has heard of a butcher shop. Contact is lost before the information can be phoned to the CIA operatives who are working with Lincoln.image-w448Lincoln becomes suspicious seeing Changez texting, the latter saying he was just communicating with his sister, Bina (Meesha Shafi); suspicions turn to fury after Lincoln receives a picture of Rainer dead, mistakenly linking the two events. Lincoln believes the only way to safety is to use Changez as a shield venturing into the hostile crowded street. Attempts are made to keep the crowd stable but things get worse and Lincoln falls to the ground, his gun goes off and hits Sameer (Imaad Shah), one of Changez’s student interns, who dies from the wound. Another student fires at Lincoln from a balcony, wounding him, after which Lincoln is quickly removed by CIA agents. Lincoln then finds out that Rainer was in fact found dead earlier that day, and that Changez had indeed rejected working with the suspected mastermind behind the kidnapping, Mustafa Fazil. He also told the truth about the text message. Changez delivers a eulogy at Sameer’s funeral, as Lincoln recuperates in a hospital, recalling Changez’s words as he listens to the recording of the interview – “Looks can be deceiving. I am a lover of America… although I was raised to feel very Pakistani.”ChangezOverall, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an engaging watch with a solid story, music, and acting….one of the best films of 2013!