REVIEW: BLITZ

CAST

Jason Statham (Hummingbird)
Paddy Considine (The World’s End)
Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones)
David Morrissey (The Reaping)
Zawe Ashton (Nocturnal Animals)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Mark Rylance (Dunkirk)
Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones)
Christina Cole (Hex)
Ian Hughes (Power Rangers Ninja Steel)

Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)A serial killer is targeting police officers in South East London. After two police constables are shot dead and Chief Inspector Bruce Roberts (Rylance) is bludgeoned to death, the hunt for his identity begins. Sergeant Porter Nash (Considine) is transferred to the South East London branch of the police to head the investigation, even though Nash is an outsider and widely ridiculed by his fellow officers for being openly gay. To his surprise he finds an unlikely ally in the hot-headed, gruff Detective Sergeant Tom Brant (Statham), who has a history of violent incidents.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)While the investigation is ongoing, PC Elizabeth Falls (Ashton) is visited by a friend, a young gang member nicknamed Metal, who is afraid his gang might have actually killed someone. Promising him to look into the situation, Falls contacts Detective Inspector Craig Stokes (Evans), who agrees to help if Falls goes on a date with him. One of Brant’s informants, Radnor (Dennehy), points Brant and Nash towards a man named Barry Weiss (Gillen) who recently bragged about setting a police dog on fire, “for practice”. Although Brant and Nash visit Weiss’ flat, they cannot immediately find any evidence against him. Brant does recognize Weiss as the man he beat up in a fight in a billiard hall a year earlier. Unknown to either of them, Radnor decides to conduct an investigation of his own and eventually discovers the seemingly abandoned car where Weiss keeps the trophies of his kills, confirming that Weiss is the killer.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)Meanwhile, Weiss contacts a newspaper reporter, Harold Dunlop (Morrissey), to make sure his murders get enough coverage in the press. Weiss promises to keep Dunlop updated about his murders and declares he wishes to be known as Blitz. Soon after, Dunlop is also contacted by Radnor who is interested in selling his information for a high price. Although Radnor leads Dunlop to Weiss’ car, he is killed by Weiss before he can disclose Weiss’ name. Dunlop then alerts the police to the car, but they find it empty. Brant and a fellow police constable come to realize that all of Blitz’s victims so far have been police officers who have arrested Weiss in the past and that PC Falls is most likely the next victim. Falls, after coming home from her date with Stokes, is attacked by Weiss but saved by Metal, who is killed in the ensuing struggle. Before Weiss can attack Falls again, the police arrive.Jason Statham and Paddy Considine in Blitz (2011)Brant and Nash decide to release a picture of Weiss to the media to flush him out, which eventually, after a lengthy chase, leads to Weiss’ capture. There is no concrete evidence against Weiss however, so after 48 hours and an interrogation which does not yield results, the police are forced to let Weiss go. Exasperated, Brant and Nash devise a plot to trick Weiss, knowing that Weiss will want to take revenge on Brant for the billiard hall fight. Weiss infiltrates the funeral of Chief Inspector Roberts, dressed in Roberts’ uniform which he had stolen after murdering him. During the service, Brant leaves, followed by Weiss. Brant leads Weiss to the top of a parking garage, only to reveal that Brant and Nash had switched places along the route. Surprised by a hidden Brant, Weiss is overpowered and relieved of his gun. Explaining that they will never find enough evidence to convict Weiss legally, Brant concludes that they are now in a convenient situation: since Weiss is dressed as a police officer, and Brant has Blitz’s gun, they can shoot him with his own gun, and it will look as if Weiss was just another of Blitz’s victims.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)Nobody is going to be winning any awards for this one, but it was an entertaining watch. .

