REVIEW: MOMENTUM

CAST

Olga Kurylenko (Hitman)
James Purefoy (Solomon Kane)
Lee-Anne Summers (Safari)
Hlomla Dandala (Lord of War)
Morgan Freeman (Batman Begins)
Karl Otto Thaning (Black Sails)

Alex (Olga Kurylenko), a trained ex-military agent-turned-thief, gets pulled by her former partner into a high-tech bank heist (her ‘one last job’). During the heist, she accidentally steals a valuable flash drive containing incriminating evidence. Alex is then relentlessly pursued by a team of agents led by Mr. Washington (James Purefoy), who has been sent by an anonymous Senator (Morgan Freeman) to retrieve the flash drive. While involved in a violent and frenetic cat-and-mouse chase across the city, Alex tries to uncover the conspiracy behind her pursuers.The main protagonist is hard to root for at the beginning of the movie, but as it progresses you get to know her better, you understand who she is and what her motives are and you kinda start worrying what’s gonna happen to her next. This movie also has a nice mix of conspiracies related to the military and CIA leaders who are not exactly the freedom fighters and who are not exactly concerned about anything other than power and money. This movie has some non-fatal flaws like shaky close up camera work and an open end which implies a sequel but I didn’t find them too distracting or detrimental to the story.

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REVIEW: THERE BE DRAGONS

CAST

Charlie Cox (Daredevil)
Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible II)
Wes Bentley (Ghost Rider)
Golshifteh Farahani (Exodus: Gods and Kings)
Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Derek Jacobi (The King’s Speech)
Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)

A young journalist long ago rejected by his now aged and dying father finds himself investigating one of his father’s former friends, a candidate for canonization. Uncovering the two men’s complicated relationship from childhood through the horrors of the Spanish Civil War unveils a compelling drama filled with passion, betrayal, love and religion. An action packed story set during a murderous time in history that ultimately serves the present by revealing the importance and timeless power of forgiveness.The film explores the senseless nature of war and its consequences, the spiral of hatred that slowly engulfs men, the repentance for terrible mistakes and the struggle to forgive them. Each character follows a path filled with dilemmas and suffering at the end of which they must fight themselves and their dragons. Do not expect an action packed war film. For those who have interest in the roots of Opus Dei, this film will not help you there. It deals with the repercussions of war and strife in people, it does not deal with the grander scale of things. there Be Dragons is a deeply personal and spiritual film. It is very intense and reflects unapologetically the worst side of humanity.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: OBLIVION

CAST

Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Olga Kurylenko (Hitman)
Andrea Riseborough (Welcome To The Punch)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Melissa Leo (Red State)
Zoë Bell (Bitch Slap)

