REVIEW: THE 51st STATE

CAST
Samuel L. Jackson (Black Snake Moan)
Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real Girl)
Meat Loaf (Fight Club)
Sean Pertwee (Gotham)
Ricky Tomlinson (Mike Bassett: England Manager)
Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)
In 1971, a policeman catches Elmo McElroy, a recent college graduate with a degree in pharmacology, smoking marijuana. Because of his arrest and conviction, he is unable to find work as a pharmacologist. In the present day, a drug lord called “the Lizard” calls a meeting of his organisation, hoping to sell a brand new substance invented by Elmo. The meeting goes badly when Elmo, in a bid to escape from the Lizard’s control, blows up the building, killing everyone but the Lizard. Vengeful, the Lizard contacts Dakota, a contract killer, who previously killed the only witness in a case against the Lizard. Dakota initially refuses the hit, but accepts when the Lizard offers to clear her gambling debts and give her a $250,000 bonus. Elmo leaves for Liverpool, England, where he meets Felix DeSouza, a local “fixer” who has been sent by Leopold Durant, head of a local criminal organisation, in exchange for two football tickets to a sold-out game. At the meeting, Elmo pitches POS 51, a synthetic drug that can be produced with minimal facilities and is 51 times as potent as other drugs. A second opinion from Pudsey, Durant’s chemist, confirms Elmo’s claims, and Durant gives him over a million dollars in bonds. Since it is $18 million short of the agreed payment, Elmo threatens to leave.
In a room across the street, Dakota is about to take a shot at Elmo’s head when the Lizard calls cancelling the hit; not wanting to kill Elmo until he has the formula. Instead of killing Elmo, she is to kill anyone who meets with him. She switches rifles to an automatic weapon and kills everyone but Elmo and Felix, who is shot in the buttocks. As Elmo and Felix leave the hotel, a gang of skinheads who seek the drug attack them. Elmo protects them with a golf club. Detective Virgil Kane arrives on the scene and gives a chase. He is soon lured into a game of chicken by Elmo, who escapes. Kane returns to the crime scene and demands 50% of Durant’s deal with McElroy. A miscommunication leads to Durant’s death.
 Felix contacts a gun dealing club owner and drug distributor named Iki, promising him the formula for £20 million. As Elmo and Felix acquire the ingredients necessary for the drug’s manufacture, all of which are over-the-counter products, the now-armed skinheads capture them. Elmo is unflustered, as the skinheads claim they have a lab, though it turns out to be a broken-into animal testing facility. Elmo makes two batches of the drug; one blue and one red. He claims that the red pill is the stronger version, and after he takes one, the skinheads try it. While they are partying, waiting for the effect of the drug, in the next room Elmo spits out his red pill. He tells Felix it is a powerful laxative; Elmo and Felix leave after throwing rolls of toilet paper to the incapacitated skinheads.
At Iki’s rave club, Elmo initiates his deal and delivers the drug to the waiting crowd. Kane and the police interrupt the deal and arrest Felix. When Dakota appears, she reveals that her real name is Dawn and that she and Felix were romantically involved. She captures Elmo and leaves with him via the roof. Elmo gets the upper hand, suspending her over the edge of the roof. Having no choice, she strikes a deal with him and they escape from Kane. Meanwhile, Kane blackmails Felix during a police interrogation and forces himself into the deal with Iki, which Felix sets up for him.
 Felix, Elmo and Dawn meet Iki in a private viewing box at the football game at Anfield. This time, the deal is interrupted by the Lizard, who shoots Iki and demands the formula to POS 51. The Lizard celebrates with a drink, as Elmo reveals that the drug is a placebo and POS stands for Power of Suggestion. Kane interrupts them as Elmo’s cocktail, an explosive ingested by the Lizard, takes effect. Kane is knocked unconscious and arrested, and the others escape. Dawn and Felix give their relationship another chance, and Elmo purchases a castle once owned by the man who owned his ancestors.
 I’m not surprised this film did a whole lot better this side of the Atlantic than it did back in the USA. With the majority of the action based in England, Jackson and Meat Load being the only Americans and a whole plethora of wonderful British character actors that are a complete joy it’s small wonder it was lapped up by British audiences
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REVIEW: ERAGON

CAST

Ed Speleers (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman)
Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe)
John Malkovich (Red)
Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy)
Alun Armstrong (The Mummy Returns)
Christopher Egan (Dominion)
Gary Lewis (Gangs of New York)
Djimon Hounsou (Stargate)
Rachel Weisz (The Shape of Things)
Tamsin Egerton (Camelot)