 

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REVIEW: PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMAN

 

CAST

Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Rebecca Hall (The Gift)
Bella Heathcote (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
Connie Britton (A Nightmare On elm Street)
Oliver Platt (Love and Other Drugs)
JJ Feild (Austenland)

Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)The story is told in flashbacks set during a 1945 testimony that William Moulton Marston gives to representatives of the Child Study Association of America. William and his wife Elizabeth teach and work on their research at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges in 1928, when William hires one of his students, Olive Byrne (daughter of Ethel Byrne and niece of Margaret Sanger – two famous suffragists and feminists of the 20th century) as a research assistant. Olive aids in the Marstons’ work in inventing the lie detector and conducting research on William’s DISC theory on human interactions, and the three soon grow close. One after another tests by the lie detector reveal that they have fallen in love with one another, and they begin to engage in a polyamorous relationship.Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)As words about their unconventional relationship gets out, the Marstons are fired from the university. Olive reveals that she is pregnant and moves in with the Marstons shortly after. They decide to build a family together and create a fabrication to keep secret the nature of their relationship. The family settle in a New York suburb, happily together. Both Elizabeth and Olive bear children by William, telling the neighbors that Olive is a widow and taken in by the Marstons. William starts trying to make a living as an author. Elizabeth takes a job as a secretary and becomes the main breadwinner of the family. Olive stays at home and take care of the kids, occasionally submitting her writing samples to publishers. They raise their four children together, and Elizabeth names her daughter after Olive.William stumbles upon a shop run by Charles Guyette, who introduces him to fetish art themed comics and photos. The art captures William’s imagination as a demonstration of his DISC theory. Elizabeth initially disapproves of the art, but she relents during a presentation wherein Olive tries out an outfit that later would be the prototype for Wonder Woman’s costume.Luke Evans in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)After finding limited work as a writer, Marston comes up with the idea of creating a female Amazonian super-heroine for comic book. The comic would feature his ideas on DISC theory, drawing inspiration from the Marstons’ work on the lie detector as well as Elizabeth and Olive in real life, and intend to support the feminist movement to further equal rights for women through a populist medium. He pitches his ideas to Max Gaines, then publisher at National Periodical Publications (today DC Comics), who ultimately accepts the comic and suggests simplifying the female superhero’s name to “Wonder Woman.” “Wonder Woman” is an instant hit, leading to prosperity for the Marstons/Byrne family. However, one day, their neighbor Mary wanders into their home by coincidence and walks into the three having sex. This incident leads to their children getting bullied and asked to leave school. Worried about their  children being attacked and ostracized, and thinking they have no other choice, Elizabeth reluctantly demands Olive to leave the household with her children. At the same time, the “Wonder Woman” comic gets growing accusations of featuring overtly sexual, sadomasochistic, and lesbian imagery that lead to the testimony.Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)Leaving the testimony, William collapses and is rushed to the hospital. Learning that he is dying of cancer, William asks Olive to see him and Elizabeth again, trying to help them reconcile. William persuades Elizabeth to submit to Olive as she should not always dominate in their relationship. The Marstons get on their knees and beg for Olive’s forgiveness, and Elizabeth tearfully admits that she cannot live without Olive. She eventually agrees to come back to them.JJ Feild, Rebecca Hall, Luke Evans, and Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)Epilogue text reveals that after William died, Elizabeth and Olive continued to live together for another 38 years until Olive’s death in 1985, and Elizabeth lived to be 100. It also notes that sexual imagery disappeared from the “Wonder Woman” comic after William’s death, along with Wonder Woman’s super powers. Wonder Woman was finally reclaimed by famous activist Gloria Steinem in 1972, when she put the character on the cover of the first issue of Ms. Magazine as the quintessential symbol of female empowerment. The credits conclude that “Wonder Woman remains the most famous female superhero of all time.”Professor Marston and The Wonder Women is a damn good time and the rare biopic you rarely see anymore. Classy, funny, sexy, delightful, brilliantly acted, and overall passionate, you have to see this!

 

 

REVIEW: DRACULA UNTOLD

CAST

Luke Evans(the Hobbit)
Dominc Cooper (Agent Carter)
Sarah Gadon (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones)
Charles Dance (Last Action Hero)
Paul Kaye (Pan)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)