In 2077, sixty years after a war with extraterrestrials that devastated Earth in 2017, humanity has relocated to Saturn’s moon Titan via a giant space station called the Tet. Gigantic offshore fusion energy generators drain Earth’s oceans to power the colonies on Titan. Led by mission controller Sally and guided by his housemate and communications partner Victoria “Vika” Olsen, “Tech-49” Jack Harper regularly leaves his tower post to repair downed combat drones that guard the regions and generators against the alien scavengers or “scavs.” Although his memory has been wiped, he has had recurring dreams and visions of being on the observation deck of the Empire State Building with a dark-haired woman. He also collects the occasional artifact he finds from humanity’s past. Vika is concerned about Jack’s curiosity, questioning whether they are still “an effective team,” and encouraging him to do his job so they can join the others on Titan soon.After scavs destroy a generator, Jack discovers the scavs have been using the Empire State Building’s antenna to transmit coordinates to outer space. While taking a break at his secret lake house retreat, he watches a crash-landing module of a pre-war spacecraft called the Odyssey. Thinking the ship contains aliens, he investigates, only to find humans in stasis chambers. One of the humans is the woman from his dreams. Jack protects her chamber from a drone that destroys the others, and later revives the woman, Julia Rusakova, who makes Vika instinctively jealous. Jack and Julia return to recover her flight recorder but are captured by the scavs, who are revealed to be human survivors.Their leader, Malcolm Beech, wants Jack to reprogram their captured drone to carry nuclear fuel cells to blow up the Tet; he has sensed Jack is different because the latter’s hobby of collecting relics. Although Jack refuses, Beech releases them to seek the truth beyond the boundaries of the forbidden radiation zone. When they reach the Empire State Building, Julia reveals that she is his wife. Jack then remembers that he proposed to her there. Julia recalls she was on a mission to Titan when they were diverted to investigate an alien presence.When the two return to Jack’s tower, Vika refuses them entry and reports her findings to Sally, saying they are “no longer an effective team.” Sally acknowledges this, but activates a drone that kills Vika before Julia shoots it down. Jack and Julia escape in his ship, but are shot down by other pursuing drones. The two eject into the radiation zone, which turns out to not be radioactive. Jack discovers another ship with a technician trying to fix a downed drone, and is shocked to see that the tech is a clone of himself who goes by “Tech-52”. The clone also is shocked to see Julia. Jack fights and incapacitates his clone, but Julia is accidentally shot. After flying to Tech-52’s tower, and discovering an inquisitive Vika clone, he returns to treat Julia at the lake house.At the scav base, Beech reveals to Jack and Julia that the Tet was an alien artificial intelligence that destroyed the Moon, causing massive devastation to the planet, and invaded Earth with thousands of Jack clones and drones to wipe out the human race, extracting all of the planet’s natural resources before moving on. As Jack repairs the captured drone, the base is attacked by other drones, gravely injuring Beech and ruining the captured drone except for its fuel cells. Jack agrees to deliver Julia to Sally through the stasis chamber. On the way to the Tet, Jack listens to the Odyssey’s flight recorder, and learns that he was the mission commander, Vika was his co-pilot, and Sally was their mission controller from Earth. When the Tet started to draw in their ship, Jack jettisoned the pod of stasis chambers containing the crew members (including Julia) leaving himself and Vika to be captured.Back in the present, Jack enters a large room full of capsules of Jack and Vika clones. He shows Tet the stasis chamber, but it carries Beech and the fuel cells, which they then detonate. On Earth, Julia awakens at the lake house. Three years later, she and her daughter meet the resistance members and “Tech-52” Jack, who has also recovered his memories.I would definitely recommend seeing  this movie. The visual appeal alone is reason enough, but combined with a clever (if not entirely original) script, a thumping soundtrack and some exciting action, you should be entertained

 

REVIEW: HITMAN (2007)