Arya, an elf and princess of Ellesméra, runs for her life with a “stone” stolen from the evil king, Galbatorix. She is surrounded by a ring of fire created by a Shade (dark sorcerer) called Durza, and to protect the stone from him she uses her magic to send it to a distant forest, where Eragon (Ed Speleers), a 15-year-old farm boy from the small village of Carvahall in the country of Alagaësia, is hunting for food. When the stone magically appears before him, he takes it to his hometown in hopes of trading it for food. After he brings it home, he realizes it is an egg, as a blue dragon hatches from it. As he reaches to touch the dragon, a magical mark is burned into his palm, magic that is felt all across the land by those who have a connection to legend of the dragon, mainly Arya, a former dragon rider named Brom, and Galbatorix himself. Eragon tries to keep the dragon and take care of it until Galbatorix sends his monstrous minions, the Ra’zac, to capture Eragon and the dragon. Eragon sends the dragon into the sky so she may learn to fly, which she succeeds before she returns to him fully grown due to her magic. She reveals herself to him that her name is Saphira, and that they are able to hear each other’s thoughts. After seeing the Ra’zac in town, Eragon hurries home to protect his uncle, but Saphira picks him up and tells him that the Ra’zac are after him. When he gets home, Eragon finds his uncle dead and blaming Saphira, he sends her away. As he mourns over his uncle’s body, Brom arrives, and asks Eragon to call his Saphira. After a brief scuffle, Brom implores Eragon to leave town, which they do after Brom sets fire to his uncle’s barn, burning his remains.

On the way to see the rebel freedom fighters devoted to destroying Galbatorix called the Varden, Eragon learns that he and Saphira have a special attachment like other dragon riders, and that if he dies, she will die as well. Brom also tells him that he is not fully ready to face the Ra’zac or Durza, and starts training him in sword-fighting and magic. On the way they take shelter in a small village, where a fortune-teller tells Eragon that a woman is calling her name so that he can save her and that his path is full of deadly obstacles. Soon they are attacked by Galbatorix’s servants, the Urgals, but Eragon unintentionally produces magic that wipes them out, but the strain of doing this causes him to fall unconscious. Eragon soon learns how to produce small scale magic and to bond his powers with Saphira.

After seeing Ra’zacs fall, Durza uses his black magic on Arya, setting a trap to lure Eragon. Even after Brom’s warning, Eragon arrives to rescue Arya, but is confronted by Durza. During their battle, Durza magically hurls a spear at Eragon, but Brom throws himself in its path and is mortally wounded. Eragon shoots an arrow into Durza’s head, causing him to disappear. The trio escapes, and Brom dies of his wounds while flying on the wings of a dragon one last time.

Following the way to find the Varden, Eragon takes oath so that he may fulfill Brom’s destiny: to overthrow the tyrannical empire of the evil king, Galbatorix. As Arya goes weak from Durza’s poison, Eragon confronts a hooded figure that has been following him. He reveals himself to be Murtagh, who offers to take them to the Varden. Once there, the Varden welcome the new rider, but expose Murtagh for what he really is, the son of the traitorous Morzan, who betrayed the dragon riders. Eragon, Saphira, Arya, and the Varden prepare for war as Durza and his men surround the rebel camp. The Varden fight Galbatorix’s forces as Eragon and Saphira duel in the skies with Durza, flying on a shadowy beast of dark magic. Eragon and Saphira kill Durza, but not before Saphira is mortally wounded in the battle. Eragon uses his magic to heal her wounds and once again passes out from the strain.

The following morning, Eragon awakes with Murtagh at his side. He calls for Saphira, fearing she might have died from the battle, but she appears fully healed. They fly off together to catch up with Arya, who is on her way to Ellesméra to help lead the elves against Galbatorix in the coming war. She calls Eragon “Shadeslayer” and bids him goodbye. Meanwhile, in Galbatorix’s castle, angered that his men were defeated by a mere boy, the King rips off a curtain, revealing his pitch black dragon, Shruikan, who breathes fire.

The special effects, created by LORD OF THE RINGS’ Digital Magic and STAR WARS’ Industrial Light and Magic, more than live up to the precedent set by those films, while the dragon is film’s true star

REVIEW: THE MIGHTY CELT

CAST

Gillian Anderson (Hannibal)
Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe)
Ken Stott (The Hobbit)
Tyrone McKenna (Middletown)
Richard Dormer (My Boy Jack)

Image result for the mighty celtSet in modern day Northern Ireland (2005) and revolves around a young
lad (Tyrone McKenna) who works under the watchful eye of Greyhound dog
owner (Ken Stott) in kennels and at racing tracks.

A reasonably straight forward real life drama with no-nonsense
attitude. It might possibly narrow it’s audience due to the strong
Irish accent, but this is one of the many important ingredients that
make, what could be a very average film – really good.
Image result for the mighty celt
Some inspired British style camera work together with a Dub-Celt
soundtrack really give this film it’s feel. And it all seems plausible,
but not predictable. What does work particularly well is how each
character and sub plot seem carefully balanced with their own
importance in the storyline, nothing is wasted or filling time.