In the Middle Ages, Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) is the Prince of Wallachia and Transylvania. As a child, he was a princely hostage of the Ottoman Empire and was trained to be a soldier in the Sultan’s elite Janissary corps, where he became their most feared warrior. He was called Vlad the Impaler after slaughtering thousands by impaling them on spears. Eventually sickened by his acts, he put aside his past and returned to rule his domains in peace. One day in the forest, Vlad and his soldiers discover a helmet in a stream. Fearing that an Ottoman scouting party is preparing the way for invasion, they follow the stream to a high mountain cave called Broken Tooth Mountain. Upon entering the cave, they discover the ground of the cave is carpeted in crushed bone; and they are attacked in the dark by an unknown creature (Charles Dance) with shining red eyes, as well as inhuman speed and strength. While his men are killed, Vlad cuts the creature of the cave with his sword before being thrown to the ground. The blood on the sword he used to cut the creature dissolves when exposed to sunlight, and the creature does not pursue Vlad into the sunlight at the mouth of the cave. Returning to his castle, Vlad learns from a local monk that the creature is a vampire, who was once a man who summoned a demon from the depths of hell and made a pact with it for dark powers before being tricked by the demon and cursed to remain in the cave forever until he is released by someone who drinks his blood, then drinks the blood of a human. The person is welcome to share his power in exchange for the freedom to escape the cave.

The next day, as Vlad celebrates an Easter feast with his wife Mirena (Sarah Gadon), his son Ingeras (Art Parkinson), and his subjects, an Ottoman contingent arrives unexpectedly at the castle. Vlad offers them the usual tribute payment of silver coins, but the emissary notes that a battalion of Ottoman scouts has gone missing, implying that Vlad has had them killed. Vlad professes that he had not killed them. The emissary demands an additional tribute of 1,000 boys to be trained as Janissaries, through the devşirme system. Vlad refuses, but his army is small and no match for the Turks. Mirena believes that, because of Vlad and Mehmed’s (Dominic Cooper) history together as children, being close like brothers, if he were to ask, Mehmed would show him mercy. He approaches Mehmed II and asks him not to take the country’s boys. When that fails, he offers himself in place of the boys; but the Sultan refuses and demands Vlad’s son in addition. The Sultan sends the emissary to bring Vlad’s son. Vlad has an argument with his wife, as he is sending his son to meet the emissary and Ottoman soldiers. Vlad tells his wife to trust him before leaving his wife and son and going to meet the emissary and the soldiers alone. He is unarmed; but his son, afraid for him, runs to him, takes his hand, and tells his father that he is ready to join the Sultan’s army. As Vlad approaches the Turks, the emissary, smiling, tells Vlad that he thought there would be some kind of difficulty. Vlad tells his son to run back to his mother, then takes the emissary’s sword and kills him and his small entourage of soldiers.

Knowing his actions will lead to war, Vlad returns to the Broken Tooth Mountain cave to seek help from the vampire. Once he is inside, the vampire asks Vlad why he returned. Vlad replies, saying he needs the power of the vampire so that he can defeat the Ottoman army. The vampire tells him there are consequences and offers him some of his blood, which will temporarily give Vlad the powers of a vampire. If he resists the intense urge to drink human blood for three days, he will turn back into a human. Otherwise, he will remain a vampire forever and will one day be called upon to help his maker. Vlad accepts the offer and drinks the vampire’s blood, going through a painful and deathlike experience as he transforms.

Waking up in the forest afterwards, Vlad discovers he has been granted heightened senses, inhuman strength and speed, and the ability to transform into a flock of bats; but his skin slowly burns in direct sunlight. When he returns to Castle Dracula, the Ottoman army attacks, but Vlad single-handedly kills them all. He then sends most of the castle’s subjects to Cozia Monastery, which is situated on the edge of a mountain, as a better base for safety. During the journey, Mirena learns of Vlad’s curse as she sees Vlad holding silver to keep himself weak when near his people to avoid revealing his condition to them or attack them for blood. After Vlad promises he will resist human blood, she accepts that he will regain his mortality once the Ottomans are defeated. A Romani named Shkelgim, who knows Vlad is a vampire, proclaims himself as his servant and offers his own blood; but Vlad resists. As they near the monastery, the Valahs are ambushed by Ottoman soldiers; and, while Vlad and his men successfully repel them, Vlad’s sudden increased strength arouses suspicion among his subjects. The next day at the monastery, a monk learns of the curse and leads the Prince’s subjects to turn on Vlad, trapping him in a burning building in the sunlight. Black smoke blocks out the sun, allowing an outraged Vlad to escape the fire, and he angrily reveals that he became a vampire for the sole purpose of protecting his people from the Ottoman suzerainty. Before he acts out against them, Mirena stops him and calms him down.