CAST
Timothy Olyphant (Catch & Release)
Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible 2)
Olga Kurylenkio (Max Payne)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Ulrich Thomsen (Killing Me Softly)
Henry Ian Cusick (Lost)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Peter Hudson (Highlander: The Series)
At an unknown location, near a remote asylum, a group of young bald boys are receiving tattoos of bar codes on the back of their heads; men observe, direct, and coordinate the training of these young boys in firearms and hand-to-hand combat, as well as stamina and strength. In these scenes, it is shown that these young boys are trained from an early age to be professional, international hitmen-for-hire.
Years later, Interpol agent Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott) arrives at his house and discovers Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) in his study, where the two talk about 47’s life as a professional hitman, working for a mysterious unknown paramilitary group known as The Organization. The movie unfolds as he tells the story, and Whittier tries to capture him.
Three months prior, 47 is completing a hit on a gang leader named Bwana Ovie (Eriq Ebouaney) in Niger. He is told by his Organization contact, Diana (Lisa Jacobs), to kill his next target, Russian President Mikhail Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen), publicly. He completes his mission as ordered, but before he can leave Russia, he is contacted by his employers. They tell him that there is a witness to the assassination and order him to intercept her. When Agent 47 pulls his gun to shoot her on the street, he realizes she has never seen him before. He does not shoot her, but just misses being assassinated himself.
His employers reveal his location to agents of FSB, who make plans to intercept him. As he is about to be taken, Diana personally calls him to warn him. She tells him that Belicoff ordered the hit on himself. After a dramatic escape from the hotel, 47 intercepts Nika (Olga Kurylenko), the woman who supposedly witnessed his hit and Belicoff’s mistress. He interrogates her about Belicoff and discovers that Belicoff had a body double, who ordered the hit on the real Belicoff so that he could take his place as the president of Russia. 47 was to be killed after the hit to ensure total secrecy. As Nika and 47 attempt to take a train further into the Russian interior, they are intercepted by more assassins from the Organization. 47 kills three of them before disarming Agent Whittier and wounding his partner. Infuriated at yet another escape, the FSB and Agent Marklov (Robert Knepper) order Interpol to leave the country immediately. In the meantime, 47 contacts Agent Carlton Smith (James Faulkner) of the CIA. He offers Smith a deal—he will kill Udre Belicoff (Henry Ian Cusick), Mikhail’s brother, in exchange for a favor from the CIA. Udre is an arms dealer and slave trader whom both the CIA and FSB have wanted dead for some time. Agent Smith informs 47 that Udre had been planning something with a German arms dealer named Price. Intercepting him could lead 47 to Udre.
47 and Nika travel to Istanbul, where 47 abducts Price from a restaurant in order to pose as Price at a meeting with Udre. 47 later kills Udre and his henchmen, so Belicoff’s double is forced to attend Udre’s funeral. 47 kidnaps Agent Marklov and forces him to have his own FSB agents try to shoot Belicoff’s double as he delivers a eulogy for Udre. Disguised as a soldier, 47 manages to kill all of Belicoff’s double’s guards and takes him into the archbishop’s chamber in the church. 47 instead kills him and then allows himself to be taken into custody by Interpol and Agent Whittier. At this point Agent Smith delivers on his end of the deal, having the agents under his command intercept the Interpol convoy that is transporting 47 to the airport, giving 47 the distraction necessary to escape. The scene then flashes forward to the conversation between Agent Whittier and 47 occurring at Agent Whittier’s house. After wrapping up their conversation, 47 reveals the body of a dead Organization hitman. 47 suggests Agent Whittier go along with 47’s plan, saying that he will notify the police that he has killed the fake Agent 47, implying that Whittier will not survive if he does not. Nika is shown picking up an envelope from an undisclosed sender. Inside it, there are papers and a message saying that she now owns a vineyard (she had told 47 of her childhood dream of having one). Meanwhile, 47 is watching her from afar, through the scope of a sniper rifle. He then looks at the corpse of another Organization hitman, lying close to him, and says, “I told you to leave her alone. You should have listened.” He then turns back, and walks away.
For once the film sticks close to the style of the games and doesn’t try and change anything that didn’t need changing. The story isn’t too complicated and doesn’t require much thinking, which is what you’d expect from this kind of movie. The action is pretty much non stop and there are some really impressive fight scenes all the way through, so there is never a dull moment. Basically, if you take this movie for what it is, it is a very fun, very enjoyable film that is entertaining from start to finish .

REVIEW: MAX PAYNE

CAST

Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Mila Kunis (That 70s Show)
Beau Bridges (My Name Is Earl)
Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Chris O’ Donnell (Batman & Robin)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break)
Kate Burton (127 Hours)
Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion)
Jamie Hector (Heroes)
Brea Grant (Halloween II)