Natural performances from all the small cast and a surprisingly good
combo of Carlyle & Anderson adds a close personal feel and keeps this
story easy to contain.

REVIEW: STARGATE: UNIVERSE – SEASON 1 & 2

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MAIN CAST

Robert Carlyle (Once Upon A Time)
Louis Ferreira (Bates Motel)
Brian J. Smith (Sense8)
Elyse Levesque (The Originals)
David Blue (Ugly Betty)
Alaina Huffman (Smallville)
Jamil Walker Smith (General Hospital)
Ming-Na Wen (Agents of SHIELD)

stargateuniverse43RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Michael Shanks (Smallville)
Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary)
Ona Grauer (Arrow)
Peter Kelamis (The Cabin In The Woods)
Mark Burgess (Scooby Doo 2)
Gary Jones (Highlander: The Series)
Martin Christopher (Night at The Museum)
Bill Dow (The Big Year)
Bradley Stryker (Smallville)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Jennifer Spence (Continuum)
Julia Benson (Death Do Us Part)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
Anna Galvin (Caprica)
Dominic Zamprogna (Odyssey 5)
Ryan Kennedy (Smallville)
Raquel Riskin (Supernatural)
Reiko Aylesworth (Lost)
Vincent Gale (Battlestar Galactica)
Louise Lombard (Grimm)
William MacDonald (Slither)
Kathleen Munroe (Fitzgerald)
Sean Blakemore (Bones)
Rhona Mitra (Doomsday)
Julie McNiven (Mad Men)
Robert Knepper (Izombie)
Camille Sullivan (The Birdwatcher)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
French Stewart (Mom)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
David Hewlett (Cypher)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)

The stargate itself–an artificially created wormhole through which one can instantly travel to different worlds light-years away–is still around, but much else has changed. Gone, for the most part, are the rough-and-tumble adventures that were the specialty of SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, SGU‘s popular predecessors. Gone, too, are insouciant but charismatic and intrepid leaders like SG-1‘s Col. Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson does make several cameo appearances in that role in the course of these 20 episodes, offered here on six discs) and Atlantis‘s Col. John Sheppard.In their places, in addition to a new ongoing story line, is a rather less conventional approach, featuring a more minimalist vibe and an entirely fresh cast of earnest, intense, mostly youthful characters battling personal demons and complex interpersonal relationships, along with a myriad of technical issues more typical of sci-fi shows. If this all sounds very serious, well, these folks have a lot to be serious about. Very early on, the “Icarus Base” is under alien attack, forcing military and civilian personnel alike to escape through the stargate. They end up aboard Destiny, a massive ship that’s millions of years old and was once the property of the omniscient master race known as the Ancients. Not only do our characters barely know how to operate the ship, they also have no idea where they are, except that it’s billions of light-years from Earth. It’s the responsibility of the two main men, Col. Everett Young (Justin Louis) and scientist Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle), to figure out how to get everyone home safely, a task that dominates the series’ overall arc. That dicey proposition is complicated considerably by ceaseless internecine conflict on the ship, much of it between soldiers and civilians (typified by Young and Rush, both of whom are self-righteous, utterly humorless, and not especially likable).Much of the action takes place on Destiny, but there are occasional excursions to various planets in search of water and other supplies; there are also trips to Earth made possible by magical “communication stones” that allow users to exchange bodies with folks on the other end. As is the case with many new programs, SGU takes a while to hit its stride, but when that happens about a third of the way into the season, the results are often quite exciting; SGU may not be as much fun as the earlier shows, but it’s still well written and entertaining, with excellent production values, good special effects.

The Stargate franchise has literally run its course, some may feel. While others feel, similar to the “Star Trek” franchise, there are many stories that can still be told.From “Stargate SG-1′ to the animated series “Stargate Infinity” and then “Stargate Atlantis”, here we are with the final season of “Stargate Universe”, a series that met with fans who were split on whether they enjoyed or disliked the series. Unfortunately, for this series which began in 2009, there was no renewal for a third season and thus the second season ended with a cliffhanger, just when the series had made some major changes and had gotten better.nup_135385_0206x1Should Stargate Universe had a chance to prove itself? Afterall, even the popular syndicated series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” had its haters and also didn’t do well initially in the ratings, but given the chance to make the series better, it became one of the best “Star Trek” spinoff.I’m sure that this will be a debate in which these split fans will continue to have varying opinions but the fact is, “Stargate” is over and in April 2011, “Stargate” producer announced that any plans for continuation of “Stargate” have been cancelled and that he had officially packed his desk. 17 years of “Stargate” on television and it looks as if this was the final nail on the popular franchise.ursini1I do dislike when a series never receives its full run and in this case, ending with a cliffhanger but still, the creators and the fans did all they can to keep the series going. But for the fans who stuck with this series from beginning to end. perhaps one day the franchise will be brought back in some shape or form.