That night, the Ottoman army marches on the monastery. Vlad commands an enormous swarm of bats to repel them; however, the soldiers are actually a decoy force, allowing a handful of Turks to infiltrate the monastery, kill many of the inhabitants and kidnap Ingeras. Mirena tries to defend her son, and falls from the edge of the monastery wall. Dying, Mirena pleads with Vlad to drink her blood before the sun rises to give him the strength to save their son. Vlad reluctantly drinks her blood, triggering his final transformation into a full-blooded vampire and granting him even greater powers. Vlad returns to the monastery and turns a small group of survivors and mortally wounded into vampires as well. At the Ottoman army’s camp, Mehmed prepares for a massive invasion of Europe. Vlad and his vampires arrive and easily massacre the terrified Ottoman soldiers, while Vlad himself goes after Mehmed, who is holding Ingeras captive. Aware that vampires are weakened by silver, Mehmed has lined the floor of his tent with silver coins, reducing Vlad’s strength and speed, and impairing his vision, and fights Vlad with a silver sword. He overpowers Vlad and prepares to impale his heart with a wooden stake, but Vlad turns into a flock of bats and evades him. Taking the name “Dracula, Son of the Devil,” he kills Mehmed with the stake and drinks his blood, fully succumbed to the savagery of his vampiric condition.

As they leave Mehmed’s tent, Dracula and Ingeras are confronted by the other vampires, who demand that his son be killed because he is human. The monk who had previously led the Valahs against Vlad appears and keeps the vampires at bay with a Christian cross. When one of the vampires attempts to kill Ingeras, Dracula impales him with a spear as a warning to the others not to harm his son. Dracula orders the monk to take Ingeras away, then uses his power to clear the black clouds in the sky. The sunlight burns the vampires into dust, while Dracula collapses into a charred corpse. With Vlad presumed dead and Europe saved from the Ottoman invasion, Ingeras is crowned the new Prince of Wallachia. However, Shkelgim secretly takes Dracula into a nearby tent and revives him with his blood.

In the present day, Vlad meets a woman named Mina, who strikingly resembles Mirena, in the streets of a modern city (London), and they have a conversation about a line of poetry they have in common. The vampire who cursed Vlad, now healed, in a more human form, and still alive, watches them from afar and follows them, and anticipates what he has planned for Dracula in the future, saying, “Let the games begin.”

It’s a film with some great effects, has a charismatic lead with Luke Evans and when added to a great performance by Dominic Cooper as the Sultan Mehmed all round gave a film that was quite enjoyable.

 

 

REVIEW: FAST & FURIOUS 8

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CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Jason Statham (Safe)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers)
Ludacris (Gamer)
Scott Eastwood (Fury)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones)
Kurt Russell (Big Trouble In Little China)
Elsa Pataky (Snakes on a Plane)
Tego Calderón (Illegal Tender)
Don Omar (Los Bandoleros)
Luke Evans (Dracula untold)
Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones)
Helen Mirren (Red)