Detective Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) is a three-year veteran in the Cold Case Unit of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He is consumed with investigating and finding the murderer of his wife Michelle and their infant child Rose. Max’s snitch, Trevor, supplies information that leads Max to three drug addicts in an empty train station. They attempt to rob Max in a bathroom; instead, Max interrogates one of them about his family’s murder, with no results. While one of the drug addicts runs away he is attacked by shadowy, winged man-creatures and is hit by a train. At Trevor’s apartment, Max meets Natasha Sax (Olga Kurylenko), who gets into an argument with her sister, Mona (Mila Kunis). When Natasha storms off, Max searches for her in the back where partiers are using the drug “Valkyr”. Max is silently confronted by Jack Lupino (Amaury Nolasco), but Natasha takes Max back to the party. Max notices Natasha’s tattoos and wants information about them, so he invites her back to his apartment. However, when Natasha tries to seduce Max, she makes insensitive comments about his wife, and Max kicks her out. Natasha leaves through an alley, and is attacked by the winged shadow creatures.The next morning Natasha is found dead, and Max’s wallet is discovered at the crime scene. Max becomes the prime suspect in the case, with his old partner, Alex Balder (Donal Logue), taking part in the investigation. Alex notices the tattoo on Natasha’s arm is similar to one found in the case file of Max’s wife. Alex tries to contact Max, but getting no response, he quickly leaves for Max’s apartment. When Max arrives home, he finds the door ajar and his place a mess. Alex lies dead inside, and as Max investigates, he is knocked unconscious from behind.Max wakes up in a hospital with his trusted friend BB Hensley (Beau Bridges), his father’s former partner in the NYPD, at his bedside. Hensley is now head of security of the pharmaceutical company Aesir Corporation. Max leaves the hospital early to pay his respects to Alex, but is kicked out by Alex’s upset wife Christa (Nelly Furtado). While being questioned by Lieutenant Jim Bravura (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) of Internal Affairs, Max storms out and searches Alex’s desk, finding Owen Green’s name in Natasha’s case file. Later, Max is confronted by Mona, who assumes Max killed her sister, but Max persuades her to help him find the actual killer. Max and Mona find Green (Joel Gordon) but cannot save him, as Owen was hallucinating and as a result falls out of a building to his death.Max and Mona visit Natasha’s tattoo parlor. The tattoo artist tells them Natasha’s tattoo represents the wings of a Valkyrie, which, in Norse mythology, are creatures that decide the fate of warriors in battle. Max then goes to take some of Michelle’s belongings out of storage and ends up discovering that documents from when she worked at the Aesir Corporation have gone missing. Max meets BB at a diner and demands the name of Michelle’s old supervisor.Max interrogates the supervisor, Jason Colvin (Chris O’Donnell), in his office at Aesir and learns that Michelle was associated with a military contract to create super-soldiers using the highly addictive drug Valkyr. Only a few subjects showed positive results; the rest saw hallucinations and eventually went insane, so the project was terminated. Jason agrees to testify, as long as Max protects him. When a skeptical Max asks Jason who he is supposed to be protecting him from, Jason answers: “The man that killed your wife!” Max agrees, and starts to escort Jason out of his office, but as they leave, armed Aesir security forces appear and kill Jason.

Max escapes with the evidence and shows the video to Mona. It explains the Valkyr project; Lupino is a former Marine and his testimony explains that, while taking the drug, Lupino feels invincible, with no side effects (unlike most other test subjects). Max goes to Lupino’s hideout, Ragna Rok. While fighting Lupino, Max’s defeat appears to be certain until BB arrives and kills Lupino. Max gets knocked unconscious after the brawl as he is leaving the hideout. BB explains that he is selling Valkyr and admits to killing Michelle because she inadvertently came across incriminating documents. BB plans to drown Max in the river, with a weight secured to his ankle and Valkyr in his pocket, hoping to make it look like a drug-induced suicide. But before he can be tied to the weight, Max escapes by jumping into the icy river. He swims to shore and, to prevent hypothermia, consumes both vials of Valkyr, transforming himself into a super-soldier with visions of Valkyries. Max follows BB back to the Aesir building. Assisted by Mona, he kills many Aesir security employees. Max eventually confronts BB on the building’s helipad and kills him. His vengeance complete, he falls to his knees, ready to die. He sees a vision of his daughter and wife, who tells him “Not yet, Max.” He comes to, as the sun cuts through the clouds and a SWAT team surrounds him. In a post-credits scene, Max meets with Mona at a bar, where she shows him a newspaper article about Aesir’s soaring stock price, with a picture of CEO Nicole Horne, presumably their next target.

All in all, I think it was beautifully done. It set out to capture Max Payne from every angle and did just that. It took ample time to make fanatics of the game go “holy crap, that scene was straight from the game”, but yet also write in some originality of it’s own that worked well within the plot. As far as some of the characters, I thought every one of them played their part to near-perfection. Mila Kunis actually did surprisingly well and it was fun to see her play the femme fatale badass. Chris O’ Donnell had a very short role, but I thought he played it amazingly. Not a perfect movie, but definitely a good one.