Dominic “Dom” Toretto and Letty Ortiz are on their honeymoon in Havana when Dom is challenged to a street race at an auto show by local racer Raldo. Dom races for Raldo’s car, intending to give it to his cousin Fernando, while wagering his own show car. After narrowly winning the race, Dom allows Raldo to keep his car, earning his respect, and instead leaves his cousin with his show car. The next day, Dom is approached by elusive cyberterrorist Cipher, who coerces him into working for her.Shortly after the encounter, Dom and his team, comprising Letty, Roman Pearce, Tej Parker, and Ramsey, are recruited by Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs to help him retrieve an EMP device from a military outpost in Berlin. During the getaway, Dom goes rogue, forcing Hobbs off the road and stealing the device for Cipher. Hobbs is arrested and locked up in the same high-security prison he helped imprison Deckard Shaw in. After escaping, both are recruited by intelligence operative Frank Petty/Mr. Nobody and his protégé, Eric Reisner/Little Nobody, to help the team find Dom and capture Cipher.Deckard reveals that Cipher was the mastermind of previous encounters with the team, such as employing his brother Owen Shaw to steal the Nightshade device and orchestrating the attempted theft of God’s Eye, Ramsey’s software program.The team tracks Dom and Cipher to their very location just as they attack the base and steal God’s Eye. When Dom begins to question Cipher’s motives, she reveals that she has held Dom’s ex-lover and DSS agent Elena Neves – as well as their son, whose existence Dom was previously unaware of – hostage in order to keep Dom loyal to her. Elena tells Dom that the child was born as a result of an unintended pregnancy, and that she wanted him to decide the child’s first name, having already given him the middle name Marcos.Cipher then sends Dom to New York City to retrieve a nuclear football held by the Russian Minister of Defence.Dom manages to evade her for a short time through a diversion created by Raldo, allowing him to meet with and persuade Deckard and Owen’s mother, Magdalene Shaw, to help. The team intercepts Dom after he steals the nuclear football, but Dom escapes, shooting and apparently killing Deckard in the process. Cipher facilitates Dom’s escape by hacking into all of the autonomous cars in the city and reprogramming them to auto-drive, wreaking havoc throughout the city. Letty catches up to Dom, but is ambushed and nearly killed by Cipher’s enforcer, Connor Rhodes, before Dom rescues her. In retaliation, Cipher has Rhodes kill Elena in front of Dom.Dom is then sent to Russia to use the EMP device to disable a nuclear submarine, enabling Cipher to hijack it and attempt to use its arsenal to trigger a nuclear war. They are once again intercepted by the team, provided with modified vehicles by Petty. Meanwhile, Deckard, who had faked his death and been extracted by Tego Leo and Rico Santos, former members of Dom’s team, infiltrates Cipher’s plane to rescue Dom’s son at Magdalene’s behest, with the help of Owen. Once Deckard reports that the child is safe, Dom turns on Cipher and kills Rhodes, avenging Elena’s death, before rejoining his team. Outraged, Cipher launches an infrared homing missile at Dom, but he breaks away from his team and maneuvers around it, causing the missile to hit the submarine instead. The team quickly forms a vehicular blockade around Dom, shielding him from the ensuing explosion. When Deckard reaches the front of the plane and confronts Cipher, she makes her escape by parachuting out of the plane. Petty and Reisner visit Dom and his team in New York City to report that Cipher is still at large. Hobbs is offered his DSS job back, but he declines in order to spend more time with his daughter. Deckard then arrives to return Dom’s son, putting his differences aside with Dom and Hobbs in the process, and is accepted into their family. Dom decides to name his son Brian, after his friend and brother-in-law Brian O’Conner, and they celebrate.Fast and Furious 8 is awesome and does what it is trying to do which is entertain with crazy action sequences. A great action packed film to a solid franchise.

REVIEW: FAST & FURIOUS 7

CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Paul Walker (Brick Mansion)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Jordana Brewster (Chuck)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers)
Ludacris (Gamer)
Djimon Hounsou (Staragte)
Tony Jaa (XXX: The Return of Xander Cage)
Ronda Rousey (Blindespot)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones)
Kurt Russell (Big Trouble In Little China)
Jason Statham (Safe)
Lucas Black (Jarhead)
Elsa Pataky (Snakes on a Plane)
Noel Gugliemi (Old School)
John Brotherton (Fuller House)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)

After defeating Owen Shaw and his crew and securing amnesty for their past crimes, Dominic “Dom” Toretto, Brian O’Conner and the rest of their team have returned to the United States to live normal lives again. Brian begins to accustom himself to life as a father, while Dom tries to help Letty Ortiz regain her memory. Meanwhile, Owen’s older brother, Deckard Shaw, breaks into the secure hospital that the comatose Owen is being held in and swears vengeance against Dom and his team, before breaking into Luke Hobbs’ Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) office to extract profiles of Dom’s crew. After revealing his identity, Shaw engages Hobbs in a fight, and escapes when he detonates a bomb that severely injures Hobbs. Dom later learns from his sister Mia that she is pregnant again and convinces her to tell Brian. However, a bomb, disguised in a package sent from Tokyo, explodes and destroys the Toretto house just seconds after Han, a member of Dom’s team, is killed by Shaw in Tokyo. Dom later visits Hobbs in a hospital, where he learns that Shaw is a rogue special forces assassin seeking to avenge his brother. Dom then travels to Tokyo to claim Han’s body, and meets and races Sean Boswell, a friend of Han’s who gives him personal items found at Han’s crash site.Back at Han’s funeral in Los Angeles, Dom notices a car observing them, and after a chase, confronts its driver, who is revealed to be Shaw. Both prepare to fight, but Shaw flees when a covert ops team arrives and opens fire, led by Frank Petty, a man who calls himself Mr. Nobody. Petty says that he will assist Dom in stopping Shaw if he helps him obtain God’s Eye, a computer program that uses digital devices to track down a person, and save its creator, a hacker named Ramsey, from a mercenary named Mose Jakande. Dom, Brian, Letty, Roman Pearce, and Tej Parker then airdrop their cars over the Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan, ambush Jakande’s convoy, and rescue Ramsey.The team then heads to Abu Dhabi, where a billionaire has acquired the flash drive containing God’s Eye, and manages to steal it from the owner. With God’s Eye near telecommunications repeaters, the team tracks down Shaw, who is waiting at a remote factory. Dom, Brian, Petty and his team attempt to capture Shaw, but are ambushed by Jakande and his men and forced to flee while Jakande obtains God’s Eye. At his own request, the injured Petty is then left behind to be evacuated by helicopter while Brian and Dom continue without him. Left with no other choice, the crew returns to Los Angeles to fight Shaw, Jakande and his men. Meanwhile, Brian promises Mia that once they deal with Shaw, he will retire and fully dedicate himself to their family.While Jakande pursues Brian and the rest of the team with a stealth helicopter and an aerial drone, Ramsey attempts to hack into God’s Eye. Hobbs, seeing the team in trouble, leaves the hospital and destroys the drone with an ambulance. Ramsey then regains control of God’s Eye and shuts it down. Meanwhile, Dom and Shaw engage in a one-on-one brawl on a parking garage, before Jakande intervenes and attacks them both. Shaw is defeated when part of the parking garage collapses beneath him. Dom then launches his vehicle at Jakande’s helicopter, tossing Shaw’s bag of grenades onto its skids, before injuring himself when his car lands and crashes. Hobbs then shoots the bag of grenades from ground level, destroying the helicopter and killing Jakande. Dom is pulled from the wreckage of his car, believed to be dead. As Letty cradles Dom’s body in her arms, she reveals that she has regained her memories, and that she remembers their wedding. Dom regains consciousness soon after, remarking, “It’s about time”.Shaw is taken into custody by Hobbs and locked away in a secret, high-security prison. At a beach, Brian and Mia play with their son while Dom, Letty, Roman, Tej, and Ramsey observe, acknowledging that Brian is better off retired with his family. Dom silently leaves, but Brian catches up with him at a crossroad. As Dom remembers the times that he had with Brian, they bid each other farewell and drive off in separate directions.Fast & Furious 7 is a no-holds, over- the-top and mindless action film, but this aside, it is an extremely entertaining and fun film to watch. With an all-star cast and some brilliant action sequences, Fast & Furious 7 is proof that certain franchises can continually make great movies. The most notable moment however in the entire film is the emotional and respectful ending during the send-off of Paul Walker, the film finishing with a montage of Walker in the previous six films, finishing with just two words. A fitting end for a great actor.

REVIEW: FAST & FURIOUS 6

CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Paul Walker (Brick Mansion)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Jordana Brewster (Chuck)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers)
Ludacris (Gamer)
Sung Kang (Bullet to The Head)
Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
Luke Evans (Dracula untold)
Gina Carano (Deadpoll)
John Ortiz (Narc)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Elsa Pataky (Snakes on a Plane)
Jason Statham (Safe)

Following their successful heist in Brazil, Dominic “Dom” Toretto and his professional criminal crew have fled around the world: Dom lives with Elena; his sister Mia lives with Brian O’Conner and their son, Jack; Gisele and Han live together; and Roman and Tej live in luxury. Meanwhile, DSS agent Luke Hobbs and Riley Hicks investigate the destruction of a Russian military convoy by a crew led by former British SAS Major and special ops soldier Owen Shaw. Hobbs persuades Dom to help capture Shaw by showing him a photo of the supposedly long-dead Letty Ortiz, Dom’s former lover. Dom and his crew accept the mission in exchange for their amnesty, allowing them to return to the United States.In London, Shaw’s hideout is found, but this is revealed to be a trap, distracting them and the police while Shaw’s crew performs a heist at an Interpol building. Shaw flees by car, detonating his hideout and disabling most of the police, leaving Dom, Brian, Tej, Han, Gisele, Hobbs, and Riley to pursue him. Letty arrives to help Shaw, shooting Dom without hesitation before escaping. Back at their headquarters, Hobbs tells Dom’s crew that Shaw is stealing components to create a deadly device, intending to sell it to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, Shaw’s investigation into the opposing crew reveals Letty’s relationship with Dom, but she is revealed to be suffering from amnesia. Dominic’s crew learns that Shaw is connected to a drug lord who was imprisoned by Brian, Arturo Braga. Brian returns to Los Angeles as a prisoner to question Braga, who says Letty survived the explosion that seemingly killed her; Shaw took her in after discovering her amnesia. With FBI help, Brian is released from prison, regrouping with the team in London.Dom challenges Letty in a street racing competition; afterwards, he returns her cross necklace he had kept. After Letty leaves, Shaw offers Dom a chance to walk away, threatening to otherwise hurt his family, but Dom refuses. Tej tracks Shaw’s next attack to a Spanish NATO base. Shaw’s crew assaults a highway military convoy carrying a computer chip to complete his deadly device. Dom’s crew interferes while Shaw, accompanied by Letty, commandeers a tank, destroying cars en route. Brian and Roman manage to flip the tank before it causes further damage, resulting in Letty being thrown from the vehicle and Dom risking his life to save her. Shaw and his crew are captured, but reveal Mia has been kidnapped by Shaw. Hobbs is forced to release Shaw, and Riley, revealed to be Shaw’s covert accomplice, leaves with him; Letty chooses to remain with Dom.Shaw’s group board a large moving aircraft on a runway as Dom’s crew gives chase. Dom, Letty, and Brian board the craft; Brian rescues Mia, escaping in an onboard car. The plane attempts take-off, but is held down by excess weight as the rest of the team tether the plane to their vehicles. Gisele sacrifices herself to save Han from Shaw’s henchman; Letty kills Riley and escapes to safety, but Dom pursues Shaw and the computer chip. As the plane crashes into the ground, Shaw is thrown from it, seriously injuring him, and Dom drives a car out of the exploding plane. Dom reunites with his crew, and gives the chip to Hobbs to secure their pardons. Dom and the others return to his old family home in Los Angeles. Hobbs and Elena, now working together, arrive to confirm the crew’s freedom; Elena accepts that Dom loves Letty. As Roman says grace over the crew’s meal, Dom asks Letty if the gathering feels familiar; she answers “no, but it feels like home.” In a mid-credits scene, which takes place in Tokyo, Han is involved in a car chase when he is suddenly broadsided by an oncoming car. The driver walks away from the scene after leaving Letty’s cross necklace by the crash, and calls Dom as Han’s car fatally explodes, saying, “You don’t know me. You’re about to.”It’s so rare nowadays that sequels improve and franchises get better, well Fast & Furious shows us it’s truth. This sixth addition lives up to it’s speedy natured title yet again with furious action sequences that will excite audiences from the epic scale convoy heist to the knockout plane finale, it’s all so over the top and that’s exactly what you want.

REVIEW: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

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CAST

Emily Blunt (Looper)
Haley Bennett (The Equalizer)
Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible 5)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Edgar Ramirez (Joy)
Laura Prepon (That 70s Show)
Allison Janney (Spy)
Lisa Kudrow (Bad Neighbours)

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is an alcoholic who divorced her husband, Tom Watson (Justin Theroux), after catching him cheating on her with their real estate agent, Anna Boyd (Rebecca Ferguson). During their marriage, Rachel was prone to alcohol-induced blackouts during which she engaged in self-destructive behavior that she only later learned about from Tom, and to which she attributes the ending of their marriage, in addition to her being infertile.  Rachel shares an apartment with her friend Cathy (Laura Prepon) and spends her days commuting on a train, often stalking Tom, Anna, and their newborn daughter Evie. During her trips, Rachel grows fascinated with Tom’s neighbors, Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett), a young couple in what Rachel believes is a perfect marriage. In reality, Scott is aggressive and controlling, while Megan is detached, prone to dishonesty and sex addiction, and has frequent therapy sessions with her psychiatrist, Dr. Kamal Abdic (Édgar Ramírez).

While passing by the neighborhood one day, Rachel spots Megan kissing Kamal on her balcony and becomes infuriated by what she perceives as Megan’s ruining her “perfect” marriage. After a drinking binge, Rachel leaves the train to confront Megan, only to black out and awaken hours later at her apartment, injured. Rachel later finds out that Megan is missing and presumed dead, and is questioned by Detective Sergeant Riley (Allison Janney), who suspects Rachel might be involved due to her recent erratic behavior. Rachel, pretending to be a friend of Megan’s, approaches Scott and tells him about Megan’s affair. Scott identifies Kamal as Megan’s lover. Believing Kamal is behind Megan’s disappearance, Rachel schedules an appointment with him, wherein they discuss Rachel’s troubled relationship with Tom – particularly an incident in which she lashed out at an office party and aggravated Tom’s boss’s wife Martha (Lisa Kudrow), leading to Tom being fired.

At a bar, Rachel recognizes another commuter, who reveals that he saw her when she left the train the night that Megan disappeared. The commuter, heading home, later found Rachel unconscious in a tunnel, having been severely beaten by an unseen figure. Assuming she fell he offers his help, but she aggressively declined. Rachel returns to the tunnel and recalls seeing Megan with Tom and shouting at her before being ambushed. Meanwhile, Anna becomes suspicious of Tom after Sgt. Riley suggests that he is encouraging Rachel’s behavior by keeping in touch with her. Anna attempts to hack into Tom’s computer, and in the process she finds a secret phone with several voice messages to another woman Tom is having an affair with.
Megan is found dead and forensics determine she was pregnant, but the child was neither Scott’s nor Kamal’s. Scott becomes a suspect and confronts Rachel, believing she is conspiring against him, and in the process reveals he assaulted Megan prior to her death. Rachel runs into Martha and apologizes for her behavior at the party, only to discover she didn’t lash out or get Tom fired, but rather Tom was fired for having sexual relations with numerous co-workers. Rachel realizes Tom planted false memories in her head to account for his own abusive behavior. Anna identifies the woman Tom was exchanging phone calls with as Megan, and finds out Tom and Megan were having an affair. Rachel realizes Megan was pregnant with Tom’s baby and confided that to Kamal, leading to Rachel misinterpreting the nature of their encounter on the balcony. After leaving the train that day, Rachel caught Tom meeting with Megan and shouted at her, mistaking her for Anna. Tom then beat Rachel before returning to Megan, who announced she was keeping the baby. Realizing this would expose their affair, Tom murdered Megan.
Rachel goes to Tom’s house to warn Anna, but Anna reveals that she already knows about the affair. Tom arrives and Rachel confronts him. As Tom and Rachel argue Anna reveals she found Megan’s phone. Tom then carries out Evie, as a fearful Anna pleads for him to give her the baby while Rachel tries to dial 911. Tom takes the phone from Rachel and tells her to sit down. She begins to tell him how she now knows of all his wrong doings and false accusations. Tom then knocks Rachel unconscious as a flashback showing how he killed Megan plays. When Rachel regains consciousness, Tom tells her he wished she would have just stayed away for that one night. Rachel tries to run out of the house, grabbing a corkscrew on her way out. Tom catches up to her and attempts to strangle her, but she hits him with a lamp and tries to run again. Now outside the house, Tom catches up to Rachel, but this time she stabs him in the neck with the corkscrew as Anna watches from the window. Anna then exits the house and pushes the corkscrew deeper into Tom’s neck, finishing him off.
the-girl-on-the-train-trailerRachel and Anna come to an understanding and separately confirm to the police that Rachel killed Tom in self-defense, after he revealed himself to be Megan’s killer. One year later, Rachel has become sober and found a new job, and while still commuting on the same train, she now sits on the opposite side in a different car, leaving her old neighborhood in the past.asa-butterfield-and-ella-purnell-in-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-1The Girl on the Train features a great lead performance from Emily Blunt and a solid supporting cast, Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson jumping on the paranoia train with Emily Blunt to great effect.  So, if you’re a fan of either mysteries or thrillers, The Girl on the Train will be a journey you want to go on.